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First Palestinian Guerilla Operation

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year: 
1935
BTD page #: 
111
BTD photo #: 
113
caption: 
Shaikh Izz aI-Din al-Qassam, patriot, social reformer, and religious teacher from Haifa. His work and preaching were conducted mainly among the poorer classes. Right-wing Zionist political demonstrations at the Wailing Wall (see 1, 90), the formation of the enlarged Jewish Agency (see 103), and British sponsorship of mounting Zionist mass immigration convinced him that political and diplomatic efforts were futile and only armed struggle against the British would influence London. In November 1935, he organized and led a small guerrilla group against British security forces in the first guerrilla operation of the Palestinian national movement. He died in action with several of his followers, and immediately became a national hero. His martyrdom triggered the Great Rebellion of 1936-39 (see 242ff.), and his example was very much in the minds of PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Arafat's colleagues three decades later.