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Development of Palestinian Resistance Ideology 1920-2014



The Palestinian fighting forces had a great role in resistance since Britain first occupied Palestine until Israel took control. They resisted the colonialist policies in all ways available in that time. The Palestinians first resisted against the British colonial rule through revolutions and peaceful protest in which they would demand for the end of the British Mandate or the stopping of the immigration of Jews. It all started with 1920 Nabi Musa riots and 1921 Jaffa riots which represented the beginning of the Palestinian struggle for independence. The protests and revolutions were peaceful in nature; though started with Arab-Jews conflicts, they would soon after call for independence. This lasted until 1929 Buraq Uprising which was a major turning point for the Palestinian resistance. Since then, the Palestinians embraced armed forces instead of non-violent means such as revolutions, seminars, and Islamic or Christian conferences in Palestine.

Following the footsteps of armed resistance against the British colonial rule, the 1935 Qassam riot, which was led by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, took place. From that point and on, the Palestinians focused on using armed forces in resisting against the colonial rule.

The uprising of 1936 happened immediately after Al-Qassam’s martyrdom. It formed a new way of resistance characterized by the most famous strike which lasted for six months, the longest in the history of Palestine. This was the beginning of general strikes coupled with armed resistance by some parties who took part since Izz ad-Din al-Qassam uprising.

Following that period of time, the Arabs and Palestinians struggle forces, including Army of the Holy War, completely adopted armed resistance against the Israeli Occupation forces in 1948. They, however, did not succeed in freeing Palestine.

The Palestinian resistance went through a whole different phase after 1948 war. It was mandatory for it to resist against a country which raised the cost of sacrifice: moved from resisting gangs to resisting organized forces.

Palestinian resistance moved from resisting against the British Mandate to the Zionist Occupation of Palestine. Unlike the earlier stages of resistance against British Colonial rule, Palestinians, with no question, used armed resistance against the Zionist Occupation.

Many Palestinian movements appeared at that time such as Ahmed Shukeiri’s attempt at bringing together a Palestinian Liberation Army, and Fatah.

The first Palestinian Intifada that happened in 1987, included all Palestinians. It was more than natural for Resistance to develop accordingly so Palestinians would use rocks and Slingshots, along with many other tools which would represent the civil resistance. Later on, the resistance developed to the use of knives until its final shape of armed resistance represented by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades led by Emad Akel and others.

The following phase was based on peace talks between Palestinian National Authority and the Occupation; however, the talks failed and the Second Intifada took place.

The Second Intifada was considered to be the “phase of public resistance maturity” in which istish’hadi (suicide) attacks were executed inside Israel and the Palestinian resistance, specially ‘Hamas’, built and developed rockets inside the Gaza Strip until they could reach long distances inside the occupied territories.

This was clear in the last two wars on the Gaza Strip: Operation Pillar of Defense 2012 and Operation Protective Edge in 2014 in which the rockets reached Haifa. The last war showed the Palestinians’ fighting capabilities represented by their sneaking behind enemy line and the use of tunnels as a sort of weaponry. The latter dazzled the entire world for its efficiency.

Prepared by: Fatin Abu Sheban.

Translation: Nour Osama ElBorno