Al-Ahram WeeklySpecial pages commemorating
50 years of Arab dispossession
since the creation of the
State of Israel
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

50 Years


Guerrilla warfare

Battles bewteen Arab guerrilla troops and the Haganah, aided by the Zionist gangs, intensified during the month of March. Five Arab villages around Jaffa, Tibyris and Safd were attacked and razed to the ground during that month, while a bomb, which killed 11 and left other 27 seriously injured, was planted in the Arab quarter in Haifa on March 3. Leader of the Arab volunteer guerrillas, Fawzi Al-Qawuqji, entered Palestine on March 7, and during the month the Arab resistance also intensified.

Of that month, the Palestinian historianWalid Al-Khalidi writes: "The most noticable phenomenon during the month of March was the intensification of the combined efforts of the Arab volunteers [led by Al-Qawuqji] and the Palestinian Mujahdeen of the "Sacred Jehad", the military arm of the Arab Supreme Committee [headed by the Grand Mufti Amin Al-Husseini], despite the poor cordination between the two groups, and the limited arms and numbers of the latter."

Together, the Palestinian and Arab guerrillas controlled virtually all the roads linking the different Jewish colonies, manged to infiltrate the defences around the headquarters of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and bomb the place on March 11, as well as leading 3 succesful ambushes on Haganah units while on the road killing 126 soldiers and injuring and capturing many more.

Walid Kalidi writes: Had it not been for the intervention of the British army in those battles, the losses incured by the Haganah would have been far greater, and scores of Jewish slodiers taken as hostages would not have been released."

The intensification of the fight during that month persuaded some circles in the American State Department that the partition plan was unworkable. On March 16 the US delegate at the Security Council, Warren Austin, asked the UN Security Council to suspend action on partition plan and to convene General Assembly special session to work on a trusteeship and truce if Jews also accept. Michael Cohen considered that trusteeship proposal "the biggest defeat Zionist diplomacy had encountered since the White Paper of 1939." The Arabs were jubliant with that turn in the events. what they did not know was that only a day before Warren Austin made his trusteeship proposal, the US president himself, Truman, had met Chaim Weizmann giving him a "specific commitment" that he will back the establishment of a Jewish Sate that includes the Negev.

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