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Until Return - Issue 5

Important Dates in Palestinian Arab History
Compiled by Nader Abuljebain
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition

The following is a compilation of important dates and events in Palestinian Arab History for the month of April. For entire year, please see this page.

  • April 3: 1936 Beginning of Great Arab Rebellion and famous 6 month Strike
  • April 9: 1948 Deir Yassin
  • April 15: National Anthem Day
  • April 17: Prisoner Day

1918 Formation of the Moslem-Christian Committees in Jaffa and Jerusalem, spreading through the different Palestinian cities, in April.

1920 British civilian administration inaugurated, after the decision of San Remo Peace Conference on 25 April; Sir Herbert Samuel appointed as the first high commissioner.

1933 Palestinian Arab women march to holy sites to protest  British Lord Allenby's visit. Tarab Abdul Hadi speaks in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Matiel Mogannam in the Dome of the Rock mosque warning of the replacement of Arab population of Palestine with Jewish immigrants.(19 April)

1935 The Arab Palestinian Party (Al-Hizb al-Arabi al-Filistini) - Haj Amin and Jamal Al Husseini, founded April 24th.

1936 The great Arab Revolution (1936-39), formation of National Committees in cities, towns, and ruler areas, and the beginning of the famous 6 months strike demanding a Palestinian national government and an end to Zionist immigration. The British escalated oppressive measures and large parts of the Old City of Jaffa were demolished. Took three years to put down the rebellion.

1946 The Anglo-American Committee report estimates size of Jewish armed forces at around 61-69,000 and declares “private armies” illegal.  The committee recommended admission of 100,000 Jews into Palestine and abolition of Land Transfers Regulations, and to establish a state with equally shared power between the Arabs and Jews. Proposal rejected by the Palestinians, the British and the Zionists.

1948 Haganah launches Operation Nachshon (first phase of Plan Dalet); Haganah Giv’ati Brigade and other units capture villages along Tel-Aviv - Jerusalem road from local Palestinian militia. Haganah startsoffensive against Palestinian town of Tiberius(5). Haganah captures Palestinian village of Castal, west of Jerusalem, expelling its inhabitants.‘Abd al-Qader al-Husseini, charismatic Palestinian Resistance militia commander in Jerusalem district, is killed leading counterattack to recover Castal village. Irgun and Stern Gang massacre some 120 inhabitants in village of Deir Yassin, western suburb of Jerusalem and three miles from Castal (9). Second coastal “clearing” operation carried out by Haganah Alexandroni brigade and other units. Attacks and expulsions drive out almost all-Palestinian communities from coastal area from Haifa to Jaffa prior to British withdrawal. UN Security Council resolutions call for a special session of General Assembly and agree to US proposal for truce to be arranged through Jewish Agency and Arab Higher Committee. Palestinian and Zionist leaders object to US proposals presented to Security Council for temporary trusteeship agreement. General Zionist Council decides to establish independent Jewish State in Palestine on May 16th. Operation Har’el under Plan Nachshon. Villages along Jerusalem road attacked and demolished (13-20). The village of Nasereddine and Qalonia, Al Lajoun massacres (13). All subsequent Haganah operations until May 15th undertaken within framework of Plan Dalet (to drive Palestinians off their lands and homes into the West Bank, by any means necessary) British troops evacuated the town of Safadon the 16th. Haganah started on the 17th of April, an offensive against town of Safad, and committed massacres at Khirbet Wa’ra al-Sawada (18), Husayniyya (21), and Balad ash Sheikh (25). The fall of the town of Tiberius (18). US submit Palestine trusteeship plan to UN. 
British suddenly evacuate residential quarters of Haifa. Haganah launches Operation Misparayim to attack and occupy Haifa (22). Resistance of local Palestinian militia in Haifa collapses. Haifa’s Palestinian population flees under combined shelling and ground offensives. Launching of Operation Chametz to conquer Jaffa, Haganah attacks suburban villages of Tell Rish, Yazur and Salameh (25-31). Haganah announces coordination of plans with Irgun. Palestinian ALA unit under Michel Issa succeeds in fighting its way into Jaffa in order to break Haganah siege. The fall of the village of Samakh in northern Palestine (28). Launching Operation Yevussi for conquest of whole of Jerusalem; Haganah attacks Palestinian residential quarter of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, cutting off the city from north, but are forced to hand it over to the British. Haganah’s attempt at cutting off Jerusalem from Jericho fails (30). All Palestinian quarters in West Jerusalem occupied by Haganah and residents driven out (30)

1949 April 3: Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement. Jordan takes over Iraqi-held Nablus-Jenin-Tulkarem triangle but is forced to cede area around Wadi ‘Ara; Israel controls Chadera-Afula road; existing status quo in Jerusalem accepted by the Zionist forces and Arab Legion. More areas in the Triangle were ceded by King Abdullah of Jordan to the Zionists outside the Rhodes negotiations, up to 3 April.

1950 The West Bank is formally unified with the East Bank and brought under the control of Jordan on April 24.

1953 Many Palestinian civilians killed by the Zionist terror at the Jerusalem-Damascus Gate.

1956 Many Israeli attacks and raids on Gaza.

1959 Massacre against the Palestinians in Rafah. Split of the Nationalists from the Central Committee of the Popular Democratic Front in the Occupied Territories. Founding of Al Ard (the Land) Movement in occupied Palestine. The Central Committee of al Ard included Habib Qahwaji, Sabri Jiryes, Saleh Bransi (Al Taybeh), Mansour Kardoush, Fakhri Jdai (Yafa), Elias Muamer, Abdel Rahman Yahia, Mahmoud Al Sorouji (Akka), Mahmoud Darwish, Fawzi Al Asmar, Tawfiq Suliman Odeh, Hanna Musmar (Al Naserah), Zaki Al Bahri Haifa, Mohamad Mia’ri, and Anis Kardoush. Publishing many newspapers in the names of Al Ard, Shatha Al Ard, Al Ard Al Tayibah, Sarkhat Al Ard, Dam Al Ard, Rouh Al Ard, etc. Founding of 15 Cultural Clubs. Imprisoning of the Central Committee members. Founding of Al Ard Company in 1960. Announcing Harakat Al Ard to the Public in 1964.  Entering the elections in the name of the Socialist List.

1961 UN Security Council issued resolution # 162 on April 11, urging Israel to comply with U.N. decisions to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem. The item “Question of Palestine” is restated on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly.

1962 UNSC issued reso. # 171 on Apr. 9 determining  “flagrant violation“ by Israel in its attack on Syria

1965 President Bourguiba of Tunisia proposes Arab recognition of Israel on terms of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution. (March 6, April 21)

1967 Jan-Apr: Syrian-Israel border clashes, culminating on 7April when Syria fired on Israeli armored tractors in the border demilitarized zone, provoking large Israeli response in which at least 14 civilians in Siqufiya were killed; Syria accepts a UN ceasefire, but Israel rejects; and Israeli jets shot down 6 Syrian fighter planes, 4 of them over Damascus, in a series of aerial battles.

1968 UNSC resolution # 250 on Apr.27 called upon Israel to refrain from holding military parade in Jerusalem.

1969 UNSC resolution # 265 on April 1 condemned Israel for attack on Salt in Jordan. Mass demonstrations in Lebanon in support of fida’iyyun & widespread public disorder, after army arrest a group of guerrillas; and a State of emergency declared in Lebanon. Rasheed Karami the Lebanese Prime Minister resigns, but remains in post through crisis; President Nasser, in keeping military pressure on Israel, negotiates with Lebanese army commander, Emil Bustani, firstly a draft protocol, & after further fighting, allowing PLO operations and presence in S. Lebanon, the ‘Cairo Agreement’ (3 Nov): the basis for relations until 1974, but also the source of the Phalangists, the Lebanese Right wing Party and militias' anger. Bustani is replaced by the more hard-line Jan Njaim as army commander on Jan 7, 70.

1972 King Hussein of Jordan proposes the “United Arab Kingdom”, of a Palestinian (West Bank and Gaza Strip), and a Jordanian part, that both be under his rule. Strongly condemned by PLO and Egypt, fearing separate Jordan-Israel agreement. They break off relations. PLO convenes a "Palestine People's Congress" in Cairo, on 6-10Apr, opposes the UAK. The 10th Palestinian National Council convenes in Cairo on April 6. Reaffirms the opposition to the UAK. Israeli raid  launched against Hamma, Syria. 7 April, Israeli piper planes flew over the village of Akraba, spraying a chemical defoliant over the villagers’ wheat crops, forcibly confiscated 100,000 dunums (25,000 acres) of villagers’ land.

1973 Israeli Terrorist force raided  Fakhani Quarters in Beirut in April and assassinated Mohammad Yousef AlNajjar, Kamal Adwan, and Kamal Naser. Israeli Mossad agents in Europe assassinated Basel Kubaissy (Iraqi) in Paris.

1974 UNSC resolution # 347 on April 24 condemns Israeli attacks on Lebanon.

1975 Disengagement agreements Israel on one side, Syria and Egypt, separately, on the other. April 14. Lebanese Right wing militias storm a bus full of Palestinian civilians and kill all the commuters at Ain El Rumaneh. The Lebanese Civil War with the Palestinians siding with the National Movement, against the Lebanese Right Wing Militias.

1980 UNSC resolution # 467 April 24 condemned Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon. (US abstained) The US vetoed UNSC a resolution on 30 April endorsing the self-determination of Palestinian People (Vote: 10 to 1 with 4 abstentions)

1981 The 15th Palestinian National Council convenes in Damascus on 11-19 April. Welcomes the Brezhnev proposal for ending Arab-Israeli conflict: based on SCR242 and endorsing Palestinian right to self-determination, Statehood & PLO’s role in the Peace Process.

1982 US vetoed a resolution on 1 April condemning Israel mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza strip and its refusal to abide by the Geneva Conventions Protocols of civilized nations (Vote: 14 to 1). US vetoed a resolution on 2 April condemning an Israeli soldier who shot 11 Moslem Worshipers in the Haram al Sharif near Al Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem (Vote: 14 to 1). April 25. Israel completes withdrawal from Sinai as agreed at the Camp David, except for the issue of Taba, from which it pulls out of, in March 1989.

1987 The 18th Palestinian National Council convened in Algiers on 20-26 April, was held after a unifying conference for the General Union of Palestinian Writers and Journalist, that led the PNC to be attended by all factions of the PLO, signifying the reconciliation of the groups. The PNC gave support to the convocation of an "international conference for peace" under the auspices of the UN, and with all permanent SC members participating. Reestablished relations with Egypt.

1988 US vetoed UNSC 15 April that urged Israel to return deported Palestinians, condemned Israel’s shooting of civilians, called on Israel to uphold the Fourth Geneva Convention and called for a peace settlement under U.N. auspices. (Vote: 14 to 1). On 17 April Israeli Terrorist group landed at Hammam Al Shat area in Tunisia, to perform terrorist actions, and assassinated Khalil Al Wazir. Led to UNSC issued resolution # 611 April 25 condemning Israeli aggression against Tunisia and the assassination of Abu Jihad, with the US abstention.

1990 Settlers occupy St.Johns Hospice,  Greek Orthodox building in old Jerusalem; all Christian shrines are closed, & Islamic Waqf close Haram al-Sharif in solidarity. (12 April)

1996 The 21st Palestinian National Council convenes in Gaza in April to delete articles of the Palestinian Charter. US Vetoed a proposed UNSC resolution 15 April condemning Israel’s closure of the occupied territories (Vote: 14 to 1). Israel launches “Operation Grapes of Wrath” and Israel committed the horrific Air Raid massacres on the towns of Sohmor, Mansuriah, Nabatyaih, and Qana in addition to the UN quarters in Qana, when the civilians escaped Israeli aggression, escaping to UN quarters. US vetoed a resolution on 25 April condemning Israel for bombing UN quarters in Qana, South Lebanon, and the continuous Israeli attacks. (Vote: 14 to 1)

1997 US-brokered Palestinian-Israeli talks in Washington get nowhere. (11 April)

2001 Israel launches ground assaults on the refugee camps in Khan Yunis on 11Apr which destroyed homes and killed many Palestinians. Israel begins temporary occupations of parts of West Bank and Gaza put under the control of the Palestinian Authority, with 24 hr occupation of Bayt Hanun on 17April (repeated twice within 3 days).

2002 Israel committed various massacres in Jenin and its refugee camp.

2003 (29 Apr) Bush administration released  "Roadmap" for "a Permanent Two-State Solution". In Phase I, the Palestinians to stop all attacks on Israel and confiscate all illegal weapons.  Arab states must stop all support for violent groups, Israel must stop building new settlements and then withdraw from areas occupied since Sept 2000. Phase II to be based on conference leading to a Palestinian state, whilst Phase III would solve final status issues.

2007 Israeli plans bombard refugee camps and residential quarters in Gaza killing many innocent civilians.


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