British aircraft dropping supplies to the (Great Arab Revolt) forces who stationed in the desert of Gaza, Palestine in 1917

by old palestine

British aircraft dropping supplies to the (Great Arab Revolt) forces who stationed in the desert of Gaza, Palestine in 1917
Sharif Hussein bin Ali (the head of the Arab nationalists) announced his alliance with Britain & France after his correspondence with (McMahon), So they promised to support him in achieving complete Arab independence from the control of the Ottomans & the establishment of one Arab state extending from (Syria) to (Yemen). In return, they would use the Arab forces in their wars. But they (as usual) broke their promises, so their main goal in supporting the revolution was to achieve the provisions of (Sykes-Picot Agreement 1916) by dividing the Arab region & giving #Palestine to the Jews.


Leila Khaled

ليلى خالد


Leila Khaled was born in Haifa. Her father, Ali Khaled, and her mother, Jamila Lattuf, had seven girls and five boys. She and her husband, Fayiz Rashid, had two sons, Bader and Bashar.

Her family was forced to leave Haifa after the city fell to Zionist forces in April 1948, when she was barely four years old. The family settled in the Lebanese city of Tyre.

She studied at the Evangelical Union Schools in Tyre and completed her secondary education at the Sidon Girls School. 

In 1959 she joined the Arab Nationalist Movement and in 1963 she enrolled at the American University of Beirut and was elected a member of the administrative committee of the General Union of Palestinian Students in Beirut. She had to leave the university after one year because her family could not afford to pay her university fees.

Between 1963 and 1969, she worked as an English teacher in government schools in Kuwait. She had joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) as soon as it was founded in December 1967.

From 1969 to 1972, Khaled took part in foreign military operations of the PFLP, which were organized by Dr. Wadi Haddad.

On 29 August 1969 she and her comrade Salim Isawi hijacked a TWA airliner; they were imprisoned in Syria for a month and a half and then released. On 6 September 1970, she was one of the hijackers of an Israeli El Al airliner and was detained for a month in Britain when the pilot landed in London. An Argentinian comrade, Patrick Arguello, was killed aboard the plane by Israeli security guards.

Between 1973 and 1977, Leila Khaled joined the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon, working either as an official of the PFLP or as a member of the Secretariat of the General Union of Palestinian Women. She was also actively involved in the assistance to the displaced and the wounded following Israeli attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps.

She had been elected a member of the Secretariat of the Women’s Union at the second conference of that union in 1974. As a union activist, she took part in several international, regional, and local conferences and in many workshops devoted to women’s affairs; she also helped to establish (in 1978) the House of the Children of Resilience to care for children of the martyrs of Tal al-Za‘atar refugee camp north of Beirut when it fell to right-wing forces during the Lebanese civil war. This facility exists to the present day.

Between 1978 and 1980, Leila Khaled studied at the universities of Moscow and Rostov but cut short her studies when the PLO summoned all university students studying abroad to help defend the Palestinian revolution. During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in the summer of 1982, she worked (through the General Union of Palestinian Women) to find shelter for the displaced and tend to the wounded in hospitals.

In 1979, she became a member of the Palestine National Council at its fourteenth session held in Damascus; she continues to be a member of the council. In that capacity, she has been part of many Palestinian parliamentary delegations and was a member of the Arab Women Committee of the Arab Parliamentary Union.

After the exodus from Lebanon in 1982, the PFLP was reorganized, and Khaled occupied various administrative and leadership positions.

In 1986 the Palestine Women Organization was established to serve as a general framework for the PFLP, and Leila Khaled was elected first secretary. The organization worked to mobilize women to defend their rights and the rights of the Palestinian people through specially prepared programs and plans, and came to have branches in a number of Arab countries and abroad. The organization published a magazine, The Woman’s Voice, which she edited.

In 1993, she was elected a member of the Central Committee of the PFLP during its fifth national conference. In 2005 she was elected a member of the PFLP’s Political Bureau, a post she retains to the present day.

In 1992, she and her family moved to Amman, where she currently resides.

Inspired by her personal experiences of forced exile from her hometown and the suffering of her kin and nation, Leila Khaled took the struggle of Palestinian women into new and unprecedented directions.  She has made notable contributions in social, humanitarian, and political areas, in the service of her cause, and in defense of basic human rights.


Abdul Hadi, Mahdi, ed. Palestinian Personalities: A Biographic Dictionary2nd ed., revised and updated. Jerusalem: Passia Publication, 2006.

Dietl, Gulshan. “Portrait of a Revolutionary: Leila Khaled, 20 Years on.” The Middle East, no. 171 (January 1989): 59–60.

Irving, Sarah. Leila Khaled: Icon of Palestinian Liberation. London: Pluto Press, 2012 (translated into Arabic). 

Khaled, Leila. Women’s Liberation. Beirut: Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Information Department, 1971.

Khaled, Leila and George Hajjar. My People Shall Live: Autobiography of a Revolutionary. Toronto: NC Press, 1975.

Khaled, Leila and Rogério Ferrari. Palestine: existences-résistances. Paris: Passager Clandestin, 2008.

Snow, Peter, and David Phillips. Leilaʽs Hijack War: The True Story of 25 Days in September, 1970. London: Pan Books, 1970.

palestinian journeys


Fire in a harvested field

Rahma Ibrahim Al-Haj, who was not older than seven, didn’t know anything of the world except her village of al-Tira, which at the time had a population that did not exceed 6000 people. Despite being a village where things rarely happen, what Rahma witnessed on July 19 in 1948 made up the scenes of the most important event of her life, and of many others like her.

In the months preceding that day, Rahma would hear her elders speak of the number of Zionist forces—50,000, a number she had only then just heard for the first time. This was a force of armed fighters backed by air and naval forces, as well as tanks and artillery. They were met with 7000 Palestinian fighters in semi-organized groups, as well as 3000 Arab volunteers, and dozens of others from Germany, Turkey, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, Africa, and even a small number of English volunteers.

The women would speak about the massacres taking place in neighboring villages as though they were speaking about outer space. Women  raped, children slaughtered, pregnant women miscarrying, men lined up and killed with bullets—all of  this was just talk, until al-Tira’s turn came. Suddenly, all the rumors were verified.

When she saw groups from the Haganah distributing flyers that threatened the villagers and warned them of cooperating with the Arab Liberation Army, Rahma ran. Before she and her family and their neighbors could recover from the scare of the leaflets, the Zionist special forces, under the guise of Arabs, raided the village in search of volunteers. These operations were labelled “violent surveillance,” which aimed to enter unarmed and unfortified villages at night and remain for a few hours, killing whomever leaves their home. After a few days, a struggle began which would evolve into two months of protracted confrontations and steadfastness. The men of the village took out the weapons hidden in the ceilings and wells, and gave battle to regain the village’s fortunes.

On July 16, the Jews entered the village. Until that moment, 13 men were martyred. Some of the fighters withdrew outside the village, while 30 men were taken to an unknown location, which was later discovered to be the prison of Acre. Soldiers had gathered those that remained from the village, choosing 300 men and women, and placing them in 20 buses that took them to al-Lajjun. In each bus, a group of Jewish guards armed with machine guns accompanied them. Upon arriving at the border along which Iraqi forces were stationed, the Jewish guards kicked them out, making them flee towards the Arab areas while firing bullets at their heels.

On July 19, the twenty-fifth day of Ramadan, the remaining villagers took stock of their losses. Recognizing that their days in the village were numbered, they gathered what they could in order to leave. They carried their clothes in bindles, while women hid house papers, birth certificates, and small amounts of money in their chests. The Jews returned to the village, where only 60-80 elderly people remained, some of whom were blind. Afterwards, everything happened quickly. The Jewish guards cried out:

Saa’, Saa’, let’s go, let’s go.

Empty streets of Tirah 1950

Everyone climbed onto buses under Jewish guard, made up of 10-15 individuals. They reached an area East of al-Lajjun at around eight PM. The buses stopped on the road to Afula near some new houses that were recently demolished. The villagers of al-Tira were commanded to get down as they carried their bindles in their hands. They sat in a circle around 200 meters from the main road in a recently harvested wheat field. They were informed that they were near Arab lines. The guards handed over the residents to other guards from a nearby colony, and it was later found out that they were Jewish settlers that had taken over the police station, and wore hats that resembled police hats. After a long day of travelling in Ramadan, the villagers grew thirsty and requested a drink of water. After a long wait, the settlers returned with gallons of something that resembled water and poured it over the heads of the residents as they sat over their bindles on dry grass. Rahma detected the smell of gasoline and ran.

The guards lit the villagers on fire and left them to burn, shooting whoever tried to run.

Rahma Ibrahim al-Haj says in her testimony: “I ran and hid under a rock until the morning. I saw the fire ablaze and people screaming and crying out for help. In the morning, I went to the place of the burning. When my sight fell on the charred bodies I was engulfed with horror. I didn’t stay for a single moment to count them. I ran until I reached the village of Zalafa. There, I fell on the floor from exhaustion and fright. The residents of the village took care of me and then took me to Jenin.”

It is not completely known how many survived the burning, because the survivors were separated and sought refuge in the camps of Nablus, Irbid, Damascus, and Sidon. Some of the United Nations observers were able to record the testimony of 10 out of the 15 people believed to have survived. Those that were burned alive did not exceed 55 people.


  • Abu Sitta, Salman. “Dirasat Filastin wa Huquq al-Aradi al-Mughtasaba [A Study of Palestine and the Rights of Usurped Lands.
  • Abu Sitta. Right of Return.

Acre's Fall Source: Institute for Palestine Studies, Photograph Collection

The Poisoning of Acre

The massacres did not only take place against human beings, but also against its homes, trees, and animals, who were not beyond murder and abuse.

After the fall of Haifa on April 22, 1948, thousands of refugees flooded from Haifa to AcreThe city, still under British control, began to crowd. Zionist forces surrounded the city in the first week of May and fired at it with a barrage of mortar bombs.

At the time, drinking water used to reach the city from a canal that would run from the northern village near al-Kabri, 10 kilometers from AcreThe canal is also known as the al-Basha canal. En route to Acrethe canal would pass through several Zionist colonies. At one of those points, the Zionists infected the water with typhoid, and soon enough typhoid fever spread among British soldiers and residents. In a report, Red Cross doctor, Dr. Domiron, says: “The situation is serious, and the outbreak of the disease has included civilians, military personnel and police.” Moreover, the Brigadier, Bafardaj, who was the director of military services, said that “this is the first time that this pandemic happens in Palestine,” despite the displacement and panic of residents across Palestine at the time. The greater fear was the spread of the plague with the refugees heading to Lebanon.

Acre’s Fall

Source: Institute for Palestine Studies, Photograph Collection

Preliminary surveys show the number of those infected to be 70 civilians and 55 British people. However, many others were afraid to report their illness out of fear of being detained. It is enough to say that the number of Acre’s residents during that period decreased from 25 thousand to 8 thousand people, due to displacement. As with the case of the other villages where massacres took place, the goal was the same: to expel people either through displacement or murder.

The mayor of Acre was absent at the time, which weakened the efforts to contain the epidemic. Despite the insistence of the ICRC, the municipality was not able to rehabilitate the water canal, “the source of the epidemic.” It doubled the emigration of residents and prevented them from returning to their homes out of fear of getting ill. The main objective of the epidemic was to “prevent residents from returning home.” At the time, as a continuation of the attack, the Haganah intensified its attacks on the city with mortar bombs and artillery. Moreover, Israeli vehicles would circle and call out via loudspeakers: “your choice is to surrender or commit suicide. We will exterminate you until the last man.”

When a number of the city’s dignitaries signed a peace treaty, Acre fell. With its fall, Zionist terrorism began to take over the city. Every young man and sheikh was arrested, all considered prisoners of war despite being civilians. Looting operations spread across the city and the women and children were cast out, with neither food nor shelter.

Lieutenant Petit, who monitored the truce, stated in a detailed report upon visiting the city after its fall: “a systematic operation of looting homes occurred to prevent the residents from returning. A massacre was committed, resulting in the death of 100 civilians, especially from the new city’s residents that refused to decamp to the old city based on Israeli orders.” This testimony brings to mind the story of Mohammad Fayez Sufi, one of the residents that refused to move. Mohammad had miraculously survived while three of his colleagues died after being forced to drink cyanide poison, and had their bodies thrown into the sea.

Acre was not the only city to fall, and poison was not the only weapon used to empty the land of its inhabitants. Those who have read the work of historians and eyewitness accounts of the Nakba massacres will know the role of many cases of rape in instigating Palestinian flight. For rape was also used as an instrument to spread terror among residents to force them to abandon their lands. Meanwhile, approximately 50 thousand men and women were forced to leave Lydda and Ramla in what became known as the March of Death.  They were forced to walk for several consecutive days in the most torrid areas, many dying on the road from thirst and exhaustion.

This is how the land was emptied of its inhabitants and how the story of exile, diaspora, and the Nakba began. Palestinians kept their country, their homes, their villages, and their memories in their hearts forever.


  • Pappe. Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine.
  • Abu Sitta. A Study of Usurped Lands.
  • Pappe. Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, pp. 195 – 198.

Economy of the First Intifada

Back in the year 1989, you would have seen a group of young women surrounded by tables working an assembly line in one of the houses in the village of Sa’ir, north of Hebron. There was a table for cutting slices of lemons, a table for squeezing its juice, a table for straining it, and a table for packaging the sliced, squeezed and strained lemons into bottles. At first glance, this simple process looked like a communal project that was suggested by a neighbor over a cup of coffee on a sunny morning. In fact, it was a production line that played a role, modest though it was, in building a resistance economy.

This was the Sa’ir cooperative project, which was formed in the first Intifada at the initiative of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. It was inspired by 25 young women from the union and their friends who were politically, economically and socially active in the struggle. It was one of the cooperatives that spread throughout the occupied territories during the Intifada, as a productive mechanism that reflected a strategy of economic resistance that aimed to strengthen resilience and self-sufficiency.

Cooperatives were one of many tools of economic resistance. The developments of the Intifada forced changes in Palestinian consumption and production patterns, as consumption of the enemy’s goods was no longer an option due to the boycott. The economic blockade and the cessation of Palestinian laborers from working within the Green Line resulted in a decline in the incomes of Palestinian families, necessitating the creation of productive areas that provided both work and food for the purpose of enhancing sustainability.

To a certain extent, the cooperatives developed the phenomenon of domestic economics, helping to meet basic needs beyond those of a single family. At the beginning of the Intifada, the home-grown initiatives, with the help of the Unified National Leadership of the Uprising (UNLU), supported the proliferation of home gardens planted with vegetables that families needed. Additionally, poultry and livestock were tended to, and the promotion of small-scale food and industrial projects such as textiles was encouraged.

Cooperatives sprouted everywhere through people’s collective action. They reclaimed unused land and set it to work, distributing cooperative products to those in need. Voluntary and charitable work began to spread as people took part in cleaning neighborhoods, assisting farmers on their lands, and securing medical supplies and qualified health volunteers. The spread of popular education, which was devoted to the spirit of cooperation, social solidarity, and united efforts to resist occupation, further deepened this state of steadfastness.

The productive adaptation of nascent cooperatives led to the creation of a new kind of cooperative, unlike service cooperatives in the fields of transportation and marketing, or productive cooperatives geared towards generating profits for its shareholders. This adaptation came as a response to the limits imposed on domestic production, especially with regards to its operative inefficiencies and lack of diversity.

Dozens of cooperatives of this type were formed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the Intifada, and each one had between five and twenty members. Most of them were characterized by a primitive inner structure. They did not go beyond cooperatives in domestic production, such as those that produced pickles in neighborhoods, although it was not uncommon to see cooperatives organizing agricultural labor and livestock rearing as well.

Financing these cooperatives fell on membership donations, and sometimes on “contributions” from the villagers. The young men and women who worked for the cooperatives became prime targets for arrest, which was part and parcel of the occupation’s objective to shut them down, as with the case of the crackdown on cooperatives in the village of Battir near Bethlehem.


Two Years Towards Freedom and Independence

In her oral testimony, Ms. Lamya Shalalda recalls her experience in the Sa’ir cooperative, narrating the intersection of national struggle, production, and feminism.

With modest funding, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees organized these ideas in women’s cooperatives. The village women assisted in providing raw materials for the manufacture of whatever was needed in the village.

“Production was adjusted according to the agricultural season,” Shalalda says. “During the grape season, the committee’s work was based on the production of homemade grape products. During the plum season, we would produce jam. In the winter season, we worked on citrus products, such as concentrated natural juices. And although the methods were crude, these citrus fruits were manufactured or used in the jam industry.”

These experiments combined popular experience in food processing on the one hand, and the scientific basis for forming sustainable products with a longer shelf-life on the other.

“This was a true fusion of modernity and originality,” says Shalalda.

The process began with renting a place that was fitted with simple tools, from barrels to utensils to hand juicers. The main factor was manual labor. The provision of sugar was very important as well, in addition to gas cookers, which were bought from the area. The Union of Women’s Committees provided the raw materials for the cooperative, since women were not financially capable of purchasing these materials. The work was disorganized at first, so the women had to coordinate with the Union, which was paying them per working hours and marketing their products.


“If you do not form a domestic economy, people will go hungry, and that will lead to frustration. That is why it is necessary to elevate steadfastness and build morale. These were fundamental issues that embodied wonderful societal values such as social solidarity, which was an effective weapon in the hands of the Palestinians.”
Shalalda says, describing the ethos of the cooperative.

According to Shalalda, this activity was multi-dimensional, as “there was a sense that this cooperative was part of the Palestinian national struggle”. This was reinforced by the village’s embrace of cooperatives so that the cooperatives’ headquarters became a selling point for the village and the whole area.

Yet the missing link, as relayed by Shalalda, was the extent to which women working in the cooperatives were involved in decision-making. It was the supervisory authority that exercised the role of planning on behalf of the working women, who were the most active people in the cooperative.

In addition to this cooperative, the Aboud, Birzeit, and Kobar cooperatives were significant experiments in the use of wide areas of lands, in increasing animal production for sheep and cows, and in the provision of dairy products to the village.

Despite all these attempts, the availability of products remained well below the abundance of the pre-Intifada years. This necessitated a significant change in consumption patterns, such as the abandonment of luxuries and the adaptation to locally available produce. Prior to the Intifada, the enemy worked on deepening Palestinian consumerism, aiming to prevent the saving of money so that it could be absorbed into the Israeli economy. The advent of the Intifada caused the reversal, albeit gradually, of that equation, decreasing the amount of consumerism, avoiding certain aspects of luxury, and boycotting Israeli products when local or international alternatives existed.  The results were a decrease in the purchase of beauty products, clothes, shoes, carpets, and furniture. Restaurants, decorators, photographers and tailors all scaled down production, and wedding celebrations were kept to a minimum. 

Adel Samara describes this as “taking a self-defensive stand.” Increasing politicization took people in the direction of volunteerism, which in turn promoted a culture of thrift and the acceptance of local products that were of a lesser quality. Carried forward by the momentum of national struggle, Palestinians turned to boycotting Israeli products, even if at a slow and partial rate.

While dependency on Israeli products diminished, Arab-owned factories witnessed steady growth. Some Arab companies even took over Israeli shares in the market, such as Silvana and Golden Sweet, which dominated the shares of the Ilit company.

While individual and collective efforts gave the initial push to these experiments in economic resistance, the UNLU eventually started playing an active role in charting their course. They also played the role of encouraging and perpetuating these models as a national goal, and not merely as a means of securing daily needs.

On February 18 1988, Communiqué 8 called for a comprehensive boycott, a return to the land, and the promotion of a domestic economy. Communique 9 added to it the need to work productive sectors to their maximum capacity, and to regulate working hours for skilled professions. Finally, Communique 10 then called for detailing products that were to be boycotted immediately, and demanded a control of the market for fear of manipulation.

Later communiques gradually called for active labor boycotts, demanding the immediate cessation of Palestinian work in Jewish-only settlements, and the reabsorption of these labor forces in the Palestinian economic sectors. They also called on agricultural engineers to train and educate the masses, and supported the building of cooperatives and reorienting consumption patterns, all of which further strengthened community organization and social solidarity.

Under Communique 21, the leadership forbade promoting Israeli products and sanctioned those who did. It also called for withdrawing savings accounts from Israeli banks and improving workers’ conditions by counting strike days as working days. Furthermore, a committee to protect economic and agricultural institutions was formed. This was followed by Communique 22, which forbade in no uncertain terms the payment of fines and bonds, also calling for the boycott of Israeli tourist institutions.

The experiment of replacing Israeli products with local ones contributed to the notion of self-development. Local initiatives provided Palestinians with a minimum level of self-sufficiency. This strategy of survival and steadfastness (sumud) was touted as a means of achieving economic independence, itself a precursor to achieving political independence.

Closed shops, open homes

One of the paradoxes of the first Intifada was that the mornings that did not begin with the sound of metal shop fronts opening were sometimes the busiest days of productivity. These acts of “stoppage” represented the strongest and most effective tool of struggle.

Civil disobedience was not born in the Intifada. For decades, strikes represented a spontaneous manifestation of mourning for martyrs, before becoming a form of popular resistance, or becoming a way for the UNLU to announce its political positions through its communiques. Strikes continued to grow ever since 1967, becoming a truly confrontational weapon in the early 1990s. The occupation authorities were kept busy forcefully opening stores during strikes, and closing them during the operating hours upon which the resistance had decided.

Strikes took place on several fronts during the Intifada, varying in terms of size, territory and areas of business, including workers, transportation and educational institutions. The strikes went hand in hand with calls for self-sufficiency, boycott, and civil disobedience, such as the rejection of Israeli orders, handing over identity cards to soldiers, and the refusal to pay taxes.

Israeli Soldiers in Dheisheh Refugee Camp 1988

The individual and collective initiatives had a decisive significance in pitting economic resistance against Israeli laws and procedures. The role of the UNLU here was instrumental. On January 10 1988, Communique 2 directed workers to boycott work during strike days, also calling on shopkeepers to comply with the strike. Slogan revolving around “an end to land confiscation” and “an end to taxation” quickly became a rallying cry of social revolt.

Communique 3 came out in the same month, saluting shopkeepers and urging them to continue forming committees in every city, neighborhood and street. It implored them to formulate collective national positions refusing to pay additional taxes, while calling on workers to continue boycotting Israeli employers.

On February 2 1988, Communique 6 advocated for the continuation of the previous directives. It called for refraining to pay fines, reducing the burden on tenants by delaying rental dates, boycotting Israeli goods, and encouraging the national economy.


The communiques’ tones ranged from urging, to demanding, to forbidding. Examples include the withdrawal of savings accounts from Israeli banks, improving workers’ conditions, and counting strike days as working days. Decreasing consumption and persistent boycotts led to a significant decline in the Israeli taxation rate. Other factors contributed to this trend, including the declining sales of local luxury goods, the rise of domestic food storage and processing, the resignation of tax officials, and popular attacks against taxpayers. Indirectly, punitive measures of occupation, curfews, roadblocks, and the fight against local agriculture have contributed to making the additional tax small in amount.

Urban businessmen and small shop-owners played a decisive role in encouraging the commercial strike, as well as in supporting acts of tax evasion and the boycott of the Israeli Civil Administration. In coordination with the UNLU, merchant participation set the day-to-day pace of disobedience, defying the Israeli attempt to impose its own version of “normality” upon daily life.

As street confrontations fluctuated between 1990 and 1989, and with the diminishing influence of local committees in the suburbs, trade strikes remained the most visible signs of disobedience.

The experience of the town of Beit Sahur encapsulates the model of the economic Intifada advocated by Palestinians. In addition to working on achieving productive and agricultural self-sufficiency, the town’s residents all committed to refusing to pay taxes in February 1988. This led the occupation army to resort to punitive measures by doubling fines and bills on families.

The families reacted to this crackdown in unexpected ways. They refused to pay taxes, declaring a state of total civil disobedience. They gathered over one thousand identity cards and handed them over to the Israeli military officer of the area. The campaign for the refusal to pay taxes continued for over a year, and the occupation authorities tried once again in September 1989 to impose further taxation in an attempt to break the civil disobedience.

Ghassan Andoni relayed the story on 31 September 1989 to the Palestine Center of Information:

“Since 19 September 1989, Beit Sahur has been besieged by hundreds of Israeli forces. A new military barracks was built near the shepherds’ fields for the execution of military orders. The Israeli order for the residents to pay taxes turned into a big military operation, which targeted the economy of the town and involved the “break the bones” policy, the arrest of children, and the pillaging of shops and factories. The Israeli authorities were unable to force any resident to negotiate with them, or even to pay meager sums in return for their confiscated properties. The military operation moved from the stores to the homes. In some cases the army seized the entire contents of a household, piled them in a truck and took them to the auction place. Phone lines were disconnected, media were refused entry, and throughout 42 days, hundreds of residents were arrested and used as hostages in exchange for paying taxes.

One of the residents involved in tax evasion efforts, Ilyas Rishmawi, said that the agricultural committee busied itself with planting vegetables in every plot of land around every house. Rabbits and chickens were raised to ensure the supply of meat in the case of a military curfew.

“Soldiers would get hysterical when they smelled grilled meat in the town of Beit Sahur during the siege and curfew,” Rishmawi said.

The military operation imposing the payment of taxes began in September 1989. The entire town of Beit Sahur was under siege. All entrances to the town were closed, phone lines were cut off, and food and medical supplies were forbidden. The popular and work committees, in coordination with the committees in the surrounding areas, announced a state of emergency, working night and day to combat the effects of the closure.

“In one of the houses, after the soldiers were about to leave, they heard a woman screaming at them to wait,” said Rishmawi.

“They smiled to themselves and said finally someone decided to pay the taxes, but that quickly turned into anger when the woman threw the controller device and told them: Forget what you came for.”


  • Samara, Adel. “Ada’ al-Mu’assasa al-Iqtisadiya fi al-Manatiq al-Muhtalla Qabl al-Intifada wa Khilaluha [The performance of economic institutions in the occupied territories before and during the Intifada].” Majallat al-Dirasat al-Fialstiniyya, 1.1, 1990, pp. 30-31.
  • Ibid, p. 31.
  • A group of researchers. Al-Intifada Mubadara Sha’biyya: Dirasa li Adwar al-Qiwa al-Ijtima’iyya [The Intifada as a Popular Initiative: A study of the role of social forces], 1990, pp. 182-187.
  • Shannar, Hazem. “Al-Awda’ al-Iqtisadiyya wa al-Ijtimayiaa’ fi Dhil al-Intifada [Economic and Social Conditions In Light of the Uprising].” Majallat al-Dirasat al-Fialstiniyya, 1.2, 1990, p. 40.
  • Samara, Adel. Iqtisad al-Daffah wal Qita’ min Ihtijaz at-Tatuwwor ila al-Himaya ash-Sha’biya [The economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip: from holding development to popular protection]. Akka: Dar Al-Aswar, 1988.
  • Shannar, p. 49.
  • Tamari, Salim. “Makhatir al-Rataba: al-‘Isyan al-Mahdud wa al-Mujtama’ al-Madani [Risks of Monotony: Limited Rebellion and Civil Society].” Majallat al-Dirasat al-Fialstiniyya, 3, 1990, p. 6.
  • Qumsiyeh, Mazin. Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment. London; New York, Pluto Press, 2011, p. 211

The bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, Palestine

On the orders of Menachem Begin, who was the head of the  Zionist gang “Irgun”, the Zionist gand “Haganah” paid 70,000 pounds to the “Etzel” gang to carry out the mission of bombing the southern section of the hotel, where the Civil Administration of the  British Mandate government was located.
The operation was carried out on July 22, 1946, in which 101 people were killed in the bombing. It was a response from the Jews to the Mandate government’s restriction of Jewish immigration to Palestine and their delay in fulfilling their promise to establish a national home for them in it. This terrorist operation was one of hundreds of operations carried out by Zionist gangs against the British, such as assassinations police leaders and bombing cafes and clubs where British families are located, to pressure them to withdraw from Palestine and declare the state of the