This article analyzes the outbreak of the deadly 1929 riots in Palestine. Focusing on Jerusalem, Safad, and Hebron, the cities most significantly affected by the events, the article sees the violence as attempts to reinforce, redefine, or reestablish communal boundaries. It argues that patterns of violence in each city can help us understand how these boundaries had been established and evolved in the past, as well as the ways in which new forces, in particular the economic, political, and social influence of the Zionist movement and the rise of nationalist politics among the Palestinian Arabs, had eroded older boundaries.

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