On 22 April 1920, skirmishes took place between British gendarmes based in the frontier town of Baysan and hundreds of armed tribesmen of the Ghazawiyya – one of the biggest tribes in the region. Several men were killed on both sides. The next day, about two thousand tribesmen from across the Jordan gathered forces and attacked the Jewish colonies near Samakh on the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee, a few miles north of Baysan. The British army apparently had military intelligence about these raids and called for support.