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Title: The practice and theory of British counter-insurgency: The histories of the atrocities at the Palestinian villages of al-Bassa and Halhul, 1938-39
Authors: Hughes, M
Keywords: Palestine;Arab Revolt;al-Bassa;Halhul;Counter-insurgency;Imperial Policing;Military Law;Atrocities;British Army;Palestine Police;Brutality;Guerrillas;Rebels;Insurgents;Minimum Force
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Citation: Small Wars and Insurgencies. 20 (3) 528-550
Abstract: This article details two largely unreported atrocities by British forces operating against Arab rebels during the Arab revolt, 1936-39, at the Palestinian villages of al-Bassa and Halhul. It then examines the military-legal system that underpinned and authorized British military forces operating in aid of the civil power, suggesting that the law in place at the time allowed for a level of reprisals and punitive actions, such as happened at al-Bassa and Halhul. The article does not conclude that the law allowed for atrocities but it does argue that it gave a basic form and understanding to an operational method that was brutal and could lead to atrocities. It thus tests the idea in much of the literature on counter-insurgency that the British were restrained and used minimum force when compared to other colonial and neo-colonial powers fighting insurgents.
ISSN: 0959-2318
Appears in Collections:History
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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