Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni

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Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (1907 – 8 April 1948) was a Palestinian Arab nationalist
Palestinian nationalism
Palestinian nationalism is the national movement of the Palestinian people. It has roots in Pan-Arabism and other movements rejecting colonialism and calling for national independence. More recently, Palestinian Nationalism is expressed through the Israeli–Palestinian conflict...

 and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, (Munathamat al-Jihad al-Muqaddas), which he and Hasan Salama
Hasan Salama
Hasan Salama or Hassan Salameh was a commander of the Palestinian Holy War Army in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War along with Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni.- Biography :...

 commanded as the Army of the Holy War
Army of the Holy War
The Army of the Holy War or Holy War Army was a force of Palestinian Arab irregulars in the 1947-48 Palestinian civil war led by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and Hasan Salama. The force has been described as Husayni's "personal" army...

 (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) during the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt and during the 1948 war
1948 Palestine war
The 1948 Palestine war refers to the events in the British Mandate of Palestine between the United Nations vote on the partition plan on November 30, 1947, to the end of the first Arab-Israeli war on July 20, 1949.The war is divided into two phases:...


Family and early nationalist career

Husayni was born to the influential al-Husayni
Husayni is the name of a prominent Palestinian Arab clan formerly based in Jerusalem. Several members of the clan held important political positions such as Mayor and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and founded and led many Palestinian Arab Islamist groups such as the Holy War Army, the Palestine Arab...

 family of Jerusalem, son of Musa al-Husayni
Musa al-Husayni
Musa Kazim al-Husayni was nominated to several senior posts in the Ottoman administration. He belongs to the prominent al-Husayni family of northeastern Jerusalem...

; he was also the nephew of Amin al-Husayni. He graduated in chemistry at the American University in Cairo
American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo is an independent, non-profit, apolitical, secular institution of higher learning located in Cairo, Egypt...

, and organized the Congress of Educated Muslims
Congress of Educated Muslims
The Congress of Educated Muslims was founded by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni in the early 1930s to fight discrimination against Palestinian Arabs in government services....

. Initially, he took a post in the settlement department of the British Mandate government, but eventually moved to the Hebron
Hebron , is located in the southern West Bank, south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judean Mountains, it lies 930 meters above sea level. It is the largest city in the West Bank and home to around 165,000 Palestinians, and over 500 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter...

 area during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine to lead the struggle against the British. A member of the Palestine Arab Party
Palestine Arab Party
The Palestinian Arab Party was a political party in Palestine established by the influential Husayni family in 1935. Jamal al-Husayni was the founder and chairman. Emil Ghoury was elected as General Secretary till the end of the British Mandate in 1947...

 he served as its Secretary-General and became editor-in-chief of the party's paper Al-Liwa’ and other newspapers, including Al-Jami’a Al-Islamiyya.

Battle of Qastal

In 1938, Husayni was exiled and in 1939 fled to Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 where he took part in the Rashid Ali al-Gaylani coup
Iraq coup (1941)
The 1941 Iraqi coup d'état, also known as the Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani coup or the Golden Square coup was a pro-Nazi military coup in Iraq on April 1, 1941 that overthrew the regime of Regent 'Abd al-Ilah and installed Rashid Ali as Prime Minister...

. He moved to Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in 1946, but secretly returned to Palestine to lead the Army of the Holy War in January 1948. Husayni was killed while personally reconnoitering an area of Qastal Hill
Al-Qastal was a Palestinian village that was depopulated in the lead up the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.- History :Under the name of Belveer or Beauverium, Qastal belonged to the Hospitalers by c. 1168 and was listed amongst the castles supposedly destroyed by al-Adil in 1191–2...

 shrouded by fog, in the early hours of 8 April 1948. His forces later captured Qastal from the Haganah
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948, which later became the core of the Israel Defense Forces.- Origins :...

, which had occupied the village at the start of Operation Nachshon
Operation Nachshon
Operation Nachshon was an Jewish military operation during the 1948 war. Lasting from 5–20 April 1948, its objective was to break the Siege of Jerusalem by opening the Tel-Aviv - Jerusalem road blockaded by Palestinian Arabs and to supply food and weapons to the isolated Jewish community of...

 six days earlier with a force of about 100 men. They retreated to the Jewish settlement of Motza
Motza ת is a neighbourhood in the western edge of Jerusalem, Israel, located 600 metres above sea level. In the Judean Hills, surrounded by forest, it is a relatively isolated place connected to Jerusalem by the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and the winding mountain road to Har Nof...

. Palmach
The Palmach was the elite fighting force of the Haganah, the underground army of the Yishuv during the period of the British Mandate of Palestine. The Palmach was established on May 15, 1941...

 troops recaptured the village on the night of 8–9 April, losing eighteen men in the attack; most of the houses were blown up and the hill became a command post. Huseyni's death was a factor in the loss of morale among his forces.

See also

  • War of the Roads
  • Ben Yehuda Street Bombing
    Ben Yehuda Street Bombing
    The Ben Yehuda Street bombings refer to a series of attacks by Palestinians and suicide bombers on civilians in downtown Jerusalem, Israel in 1948...

External links