Available between 1934-1948

​​In 1934, three journalists left the newspaper al-Jami'a al-Islamiyya and founded a new paper called al-Difa'. The three founders were Ibrahim al-Shanti (Jaffa 1910-1979), Sami al-Siraj (Homs, Syria 1893-1960) and Khayr al-Din al-Zirikli (Beirut 1893-1976), with al-Shanti as the owner. Alongside Filastin, al-Difa' was considered the most important Arab-language newspaper in the Mandate period.

In a relatively short span of time the newspaper managed to reach a wider readership than the older Filastin. Furthermore, al-Difa' was able to attract a number of senior journalists (such as Mahmoud Abu al-Zalaf, Mahmoud Ya'ish, Ahmad Khalil al-'Aqad and more) who wrote about internal Palestinian politics, pan-Arabic politics and pan-Islamic politics, as well as diverse social issues.

During the fighting in 1948, Ibrahim al-Shanti moved his residence to Cairo and continued to publish the newspaper from there for a year. In 1950 the newspaper started to be published in Jerusalem, after al-Shanti transferred ownership of the paper to his brother Sadiq al-Shanti.

While the rival newspaper Filastin was considered in the eyes of many to be identified with the camp that opposed the Palestinian leadership and more supportive of the pan Arabism, al-Difa' was closer to the camp of Haj Amin al-Husseini, supported the Palestinian struggle against the Mandate, and opposed the Zionist movement.

The newspaper originally came out twice a week but quickly became a daily. On the occasions when the newspaper was closed down by Mandatory order due to op-eds or commentaries, the editors would publish an alternative newspaper under the name Al-Hayat (between the years 1937-1939); and on other occasions under the names Al-Fajr  or Al-Jihad.