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Volunteers from Arab Countries


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ca. 1936
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On 25 August 1936 Fawzi al-Qawukji (third right) infiltrated into Palestine at the head of some 150 volunteers from neighboring Arab countries. Lebanese by birth, Qawukji was something of a Garibaldi figure in Arab popular perception. In 1920 he fought the French invasion of Syria, and later organized resistance to the French Mandatory authorities there. Exiled from Syria by the French, he served as military adviser to Saudi Arabia before going to Iraq, where he held the post of lecturer at the Military Academy in Baghdad. Baghdad was the starting point of his expedition to Palestine, which marks the first "military" intervention (if unofficial) by the Arab countries in support of the Palestinians. Qawukji again led Arab irregular forces in Palestine during the 1948 War (see 403).