10/9: October in Palestine PDF Print E-mail
It happened in October in Palestine (*)


October 1920: The Zionist ruler of Palestine and British official Herbert Samuel issues decrees that facilitate transfer of lands from natives to immigrants setting the stage for the beginning of the ethnic cleansing policies that continue to this day.


27 October 1933: Musa Kadhem AlHusaini (Mayor of Jerusalem who resigned rather than accept to implement he occupation dictates in 1920) was injured in a  nonviolent demonstration protesting Zionist mass immigration in Jaffa. This injury hastened his death on March 27, 1934. AlHuaini was born 1853, spoke fluent Turkish, and served as an Ottoman administrator and then appointed Mayor of Jerusalem in 1918. He was later elected representative of Jerusalem to the 3rd (December 1920, Haifa), 5th (August 1922, Nablus), 6th (June 1923, Jaffa) and 7th (June 1928) Congress of the Arab Executive Committee and was its president from Dec. 1920. 


7 October 1947:  The newly established Arab League held a meeting at the Prime Ministers level to which the Arab High Committee was not invited because rulers of Jordan and Iraq who were trying to thwart Palestinian nationalism objected. Haj Amin AlHusseini made an uninvited appearance and none of the attendees had the courage to eject him. AlHusseini proposed formation of a Palestinian government in exile to replace the AHC but his suggestion was rejected (again by the delegates of Iraq and Jordan). From then on the Palestine question was being handled by Arab Countries, the UN, and the empowered and powerful Jewish Agency with Zionist lobbies around the world.  


1 October 1948: The Arab High Committee convened a Palestine Congress in Gaza and elected a Palestine Government.  A constitution was drafted and the delegates elected a cabinet led by Ahmed Hilmi Abul Baqi as Prime Minister and Haj Amin AlHusseini as first President.  The nascent government was recognized by many countries including all Arab Countries with the exception of Trans-Jordan. 


October, 1948: Beit Jibreen, a village midway between Hebron and Majdal (Ashkelon) was attacked and sacked by Zionist forces. Umm Ibrahim Shawabkeh, a refugee from the village stated: “I was 12 in 1948 when the Jews drove us out.  We fled from the village when the soldiers came and started shooting people.  My grandparents did not want to leave their home; they hid in a cave near the village and the soldiers found them and shot them.”

October 1951 Israel rejects UN peace plan accepted by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.


Oct. 29, 1956 Israel invades and occupies the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula with French and British collaboration.  Backs down and withdraws after pressure from the US Administration (President Eisenhauer).  The Zionist movement intensifies its efforts to establish effective lobbying in the US. The umbrella lobby group icalled American Israel Public Affairs Committee (established 1954) intensified its efforts with over 200 deceptively named groups to support Zionism (Delaware Valley PAC in Philadelphia, San Franciscans for Good Government in California, Cactus PAC in Arizona, Chili PAC in New Mexico, Beaver PAC in Wisconsin and even Ice PAC in New York are really pro-Israel PACs).


October 1973: Egyoptian and Syrian forces attack Israeli forces which were illegally occypying their land (Sinai and Golan respectively).  The war could have bbeen won and the occupied lands liberated had it not been for US intervention in sending arms and intelligene and preventing the USSR from supporting the Arab armies.


14 October 1974: The UNGA recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people by a vote of 105 to 4 (US, Israel, Bolivia, Dominican Republic).  


October 1987 and the start of the AlHijara Uprsiing: On 3 October 1987, demonstrations and strikes were held involving schools and colleges of the Gaza strip in protest of the killing by the Israeli occupation forces of three citizens near AlBureij refugee camp.  These demonstrations were brutally attacked by Israeli soldiers which in turn led to more anger and more spreading of these demonstrations.  On 8 October 1987, a number of demonstrations were held in cities, villages, and refugee camps in the Gaza strip after the killing of four Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces two days earlier. On 10 October 1987, demonstrations were held in many locations accompanied by strikes and 25 Palestinians were hit with live ammunitions. These demonstrations and strikes spread to the West Bank a women was killed and four injured  in a peaceful demonstration in Al-Manara square in Ramallah on 12 October 1987.  That murder prompted more demonstrations in the days that followed.  Refugee camps in areas like Gaza Strip, Bethlehem, Nablus, East Jerusalem (Shufat refugee camp) had a leading role in these demonstrations.  During the visit of US Secretary of State George Shultz to Jerusalem, a general strike was declared and a number of demonstrations were held in places like Jerusalem and Nablus with one youth murdered by the IOF.  In one bloody incident the Israeli army attacked demonstrators in my current University (Bethlehem University) on the morning of Wednesday October 28, 1987 injuring 3 students with live ammunition one who died two days later with critical injuries (Ishaq Abusrour from Aida Refugee Camp).  Subsequently, the occupying army ordered Bethlehem University to be closed for three months.


October 1989: Refusal to pay taxes to the occupation by residents of Beit Sahour (Shepherds’ Field). The town was placed under siege and curfew while it was pillaged. Representatives of a number of European countries and church leaders attempted to visit the town but were turned back by the Israeli army but later managed to sneak in through a back road. The Palestinisn Center for Rapprochement Between People was founded. The ideas became the first inklings that led to the later formation of the International Solidarity Movement.


8 October 1990. Faisal Husseni penned this poem that captures the spirit of resistance after the massacres by Israeli forces attacked worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque


Oh God, the chest is replete with bitterness… do not turn that into spite.
Oh God, the heart is replete with pain, do not turn that into vengeance.
Oh God, the soul is replete with fear… do not turn that into hatred.
Oh God, my body is weak…do not turn my weakness into despair.
Oh God, I, your servant, am holding the embers… so, help me maintain my steadfastness.
Oh God, faith is love… Oh God, faith is forgiveness… Oh God, faith is conviction…
Oh God, do not put off the flame of faith in my chest.
Oh God, we wanted for the Intifada to be a white one, so protect it.
Oh God, we wanted freedom for our people; we did not want slavery for others.
Oh God, we wanted a homeland for our people to be gathered; we did not attempt to destroy states of others nor demolish their homes.
Oh God, our people is stripped of all, except for his belief in his right.
Oh God, our people is weak, except in his faith and in his victory.
Oh God, grant us conviction, mercy and tolerance in our ranks and do not make us war against ourselves.
Oh God, turn the blood that was shed into light that will guide us and strengthen our arms and do not turn it into fuel for hatred and vengeance.
Oh God, help us over our enemy so that we could help him reconcile with himself.
Oh God, this is my prayer to you… my invocation. So listen to it and grant us our supplication and guide us to the Straight Path.

October 1, 2000 a nonviolent demonstration by Palestinian citizens of Israel was targeted with a barrage of live ammunition from Israeli forces killing 12 civilians (including children). 


October 29, 2008 the SS Dignity managed to get to Gaza again breaking the hermetic seal (later ships were attacked and crew kidnapped in acts of Israeli piracy).


*Copyright: part of an upcoming book on history of Palestinian civil resistance


Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

A Bedouin in Cyberspace, a villager at home


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