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Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni
عبد القادر الحسيني
1907 (1907) – 1948 (1949)
Place of birth Jerusalem
Place of death Al-Qastal
Allegiance Palestine's Arab irregular forces
Service/branch Army of the Holy War
Years of service 1936-1948
Battles/wars 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni (Arabic: 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),[1][2] 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’[3] 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.[4] They retreated to the Jewish settlement of Motza.[5] 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.[6][7] Huseyni's death was a factor in the loss of morale among his forces.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Swedenburg, 1999, p. 150
  2. ^ Sayigh, 2000, p. 35
  3. ^ Levenberg, 1993, p. 6.
  4. ^ Morris, 2003, p. 234.
  5. ^ Dana Adams Schmidt, 'Arabs Win Kastel But Chief is Slain', New York Times, 9 April 1948, p. 8 (A brief biography and account of the battle).
  6. ^ Benveniśtî, 2002, p.111.
  7. ^ Morris, 2003, p. 235.
  8. ^ Time Magazine, War for Jerusalem Road


  • 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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