Dec 1947-April 1948
Pages in Section 5
The Black Hand Re-emerges
i. Aftermath of the 1929 Riots
iii. Re-organisation of the Palestine Police
iv. The Black Hand and Inspector Salim Basta
v. The 1933 Riots
vi. The Arlosorrof Case and Creation of the Dog Section
vii. King George V's Silver Jubilee
viii. The Black Hand re-emerges
The discovery of a cache of arms in the port of Haifa apparently destined for the Haganah, the second with a year, created panic among the Arabs of Palestine, as they realised the scale of the Jewish military preparations.
Al-Qassam had built up his army of trained fighter. This, he decided, was the time to launch his revolt. He gave a last speech to his followers.
"I taught you religion and I taught you nationhood. Now it is your duty to carry out Jihad. Go out on Jihad."
Al Qassam himself left Haifa for Northern Samaria with twelve men to start the great Palestinian revolt. Close to Affuleh a Jewish policeman sergeant, searching for thieves who had been stealing grapefruit from nearby Jewish-owned citrus groves, stopped them.
A member of Al Qassam's party shot the sergeant and they hurried back to Haifa to close down their centre.
Using dogs the police followed their trail but by the time they arrived at the centre Al-Qassam and his twelve men had already taken to the hills where they spent ten days on the move, being fed by local villagers. After an RAF plane detected them in the Valley of Dotan, the police surrounded the gang in a cave near the village of Ya'bad.
Al-Qassam ordered his men to die as martyrs, and opened fire. In the ensuing gun fight, Al-Qassam and three of his followers were killed Five followers were captured.
Al Qassam's funeral was held at the Jerini Mosque in Haifa and attracted at least 3,000 mourners, mostly members of the peasant and working classes.
Five months following al-Qassam's death, members of his movement, known as "Qassamites", shot and killed two Jewish farmers carrying chickens to Tel Aviv. This act precipitated the 1936-39 Arab revolt in Palestine.
Even now (1917) al-Qassam is a symbol for resistance against the occupation of Palestine.
Next Section - The Arab Revolt - i. The Initial Stage
Text - Copyright British Palestine Police Association