Al-Qastal Battle in 1948

1948 war decisive battles

Immediately once the 1947-1949 began shots were fired from the area of the Palestinian village Al-Qastal. Many Israelis got injured or dead. After the colossal loss of the Hulda Convoy to Jerusalem, David Ben Gurion like the rest of the leadership of Jewish Yishuv decided to change strategy to a more offensive one. This offensive strategy was made possible due to the minimal amount of British soldiers that were still around in Palestine in March 1948. So this enabled the Haganah forces to seize control over important strategic outposts.

Operation Nachshon

First, Al-Qastal was a key position on the Jaffa-Jerusalem road in the 1948 war. So the road was used by Arab forces to attack Jewish relief convoys. In order to prevent them from reaching the besieged Jewish parts of Jerusalem. For this purpose, it was occupied by the Army of the Holy War. Leading The forces was Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, the commander of the Jerusalem Hills sector.

As a result, the village was assaulted by the Palmach’s Harel Brigade and two squads of the Haganah during Operation Nachshon. After a previous minor clash had already caused most civilian inhabitants to flee. Finally, Palmach troops occupied the village on April 3, but its commander was refused permission to blow up the houses.

The Death Of A Palestinian War Hero in Al-Qastal

So forces under Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni attacked and besieged the Haganah-held village on 7 April 1948. During the following, foggy night Al-Husayni himself was killed by a Haganah sentinel in a bizarre incident. So on April 8th, armed Arabs from the entire area, motivated by the disappearance of their leader, attacked and recaptured Al-Qastal.

Al-Husayni’s death led to a loss of morale among his forces. As a result, most fighters left their positions to attend al-Husayni’s funeral on April 9th. So Palmach troops retook the almost fully deserted village on the night of April 8-9th. The Palmach blew up most of the houses and made the hill a command post, which they managed to hold on to.


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


Which Is the Capital of Israel

Which Is the Capital of Israel? Well, my answer, in short, would be, depends on who you ask I guess if you want the longer answer click here!

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. ...


Phasael was the brother of Herod the Great. Furthermore, Phasael was born during the Hasmonean Kingdom reigns Judea to a Jewish family.


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 ...

Herod Agrippa King of Judea

Herod Agrippa was the last Jewish King over the Kingdom of Judea. To Pick up from our last post, our Story stopped at the moment ...

Legio X Fretensis

The Roman Tenth Legion is also known as Legio X Fretensis had a key role in the Land of Israel. Mainly by crushing the First Jewish Revolt.

The Battle of Megiddo

The Battle of Megiddo, fought 15th century BCE, was between the Egyptian forces under the command of Pharaoh Thutmose III and a large rebellious coalition of Canaanite vassal states led by the king ...

Israel Palestine War

The Israel Palestine War was the bloodiest war in Israeli History. More than 6,000 Israelis fell in this war. You can read more in this post!


Hashomer (literally means “The Watchman”) was a Jewish defense organization in Palestine founded in April 1909. Moreover, it was an outgrowth of the Bar-Giora group ...

The Architecture of Herod’s Palace

The architecture of Herod's palace in Jerusalem was probably outstanding. There are little remains of Herod's Palace. Click here for More!

Need help?