1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine

The 1936-1939 Arab revolt in Palestine, was a nationalist uprising by Palestinian Arabs in Mandatory Palestine against the British administration of the Palestine Mandate. Furthermore,  The Palestinian were demanding Arab independence and the end of the policy of open-ended Jewish immigration and land purchases with the stated goal of establishing a “Jewish National Home”. The dissent was directly influenced by the Qassamite rebellion; following the killing of Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam in 1935, as well as the declaration by Hajj Amin al-Husseini of 16 May 1936 as ‘Palestine Day’ and calling for a General Strike.

The revolt was branded by many in the Jewish Yishuv as “immoral and terroristic”, often comparing it to fascism and Nazism. Ben Gurion, however, described Arab causes as fear of growing Jewish economic power; opposition to mass Jewish immigration, and fear of the English identification with Zionism.  The general strike lasted from April to October 1936, initiating the violent revolt. The revolt consisted of two distinct phases.

1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine Is Divided Into Two Phases 

The first phase was directed primarily by the urban and elitist Higher Arab Committee (HAC) and was focused mainly on strikes and other forms of political protest. By October 1936, this phase had been defeated by the British civil administration using a combination of political concessions, international diplomacy (involving the rulers of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Transjordan, and Yemen), and the threat of martial law.

The second phase, which began late in 1937, was a violent and peasant-led resistance movement provoked by British repression in 1936 that increasingly targeted British forces. During this phase, the rebellion was brutally suppressed by the British Army and the Palestine Police Force using repressive measures that were intended to intimidate the Arab population and undermine popular support for the revolt.

During this phase, a more dominant role on the Arab side was taken by the Nashashibi clan, whose NDP party quickly withdrew from the rebel Arab Higher Committee, led by the radical faction of Amin al-Husseini, and instead sided with the British – dispatching “Fasail al-Salam” (the “Peace Bands”) in coordination with the British Army against nationalist and Jihadist Arab “Fasail” units (literally “bands”).

1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Palestine: Conclusions 

According to official British figures covering the whole revolt; the army and police killed more than 2,000 Arabs in combat, 108 were hanged, and 961 died because of what they described as “gang and terrorist activities”. In an analysis of the British statistics, Walid Khalidi estimates 19,792 casualties for the Arabs, with 5,032 dead: 3,832 killed by the British and 1,200 dead because of “terrorism”, and 14,760 wounded. Over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population between 20 and 60 was killed, wounded, imprisoned, or exiled. Estimates of the number of Palestinian Jews killed range from 91 to several hundred.

The Arab revolt in Mandatory Palestine was unsuccessful, and its consequences affected the outcome of the 1948 Palestine war. It caused the British Mandate to give crucial support to pre-state Zionist militias like the Haganah, whereas on the Palestinian Arab side, the revolt forced the flight into exile of the main Palestinian Arab leader of the period, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – Haj Amin al-Husseini.

apt-stamp-white@2x
arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Simon Peter

RELATED POSTS

Khosrow II: The Last Sasanian King

The last Sasanian King is Khosrow II. He was the last great King of the Sassanian Empire. He was reigning from 590 to 628 CE. ...

Geshur

Geshur was a territory in the ancient Levant. There is little historical information we have about Geshur; and most of it is mentioned in the ...

Caesarea Maritima

When Judea becomes a Roman province in 6 CE, Caesarea Maritima replaces Jerusalem as its civilian and military capital and becomes the official residence of its ...

Sarona Colony

Another great reason to come and check out Sarona Market is the Sarona Colony which is now a trendy commercial area called Sarona Tel Aviv. ...

Battle of Megiddo

This Battle of Megiddo is recorded as having taken place in 609 BCE when Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt led his army to Carchemish (northern Syria) to join with his allies; ...

1947-1949 Palestine War

The 1947-1949 Palestine War is actually divided into two different phases. First, was the part that is called the 1947-1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. ...

Flavius Josephus

Flavius Josephus (Yosef Ben Matityahu) was a historian who was born in Jerusalem. He's the main historical source for the 2nd Temple period

Bar Giora (Organization)

Bar Giora was a secret Jewish self-defense organization and the precursor of Hashomer. Furthermore, the organization operated in Israel (Ottoman Palestine) from September 1907 to ...

Provincia Iudaea

Provincia Iudaea was a Roman province immediately after King Herod's death. It was formed out of the territories of the Herodian kingdom.

Melisende Queen of Jerusalem

One of the famous figures during the Crusader Era was Melisende (1105 – 11 September 1161). She was Queen of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1153, ...

Need help?

Skip to content