Military Wiki
David Raziel
Native name דוד רזיאל
Born November 19, 1910
Died May 20, 1941
Place of birth Smargon, Belarus
Place of death Habbaniyah, Iraq
Buried at Jerusalem, Israel
Allegiance Haganah Haganah Symbol.svg Irgun Irgun.png

David Raziel (Hebrew: דוד רזיאל </noinclude>; 19 November 1910 - 20 May 1941) was a leader of the Zionist underground in British Mandatory Palestine and one of the founders of the Irgun.[1]


Born David Rozenson in Smarhon’ (now in Grodno Region, Belarus), Vilnius in the Russian Empire, he immigrated with his family at the age of three to Mandatory Palestine, where his father became a Hebrew teacher at a Tel Aviv elementary school. When the 1929 Hebron massacre broke out, he joined the Haganah in Jerusalem, where he was studying philosophy and mathematics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. When the Irgun was established, he was one of its first members, and displayed outstanding military skills. In 1937 he was appointed by the Irgun as the first Commander of Jerusalem District and a year later, Commander in Chief of the Irgun. His term as leader was especially marked by violence against Arabs, including a sequence of marketplace bombings.[2] Most of Irgun activities was response to Arab violence[3] Raziel worked with Avraham Stern and Efraim Ilin.

On 17 May 1941 he was sent, with three of his comrades, including Ya'akov Meridor, to Iraq[4] on behalf of the British army to help defeat the Rashid Ali al-Gaylani pro-Axis revolt in the Anglo-Iraqi War. On 20 May a Luftwaffe bomb killed him and the British officer with him near an oil deposit in Habbaniyah. Meridor returned to Palestine and took over command of the Irgun.

In 1955 his remains were exhumed and transferred to Cyprus, and again in 1961 to Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery. His sister, Esther Raziel-Naor, was later a member of the Knesset for Herut, the party founded by Irgun leader Menachem Begin.


Ramat Raziel, a moshav in the Judaean Mountains, is named after Raziel, as well as many streets in Israel bearing his name in commemoration. The Israel postal service issued a stamp in his honor. There is a high-school in Herzliya named after him.[5]


  1. "David Raziel". The Etzel Website. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. Yehuda Bauer (2001). From Diplomacy to Resistance: A History of Jewish Palestine, 1935–1945. Varda Books. p. 14. "During the period of command over Etzel by Moshe Rosenberg and David Raziel, a great many assaults (some of them en masse) were carried out against Arab bystanders and shoppers: men, women, and children (November 1937-July 1939)." 
  3. Heller, Joseph (2012-12-06) (in en). The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics and Terror, 1940-1949. Routledge. ISBN 9781136298943. 
  4. Nir Mann (April 22, 2010). "A life underground". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  5. "David Raziel". The complete guide to Israeli postage stamps from 1948 onward. Boeliem. 
  • Daniel Levine: The Birth of the Irgun Zvai Leumi. Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House Ltd., 1991. ISBN 965-229-071-8.

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