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HAGANAH (Hebrew : הַהֲגָנָה‎, lit. _The Defence_) was a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel
Israel
Defense Forces (IDF).

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Overview * 1.2 1920 and 1921 Arab riots * 1.3 1931 Irgun
Irgun
split * 1.4 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
* 1.5 1939 White Paper * 1.6 World War II
World War II
participation * 1.7 1944 Lord Moyne assassination and the Season * 1.8 Post World War II
World War II
* 1.9 Reorganisation * 1.10 War of Independence * 1.11 Pal-Heib Unit

* 2 See also * 3 Notes * 4 References * 5 Further reading * 6 External links

HISTORY

OVERVIEW

The evolution of Jewish defense organisations in Palestine and later Israel
Israel
went from small self-defense groups active during Ottoman rule, to ever larger and more sophisticated ones during the British Mandate, leading through the Haganah
Haganah
to the national army of Israel, the IDF. The evolution went step by step from Bar-Giora , to Hashomer
Hashomer
, to Haganah, to IDF.

The Jewish paramilitary organisations in the New Yishuv
Yishuv
(the Zionist enterprise in Palestine) started with the Second Aliyah
Second Aliyah
(1904 to 1914). The first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. It consisted of a small group of Jewish immigrants who guarded settlements for an annual fee. At no time did Bar-Giora have more than 100 members. It was converted to Hashomer
Hashomer
(Hebrew : השומר‎‎; "The Watchman") in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer
Hashomer
was an elitist organization with narrow scope, and was mainly created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property. During World War I , the forerunners of the Haganah/IDF were the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion
Jewish Legion
, both of which were part of the British Army. After the Arab riots against Jews
Jews
in April 1920, the Yishuv's leadership saw the need to create a nationwide underground defense organization, and the Haganah
Haganah
was founded in June of the same year. The Haganah
Haganah
became a full-scale defense force after the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main units—the Field Corps , Guard Corps , and the Palmach strike force. During World War II
World War II
the successor to the Jewish Legion of World War I
World War I
was the Jewish Brigade , which was joined by many Haganah
Haganah
fighters. During the 1947-48 civil war between the Arab and Jewish communities in what was still Mandatory Palestine, a reorganised Haganah
Haganah
managed to defend or wrestle most of the territory it was ordered to hold or capture. At the beginning of the ensuing 1948-49 full-scale conventional war against regular Arab armies, the Haganah
Haganah
was reorganised to become the core of the new Israel
Israel
Defense Forces.

1920 AND 1921 ARAB RIOTS

After the 1920 Arab riots and 1921 Jaffa riots , the Jewish leadership in Palestine believed that the British, to whom the League of Nations had given a mandate over Palestine in 1920, had no desire to confront local Arab gangs that frequently attacked Palestinian Jews. Believing that they could not rely on the British administration for protection from these gangs, the Jewish leadership created the Haganah
Haganah
to protect Jewish farms and kibbutzim . In addition to guarding Jewish communities, the role of the Haganah
Haganah
was to warn the residents of and repel attacks by Palestinian Arabs. In the period between 1920–1929, the Haganah
Haganah
lacked a strong central authority or coordination. Haganah
Haganah
"units" were very localized and poorly armed: they consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim.

Following the 1929 Palestine riots , the Haganah's role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment, transforming from an untrained militia to a capable underground army.

1931 IRGUN SPLIT

Many Haganah
Haganah
fighters objected to the official policy of _havlagah _ (restraint) that Jewish political leaders (who had become increasingly controlling of the Haganah) had imposed on the militia. Fighters had been instructed to only defend communities and not initiate counterattacks against Arab gangs or their communities. This policy appeared defeatist to many who believed that the best defense is a good offense . In 1931, the more militant elements of the Haganah splintered off and formed the _ Irgun
Irgun
Tsva'i-Leumi_ (National Military Organization), better known as " Irgun
Irgun
" (or by its Hebrew acronym, pronounced "Etzel").

1936–1939 ARAB REVOLT IN PALESTINE

Haganah
Haganah
fighters guarding Migdal Tzedek , 1936

During the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine
, the Haganah
Haganah
worked to protect British interests and to quell Arab rebellion using the FOSH , and then Hish units. At that time, the Haganah
Haganah
fielded 10,000 mobilized men along with 40,000 reservists. Although the British administration did not officially recognize the Haganah, the British security forces cooperated with it by forming the Jewish Settlement Police , Jewish Supernumerary Police and Special Night Squads , which were trained and led by Colonel Orde Wingate . The battle experience gained during the training was useful in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War .

1939 WHITE PAPER

By 1939, the British had issued the White Paper , which severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine, deeply angering the Zionist leadership. David Ben-Gurion , then chairman of the Jewish Agency , set the policy for the Zionist relationship with the British: _We shall fight the war against Hitler as if there were no White Paper, and we shall fight the White Paper as if there were no war._

In reaction to the White Paper, the Haganah
Haganah
built up the Palmach as the Haganah's elite strike force and organized illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine. Approximately 100,000 Jews
Jews
were brought to Palestine in over one hundred ships during the final decade of what became known as Aliyah Bet
Aliyah Bet
. The Haganah
Haganah
also organized demonstrations against British immigration quotas.

WORLD WAR II PARTICIPATION

_ In 1940 a Haganah
Haganah
bomb sunk the SS Patria_ , killing 267 people

In 1940 the Haganah
Haganah
sabotaged the Patria , an ocean liner being used by the British to deport 1,800 Jews
Jews
to Mauritius, with a bomb intended to cripple the ship. However the ship sank, killing 260.

In the first years of World War II
World War II
, the British authorities asked Haganah
Haganah
for cooperation again, due to the fear of an Axis breakthrough in North Africa. After Rommel was defeated at El Alamein
El Alamein
in 1942, the British stepped back from their all-out support for Haganah. In 1943, after a long series of requests and negotiations, the British Army announced the creation of the Jewish Brigade Group . While Palestinian Jews
Jews
had been permitted to enlist in the British army since 1940, this was the first time an exclusively Jewish military unit served in the war under a Jewish flag. The Jewish Brigade Group consisted of 5,000 soldiers and was initially deployed with the 8th Army in North Africa and later in Italy
Italy
in September 1944. The brigade was disbanded in 1946. All in all, some 30,000 Palestinian Jews
Jews
served in the British army during the war.

On May 14, 1941, the Haganah
Haganah
created the Palmach (an acronym for _Plugot Mahatz_—strike companies), an elite commando section, in preparation against the possibility of a British withdrawal and Axis invasion of Palestine. Its members, young men and women, received specialist training in guerilla tactics and sabotage. During 1942 the British gave assistance in the training of Palmach volunteers but in early 1943 they withdrew their support and attempted to disarm them. The Palmach, then numbering over 1,000, continued as an underground organisation with its members working half of each month as kibbutz volunteers, the rest of the month spent training. It was never large—by 1947 it amounted to merely five battalions (about 2,000 men)—but its members had not only received physical and military training, but also acquired leadership skills that would subsequently enable them to take up command positions in Israel's army.

1944 LORD MOYNE ASSASSINATION AND THE SEASON

In 1944, after the assassination of Lord Moyne (the British Minister of State for the Middle East), by members of the Lehi , the Haganah worked with the British to kidnap, interrogate, and in some cases, deport Irgun
Irgun
members. This action, which lasted from November 1944 to February 1945, was called the _Saison _, or the Hunting Season, and was directed against the Irgun
Irgun
and not the Lehi. Future Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek was later revealed to be a Jewish Agency liaison officer working with the British authorities who had passed on information that led to the arrest of many Irgun
Irgun
activists.

Many Jewish youth, who had joined the Haganah
Haganah
in order to defend the Jewish people, were greatly demoralized by operations against their own people. The Irgun, paralyzed by the Saison, were ordered by their commander, Menachem Begin , not to retaliate in an effort to avoid a full blown civil war. Although many Irgunists objected to these orders, they obeyed Begin and refrained from fighting back. The Saison eventually ended due to perceived British betrayal of the Yishuv becoming more obvious to the public and increased opposition from Haganah
Haganah
members.

POST WORLD WAR II

_ Haganah
Haganah
members in training (1947) Haganah
Haganah
Ship Jewish State_ at Haifa Port (1947) Haganah
Haganah
troops on parade

The Saison officially ended when the Haganah, Irgun
Irgun
and the Lehi formed the Jewish Resistance Movement , in 1945. Within this new framework, the three groups agreed to operate under a joint command. They had different functions, which served to drive the British out of Palestine and create a Jewish state
Jewish state
.

The Haganah
Haganah
was less active in the Jewish Rebellion than the other two groups, but the Palmach did carry out anti-British operations, including a raid on the Atlit detainee camp that released 208 illegal immigrants, the Night of the Trains , the Night of the Bridges , and attacks on Palestine Police bases. The Haganah
Haganah
withdrew on 1 July 1946, but "remained permanently unco-operative" with the British authorities. It continued to organize illegal Jewish immigration as part of the Aliyah Bet
Aliyah Bet
program, in which ships carrying illegal immigrants attempted to breach the British blockade of Palestine and land illegal immigrants on the shore (most were intercepted by the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
), and the Palmach performed operations against the British to support the illegal immigration program. The Palmach repeatedly bombed British radar stations being used to track illegal immigrant ships, and sabotaged British ships being used to deport illegal immigrants, as well as two British landing and patrol craft. The Palmach performed a single assassination operation in which a British official who had been judged to be excessively cruel to Jewish prisoners was shot dead. The Haganah
Haganah
also organized the Birya affair . Following the expulsion of the residents of the Jewish settlement of Birya for illegal weapons possession, thousands of Jewish youth organized by the Haganah
Haganah
marched to the site and rebuilt the settlement. They were expelled by British shortly afterward while showing passive resistance , but after they returned a third time, the British backed off and allowed them to remain.

In addition to its operations, the Haganah
Haganah
continued to secretly prepare for a war with the Arabs once the British left by building up its arms and munitions stocks. It maintained a secret arms industry, with the most significant facility being an underground bullet factory underneath Ayalon, a kibbutz that had been established specifically to cover it up.

British estimates of the Haganah's strength at this time were a _paper strength of 75,000 men and women_ with an effective strength of 30,000. After the British army, the Haganah
Haganah
was considered the most powerful military force in the Middle East.

In July 1947, eager to maintain order with the visit of UNSCOP to Palestine and under heavy pressure from the British authorities to resume collaboration, the Jewish Agency reluctantly came into brief conflict with the Irgun
Irgun
and Lehi, and ordered the Haganah
Haganah
to put a stop to the operations of the other two groups for the time being. As Palmach members refused to participate, a unit of about 200 men from regular Haganah
Haganah
units was mobilized, and foiled several operations against the British, including a potentially devastating attack on the British military headquarters at Citrus House in Tel Aviv, in which a Haganah
Haganah
member was killed by an Irgun
Irgun
bomb. The Haganah
Haganah
also joined the search for two British sergeants abducted by the Irgun
Irgun
as hostages against the death sentences of three Irgun
Irgun
members in what became known as the Sergeants\' affair . The Jewish Agency leadership feared the damage this act would do to the Jewish cause, and also believed that holding the hostages would only jeopardize the fates of the three condemned Irgun
Irgun
members. The attempts to free the sergeants failed, and following the executions of the three Irgun
Irgun
members, the two sergeants were killed and hanged in a eucalyptus grove. However, the campaign soon disintegrated into a series of retaliatory abductions and beatings of each other's members by the Haganah
Haganah
and Irgun, and eventually petered out. The campaign was dubbed the "Little Season" by the Irgun.

REORGANISATION

Theatre of Operation of each Haganah
Haganah
brigade.

After 'having gotten the Jews
Jews
of Palestine and of elsewhere to do everything that they could, personally and financially, to help Yishuv ,' Ben-Gurion's second greatest achievement was his having successfully transformed Haganah
Haganah
from being a clandestine paramilitary organization into a true army. Ben-Gurion appointed Israel
Israel
Galili to the position of head of the High Command counsel of Haganah
Haganah
and divided Haganah
Haganah
into 6 infantry brigades, numbered 1 to 6, allotting a precise theatre of operation to each one. Yaakov Dori was named Chief of Staff, but it was Yigael Yadin who assumed the responsibility on the ground as chief of Operations. Palmach, commanded by Yigal Allon , was divided into 3 elite brigades, numbered 10–12, and constituted the mobile force of Haganah. Ben-Gurion's attempts to retain personal control over the newly formed IDF lead later in July to The Generals\' Revolt .

On 19 November 1947, obligatory conscription was instituted for all men and women aged between 17 and 25. By end of March 21,000 people had been conscripted. On 30 March the call-up was extended to men and single women aged between 26 and 35. Five days later a General Mobilization order was issued for all men under 40.

"From November 1947, the Haganah, (...) began to change from a territorial militia into a regular army. (...) Few of the units had been well trained by December. (...) By March–April, it fielded still under-equipped battalion and brigades. By April–May, the Haganah
Haganah
was conducting brigade size offensive.

The brigades of the Haganah
Haganah
which merged into the IDF once this was created on 26 May 1948:

The northern Levanoni Brigade , located in the Galilee, was split on February 22, 1948 into the 1st and 2nd Brigades.

* The 1st or Golani Brigade - was deployed in the Lower Galilee * The 2nd or Carmeli Brigade - was deployed in the north and took its name after its commander, Moshe Carmel
Moshe Carmel
* The 3rd or Alexandroni Brigade - formed on December 1, 1947 and dismantled in the summer of 1949 * The 4th or Kiryati Brigade - formed in 1948 in the Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
area * The 5th or Givati Brigade - formed in December 1947. During civil war the Givati Brigade was deployed in the central region, and during the conventional war in the south as the 5th Brigade * The 6th or Etzioni or Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Brigade - headquartered in Netanya , it covered the area from Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
to Zichron Ya\'akov The Haganah
Haganah
mobilized Jewish youth for military training

To the initial six brigades, three were added later during the war:

* The 7th Brigade , in Hebrew "Hativat Sheva" - formed in 1948, manned mainly with Holocaust
Holocaust
survivors and including a number of Machal troops. Almost annihilated at Latrun, then re-formed in the north. It had tanks and mounted infantry. * The 8th Brigade - founded on May 24, 1948 and subordinated to Yitzhak Sadeh
Yitzhak Sadeh
as the IDF's first armoured brigade, headquartered near Jerusalem. * The 9th or Oded Brigade - headquartered in Jerusalem.

The Palmach brigades which merged into the IDF:

* The 10th or Harel Brigade - established on 16 April 1948 * The 11th or Yiftach Brigade * The 12th or Negev Brigade - established in March 1948

WAR OF INDEPENDENCE

Main article: 1948 Palestine War Haganah
Haganah
fighters in 1947 Haganah
Haganah
female officer in 1948

After the British announced they would withdraw from Palestine, and the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine, the 1947-48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine
Mandatory Palestine
broke out. The Haganah
Haganah
played the leading role in the Yishuv's war with the Palestinian Arabs. Initially, it concentrated on defending Jewish areas from Arab raids, but after the danger of British intervention subsided as the British withdrew, the Haganah
Haganah
went on the offensive and seized more territory. Following the Israeli Declaration of Independence
Israeli Declaration of Independence
and the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War on May 15, 1948, the Haganah, now the army of the new state, engaged the invading armies of the surrounding Arab states.

On May 28, 1948, less than two weeks after the creation of the state of Israel
Israel
on May 15, the provisional government created the Israel Defense Forces , merging the Haganah, Irgun, and Lehi, although the other two groups continued to operate independently in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and abroad for some time after. The re-organisation led to several conflicts between Ben-Gurion and the Haganah
Haganah
leadership, including what was known as The Generals\' Revolt and the dismantling of the Palmach.

Famous members of the Haganah
Haganah
included Yitzhak Rabin , Ariel Sharon , Rehavam Ze\'evi , Dov Hoz , Moshe Dayan
Moshe Dayan
, Yigal Allon and Dr. Ruth Westheimer .

The Museum of Underground Prisoners in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
commemorates the activity of the underground groups in the pre-state period, recreating the everyday life of those imprisoned there.

PAL-HEIB UNIT

Some Bedouins had longstanding ties with nearby Jewish communities. They helped defend these communities in the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine . During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War , some Bedouins of Tuba formed an alliance with the Haganah
Haganah
defending Jewish communities in the Upper Galilee against Syria . Some were part of a Pal-Heib unit of the Haganah. Sheik Hussein Mohammed Ali Abu Yussef of Tuba was quoted in 1948 as saying, "Is it not written in the Koran
Koran
that the ties of neighbors are as dear as those of relations? Our friendship with the Jews
Jews
goes back many years. We felt we could trust them and they learned from us too".

SEE ALSO

* History of Israel
Israel
* Jewish Agency for Israel
Israel

NOTES

* ^ Johnson, Paul (May 1998). "The Miracle". _Commentary_. 105: 21–28. * ^ Speedy (2011-09-12). "The Speedy Media: IDF\'s History". Thespeedymedia.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-08-03. * ^ "The Role of Jewish Defense Organizations in Palestine (1903-1948)". Jewish Virtual Library. * ^ Freund, Gabriel; Sahar, Raz (30 May 2013). "Defending the nation for 65 years". IDF Spokesperson. * ^ Niewyk, Donald L. (2000). _The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust_. Columbia University Press. p. 247. ISBN 0231112009 . * ^ Yigal Allon, _Sword of Zion_. ISBN 978-0-297-00133-1 . pp. 116, 117. * ^ Allon, pp. 125, 126. * ^ Allon, p. 127. * ^ Andrew, Christopher (2009) _The Defence of the Realm. The Authorized History of MI5._ Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9885-6 . pp. 355, 356. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ Bell, Bowyer J.: _Terror out of Zion_ * ^ http://info.palmach.org.il/show_item.asp?levelId=42858&itemId=8697&itemType=0 * ^ Horne, Edward (1982). _A Job Well Done (Being a History of The Palestine Police Force 1920–1948)_. The Anchor Press. ISBN 978-0-9508367-0-6 . pp. 272, 288, 289 * ^ http://www.palyam.org/English/Palyam_overview_en * ^ Ben-Yehuda, Nachman: _Political Assassinations by Jews: A Rhetorical Device for Justice_, pages 227-229 * ^ http://info.palmach.org.il/show_item.asp?levelId=42858&itemId=8724&itemType=0 * ^ How a fake kibbutz was built to hide a bullet factory * ^ Horne. p. 288, 289. * ^ The birth of Israel: Long, long road, economist.com. * ^ Hoffman, Bruce: _Anonymous Soldiers_ (2015) * ^ Ilan Pappé (2000) , p.79 * ^ Efraïm Karsh (2002) , p. 31 * ^ Joseph, pp. 23, 38. Gives the date of the call-up as 5 December. * ^ Ilan Pappé (2000) , p. 80 * ^ Levin, pp. 32, 117. Pay £P2 per month. c.f. would buy 2 lbs. of meat in Jerusalem, April 1948. p. 91. * ^ Benny Morris (2003) , pp. 16–17 * ^ http://www.idf.il/1283-19070-en/Dover.aspx * ^ http://www.alexandroni.org/site.php?page=main * ^ _Palestine Post_, "Israel's Bedouin Warriors", Gene Dison, August 12, 1948

REFERENCES

* Dov Joseph. _The Faithful City – The Siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
1948_. Library of Congress number 60 10976. * Efraïm Karsh (2002). _The Arab–Israeli Conflict – The Palestine War 1948_. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-372-9 . * Harry Levin (1997). _ Jerusalem
Jerusalem
Embattled – A Diary of the City under Siege_. Cassels. ISBN 0-304-33765-X . * Benny Morris (2004). _The Birth Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited_. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-00967-6 . * Ilan Pappé (2000). _La guerre de 1948 en Palestine_. La fabrique éditions. ISBN 978-2-264-04036-7 . * Eugène Rogan; Avi Shlaim ; et al. (2002). _La guerre de Palestine 1948: derrière le mythe_. Autrement. ISBN 978-2-7467-0240-0 .

FURTHER READING

* Bregman, Ahron (2002). _Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947_. London:: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-28716-6 . * Niv, David (1980). _The Irgun
Irgun
Tsva'i Leumi_. Jerusalem: World Zionist Organization: Department for Education and Culture. * "Text of the British White Paper Linking Jewish Agency to Zionist Terrorism in Palestine". _The New York Times_. July 25, 1946. p. 8. * Zadka, Dr. Saul (1995). _Blood in Zion, How the Jewish Guerrillas drove the British out of Palestine_. London: Brassey's. ISBN 978-1-85753-136-7 . * Tobias, Jim G.; Zinke, Peter (2000) . _Nakam