The Arab Liberation Army (Jaysh al-Inqadh al-Arabi) was an army of volunteers from Arab countries led by Fawzi al-Qawuqji. It fought on the Arab side in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and was set up by the Arab League as a counter to the Arab High Committee's Holy War Army, though in fact the League and Arab governments prevented thousands from joining either force.
At the meeting in Damascus on 5 February 1948 to organize Palestinian Field Commands, Northern Palestine including Samaria was allocated to Qawuqji's forces, although Samaria was de facto already under the control of Transjordan .
The target figure for recruitment was 10,000, but by mid-March 1948 the number of volunteers to have joined the Army reached around 6,000 and did not increase much beyond this figure. The actual number deployed might have been as low as 3,500, according to General Safwat. Its ranks included Syrians, Lebanese, including a few hundred Druze and Circassians, Iraqis, Transjordanians, Muslim Brothers from Egypt and Palestinians trained in Syria. There were also a few Yugoslavs, Germans, Turks and British deserters.
The first contingents of the Arab Liberation Army reached Palestine in January 1948. Between February and May, they suffered a string of defeats in northern Palestine. Between May and October, the Arab Liberation Army controlled parts of western Galilee but by October were completely defeated by Israel's forces.
Labels: Arab Liberation Army.ALA