Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (عبد القادر الحسيني, also spelled Abd al-Qader al-Husseini) (1907-1948) was a Palestinian nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, (Munazzamat al-Jihad al-Muqaddas), which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) in the 1948 Palestine War. Husayni had four children - Haifa, Musa, Gazi, and Faisal.

Family and early nationalist career

Husayni was born to the influential al-Husayni family of Jerusalem, son of Musa al-Husayni; he was also the nephew of Amin al-Husayni. He graduated in chemistry at the American University in Cairo, and organized the Congress of Educated Muslims. Initially, he took a post in the settlement department of the British Mandate government, but eventually moved to the Hebron area during the 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine to lead the struggle against the British. A member of the Palestine Arab Party 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 where he took part in the Rashid Ali al-Gaylani coup. He moved to Egypt in 1946, but secretly returned to Palestine to lead the Army of the Holy War in January 1948, and was killed during hand-to-hand fighting for control of Qastal Hill on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, on 8 April 1948. His forces captured Qastal from the Haganah, which had occupied the village at the start of Operation Nachshon six days earlier with a force of about 100 men. They retreated to the Jewish settlement of Motza. Palmach troops recaptured the village on the night of 8-9 April; 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



  • Benveniśtî, Mêrôn (2002). Sacred Landscape: The Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948. University of California Press. ISBN 0520234227
  • Levenberg, Haim (1993). Military Preparations of the Arab Community in Palestine: 1945-1948. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-3439-5
  • Morris, Benny (2003). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521009677
  • Robinson, Glenn E. (1997) Building a Palestinian State: The Incomplete Revolution. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21082-8
  • Sayigh, Yezid (2000). Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829643-6
  • Swedenburg, Ted (1999). The role of the Palestinian peasantry in the Great Revolt (1936-9). In Ilan Pappé (Ed.). The Israel/Palestine Question (pp. 129-168). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-16947-X

External links

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