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Against this background, the Mufti of Jerusalem headed a local, government-authorized committee that was responsible for checking the property transferal files in the Mutasarrifyah of Jerusalem, and it consequently halted the transfer of land to Jewish hands for several years. The year 1900 witnessed the submission of a large number of petitions, in which the people expressed their strong opposition to the Zionist expropriation of land. 5 Political demonstration of Palestinian opposition to Zionism occurred several years before the First Zionist Congress of 1897.

30 where he was greatly influenced by Western thought, especially by French intellectuals, at the time of his education and his work as an Ottoman council in Bordeaux (1899-1908). 40 It is important to note the fact that the leaders of the Palestinian national movement could be looked upon as Palestinian nationals who were also active members in the Arab nationalist movement, meaning there was an inherent form of dualism in the opposition to Ottoman rule. One cannot disregard the cultural and educational links between the Palestinians and the Arab World, which probably contributed to the commonly shared hopes, suffering and fears of Palestinians and Arabs alike, as much as they strengthened the nationalist ties.

It could have directed Arab activism toward the means to redefining the Arab-Ottoman relationship. The adoption by Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the idea of the Islamic league must have been looked upon as an additional obstacle in the nationalist struggle with the Turks, as it entailed the creation of a new unifying framework for the different ethnic religious groups in the Empire. This, of course, contradicted the Arabs’ adoption of the nationalist ideology. It was frequently regarded as hindering Arab nationalism as a political ideology from gaining legitimacy amongst the masses, the majority of whom adhered to Islam.

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