|Jewish insugency in Palestine|
Palestine Railway's K class 2-8-4T steam locomotive and freight train on the Jaffa and Jerusalem line after being sabotaged by Jewish insurgents in 1946.
|Commanders and leaders|
Lord Moyne †
Avraham Stern †
Avshalom Haviv †
Dov Gruner †
|Casualties and losses|
|784 British soldiers and civilians killed (1945-1948)||
Unknown killed in action|
2,755 captured (Operation Agatha alone)
The Jewish insurgency in Palestine refers to violent campaign against the British forces and officials between 1944 and 1947 in Mandatory Palestine, involving Jewish underground groups. The tensions between Jewish militant underground organizations and the British mandatory authorities rose since 1938 and intensified with the publication of the MacDonald White Paper of 1939. Though World War II brought a temporary calm, the tensions escalated into an armed struggle towards the end of the war, when it became clear that the joint enemy of axis powers is closing to defeat. The struggle lasted until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, as British government policy of limiting Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine led to conflict between the British Empire and Zionist organizations there, some of which resorted to armed revolt. The main period of the armed conflict took place from the final phase of the World War II, when Irgun declared insurgency campaign upon the British official institutions, lasting until the UN partition plan, on 29 November 1947, after which the civil war between Palestinian Jews and Arabs eclipsed the previous tensions with the British.
Within Britain there were deep divisions over Palestine policy. The conflict led to heightened antisemitism in the UK and, in August 1947, to widespread anti-Jewish rioting across the UK. The conflict undermined Britain's relationship with the United States.
Between the World Wars
Although both the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the terms of the League of Nations British Mandate of Palestine called for a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, the British did not accept any linkage between Palestine and the situation of European Jews. After the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 many German Jews sought refuge abroad, and by the end of 1939 some 80,000 had been given refuge in Great Britain itself.
In 1936–37, soon after the start of the Arab uprising in Palestine, Earl Peel led a commission to consider a solution. The Peel Commission proposed a partition of Palestine that involved the compulsory resettlement of some Arab and Jewish inhabitants. It was not acceptable either to the Arab or to the Jewish leaders, though David Ben-Gurion remarked in 1937, "The compulsory transfer of the Arabs from the valleys of the proposed Jewish state could give us something which we have never had, even when we stood on our own during the days of the First and Second Temples." The twentieth Zionist Congress resolved in August 1937 that: ".. the partition plan proposed by the Peel Commission is not to be accepted"; but it wished ".. to carry on negotiations in order to clarify the exact substance of the British government's proposal for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine".
A further attempt was made in the Woodhead Commission, also known as the "Palestine Partition Commission", whose report was published in late 1938. A government statement (Cmnd 5843) followed on 11 November 1938. It concluded that: "His Majesty's Government, after careful study of the Partition Commission's report, have reached the conclusion that this further examination has shown that the political, administrative and financial difficulties involved in the proposal to create independent Arab and Jewish States inside Palestine are so great that this solution of the problem is impracticable." The brief St. James Conference followed in early 1939.
Britain also attended the international Évian Conference in 1938 on the issue of providing for refugees from Germany. Palestine was not discussed as a refuge because it might worsen the ongoing Arab revolt; Zionists naturally hoped that Palestine would be the principal destination for all such refugees.
The 1939 White Paper
Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the British introduced the 1939 White Paper, which allowed for a further 75,000 Jews to migrate to Palestine by 1944, after which the country was to become an independent state with an Arab majority, to be governed jointly by Arabs and Jews. Sales of Arab land to Jews were to be restricted. In response, the leader of Palestine's Zionists, David Ben-Gurion, issued a call for Jews to "support the British as if there is no White Paper and oppose the White Paper as if there is no war".
During World War II (1939-1944)
World War II erupted when Mandatory authorities of Palestine were at the final stages of subduing the armed Arab revolt of 1936-1939. All Jewish organizations, including the Zionists in Europe also played a major role in the Jewish resistance to the Germans, automatically allied with the Allied Forces, including the British. During the war, also Palestinian Jews volunteered in large numbers to serve in the British army, serving mainly in North Africa. There was a Jewish battalion attached to the British Army’s East Kent Regiment stationed in Palestine. Among the Palestinian Arabs, the Nashashibi clan supported the British, while another Arab Palestinian faction, led by Amin al-Huseeini, was on the other hand supporting the Axis powers. The Palestine Regiment was formed in 1942, combining three Jewish and one Arab battalions, reaching altogether 3,800 volunteers. It was involved in activities at the Mediterranean scene of the war, sustaining casualties during the North African campaign. Jewish underground ceased all anti-British activities with the outbreak of the war, in favor of the joint anti-Axis effort. However, still unaware of the Nazi policies upon the Jews, Lehi leader Avraham Stern thought of forming an alliance with the Axis powers in 1941, in exchange for their help in establishing a Jewish state and allowing the Jews of Europe to resettle in Palestine. His letter to the German ambassador in Turkey was never answered. As a result, Stern became a pariah among Jews in Palestine. In September 1944, the Jewish Brigade was formed, based on the Palestine Regiment core. The brigade consisted of nearly 5,000 volunteers, including three former Palestine Regiment battalions, the 200th Royal Artillery Field regiment and several supporting units. The brigade was dispatched to participate in the Italian campaign in late 1944 and later took part in the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy against the German forces.
After the Holocaust became known to the Allies, the British continued to refuse to change their policy of limited immigration, or to admit Jews from Nazi controlled Europe. Jews who escaped Nazi Europe with the intention of going to Palestine, (about 2,000) were interned in a British camp in Mauritius. Some ships carrying Jewish refugees were turned back towards Europe. The British also stopped all attempts by Palestinian Jews to bribe the Nazis into freeing Jews.
Lehi and Irgun begin an insurgency campaign
Some assert that Lehi started its campaign against British forces in Palestine in 1942, and culminated in the assassination of Lord Moyne in 1944. However, there is a general agreement among historians, that Jewish underground in Palestine refrained from an opened struggle against Britain, as long as the joint enemy of Germany is still at large. This approach changed towards the beginning of 1944, with withdrawal of axis forces from the Mediterranean and the advances of the Red Army in Eastern Front. With the general feeling that the Axis forces in Europe were nearing their defeat, the Irgun decided to shift its policy from cease-fire to an active campaign of violence, as long as it would not be hurting the war effort against the Nazi Germany. In February 1944, the Irgun, led by Menachem Begin, ended the wartime truce and began blowing up British offices in Mandatory Palestine, related to immigration and tax collection. However, they avoided striking military targets while the British were still fighting the Germans. In November 1944, the Lehi (Stern Gang) assassinated Lord Moyne, the British minister in Cairo. The Jewish Agency Executive condemned terror attacks and called on its members to inform on known members of the Irgun. Leftist Zionist assistance (Irgun were Revisionists, or Political Zionists, at odds with the Labour Zionist movement, known as Practical Zionists) led to the arrest of some 1,000 Irgun members, 250 of which were held indefinitely and without trial in internment camps in Eritrea.
Jewish resistance movement (1945-1946)
After the end of World War II, Lehi, Haganah and other groups joined in the anti-British Jewish Resistance Movement in 1945–46. After the 1945 British election, the new Labour Foreign Minister, Ernest Bevin, decided to maintain the policy of restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine, although "the party's platform had promised free Jewish immigration to Palestine and even transfer of the Arabs." Before the war, Bevin had been the head of Britain's largest trade-union, the TGWU and in this capacity had led a campaign to prevent German Jews being allowed to migrate to Britain. Bevin continued to oppose Jewish migration into Britain after 1945 and under Labour 5,000 Jews migrated into Britain.
In October 1945, the Haganah entered into an alliance with the Irgun and ceased cooperation with the British.
In June 1946, as part of Operation Agatha, in events known as the Black Sabbath, the British raided the Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem, confiscating large amounts of paperwork, and arrested Jews suspected of being involved with "terrorism", including leading members of the Jewish Agency, holding them without trial. In response, the leadership of the Haganah, through the Jewish Resistance Movement, organized various acts, including the King David Hotel bombing carried out by the Irgun (the main branches of the civil and military administration of Palestine were located in the King David Hotel).
The commander of the British forces in Palestine, General Sir Evelyn Barker, who was having an affair with the wife of the late George Antonius (a leading Arab Nationalist), responded to the bombing by ordering British personnel to boycott all:
"Jewish establishments, restaurants, shop, and private dwellings. No British soldier is to have social intercourse with any Jew.... I appreciate that these measures will inflict some hardship on the troops, yet I am certain that if my reasons are fully explained to them they will understand their propriety and will be punishing the Jews in a way the race dislikes as much as any, by striking at their pockets and showing our contempt of them "
Barker, whose forces participated in the capture of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, made many antisemitic comments in his letters to Antonius' wife and was relieved of his post a few weeks after issuing the statement. A few months after his return to England, Barker was sent a letter bomb by the Irgun, but detected it before it exploded.
The Jewish Agency was issuing constant complaints to the British administration about antisemitic remarks by British soldiers:
"they frequently said "Bloody Jew" or "pigs", sometimes shouted "Heil Hitler", and promised they would finish off what Hitler had begun. Churchill wrote that most British military officers in Palestine were strongly pro-Arab."
The British decide to leave Palestine
In January 1947, all British civilians were evacuated from Palestine. A low-level guerrilla war continued through 1947, eventually transforming into the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine, following the unsuccessful announcement of the British-approved United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
Britain was at this time negotiating a loan from the United States vital to its economic survival. Its treatment of Jewish survivors generated bad publicity and encouraged the U.S. Congress to stiffen its terms. The post-war conflict in Palestine caused more damage to United Kingdom–United States relations than any other issue.
In 1947, the United States chapter of the United Jewish Appeal raised 150 million dollars in its annual appeal – at that time the largest sum of money ever raised by a charity dependent on private contributions. Half was earmarked for Palestine. The Times reported that Palestine brought more dollars into the sterling zone than any other country, save Britain.
In April 1947 the issue was formally referred to the UN. By this time over 100,000 British soldiers were stationed in Palestine. Referral to the UN led to a period of uncertainty over Palestine's future. A United Nations special committee (UNSCOP) investigated the problem and recommended solutions.
In May, a large break-out was staged by 200 Jewish prisoners at the main high-security prison in Palestine at Acre. In June a number of Irgun member were sentenced to death; Irgun responded to the sentencing by kidnapping a number of British officers and promised to kill them if its members were hanged. On July 29, 1947 the three Irgun members were executed and the next day the two British Sergeants were killed in response. Following this incident there were anti-Jewish riots in Liverpool over the course of several days, which spread to other major British cities, including London, Manchester, Cardiff, Derby and Glasgow.
Following this incident the British government decided to return one ship, the Exodus-1947, to its port of origin in France instead of imprisoning the 4,500 passengers on Cyprus. The passengers refused to disembark, spending weeks in difficult conditions. They were eventually forcibly removed at Hamburg and returned to DP camps. The event became a major media event, influencing UN deliberations and exacerbating the already poor relationship between Britain and the Jews.
Even after the vote the British continued restricting Jewish immigration. Gilad Sharon, the son of future Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was a Haganah fighter at the time, wrote that the British continued hindering defensive actions by Jewish forces during the civil war with the Arabs, and "turned a blind eye" to Arab military activity. Sharon mentions a specific incident—the Hadassah convoy massacre, when the British not only refused to intervene but actually prevented Haganah reinforcements from stopping the attack.
Partition and civil war
The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine recommended partition, and on 29 November 1947 the United Nations General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into two states - an Arab and a Jewish one. The partition resolution (181) intended administration of Palestine to be in the hands of five UN representatives and assumed free Jewish immigration into the Jewish area even before the creation of a Jewish state:
The mandatory power shall use its best endeavours to ensure that an area situated in the territory of the Jewish state, including a seaport and hinterland adequate to provide facilities for a substantial immigration, shall be evacuated at the earliest possible date and in any event not later than 1 February 1948.
Britain refused to comply with these conditions on the grounds that the decision was unacceptable to the Arabs. It neither allowed Jewish immigration outside the monthly quota, nor granted control to the UN representatives (who became known as the "five lonely pilgrims"). A statement issued by the British Ambassador to the UN stated that the inmates on Cyprus would be released with the termination of the mandate.
Over the remaining period of British rule, British policy was to ensure that the Arabs did not resist Britain or blame it for partition. Convinced that partition was unworkable, the British refused to assist the UN in any way that might require British forces to remain on Palestinian soil (to implement it) or turn their army into a target for Arab forces. The Chiefs of Staff in particular, believed they needed the Arabs on their side. Already embroiled in a war against the Jews, they were concerned not to get involved in a war with both sides while trying to withdraw and feared for their extensive Middle Eastern interests.
On 22 February 1948 men wearing British uniforms, either British deserters working for the Arab Liberation Army or Arabs wearing stolen uniforms, detonated a truck laden with explosives in Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, killing about 60 people.
In April 1948, the Security Council called upon all governments to prevent fighting personnel or arms from entering Palestine.
Aftermath: British policy during the 1948 War
As all the League of Nations mandates were to be taken over by the new United Nations, Britain had declared that it would leave Palestine on 1 August 1948, and then changed the date to 15 May; on 14 May 1948 the Zionist leadership proclaimed the Israeli Declaration of Independence.
British rule of Palestine formally ended on 15 May 1948 and the State of Israel was declared, leading to war with several Arab states. Despite this, Britain agreed to release only Cyprus inmates of non-military age. 8,000 men between the ages of 18 and 45 were kept in captivity. 3,000 women refused to leave the Cyprus camps without their menfolk (and had 822 babies before being released).
Britain did release the 250 men held in Kenya as terrorists.
On 28 May 1948, the Security Council debated Palestine. The British proposed that the entry of arms and men of military age into Palestine should be restricted. At the request of the United States, the ban was extended to the whole region. A French amendment allowed immigration so long as soldiers were not recruited from immigrants. Britain cited this resolution as the justification for its refusal to release the Jews imprisoned in Cyprus.
In November 1948, Israel occupied the Negev. The RAF conducted reconnaissance flights over Israeli positions, taking off from Egyptian air bases. Some of these flights were conducted alongside Egyptian planes. Under the terms of the Anglo-Egyptian treaty the Egyptians could appeal for British help in the event of an Israeli invasion, however the Egyptians were concerned to avoid any such eventuality.
The British Cabinet decided that action could be taken to defend Transjordan, but that under no circumstances would British troops enter Palestine.
In December 1948, Israeli troops made a twenty-mile incursion into Egyptian territory and Israeli forces completed the conquest of the Negev.
On 7 January 1949 Israeli forces shot down five British fighter planes over the Egyptian border. The UK Defence Committee responded to this and the Jordanian request by sending two destroyers carrying men and arms to Transjordan. Israel complained to the UN that these troops were in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 50. Britain denied this, claiming the resolution did not apply to Britain and that the troops were not new to the region as they had been transferred from Egypt. Throughout the 1948 war, 40 British officers served with the Jordanian Army and the Jordanian army commander was a British General, John Bagot Glubb.
On 17 January 1949 the Chief of Staff briefed the cabinet on events in the Middle East. Minister of Health, Aneurin Bevan, protested at the decision to send arms to Transjordan, taken by the Defence Committee without cabinet approval. He complained that British policy in Palestine was inconsistent with the spirit and tradition of Labour Party policy and was supported by the Deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Morrison and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Stafford Cripps.
In 1949, the British cabinet voted to continue supporting the Arab states, but also voted to recognize Israel and release the Jews from Cyprus. The last prisoners left Cyprus in late January and shortly after they left, Britain formally recognized Israel.
- June 12 – A British explosives expert was killed trying to defuse an Irgun bomb near a Jerusalem post office.
- August 26 – Two British police officers, Inspector Ronald Barker and Inspector Ralph Cairns, commander of the Jewish Department of the C.I.D., were killed by an Irgun mine in Jerusalem.
- February 12 – British immigration offices in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa were attacked by Irgun.
- February 14 – Two British constables were shot dead when they attempted to arrest Lehi fighters pasting up wall posters in Haifa.
- February 18 – A police patrol shot and killed a Jewish civilian who had not replied swiftly enough to its challenge.
- February 24 - A British police official and four CID officers were wounded in bombings.
- February 27 – Simultaneous bombing attacks were launched against British income tax offices.
- March 2 - A British constable was shot and severely wounded after coming upon Irgun fighters putting up a poster.
- March 13 – Lehi killed a Jewish CID officer in Ramat Gan.
- March 19 - A Lehi member was shot dead while resisting arrest by the CID in Tel Aviv. Lehi retaliated with an attack in Tel Aviv that killed two police officers and wounded one.
- March 23 – Irgun fighters led by Rahamim Cohen raided and bombed the British intelligence offices and placed explosives. A British soldier and Irgun fighter were killed. An Irgun unit led by Amichai Paglin raided the British intelligence headquarters in Jaffa, and Irgun fighters led by Yaakov Hillel raided the British intelligence offices in Haifa.
- April 1 - A British constable was killed and another wounded.
- July 13 – Irgun fighters broke into and bombed the British intelligence building on Mamilla street in Jerusalem.
- September 29 – A senior British police officer of the Criminal Intelligence Department was assassinated by Irgun in Jerusalem.
- November 6 – Lehi fighters Eliyahu Bet-Zuri and Eliyahu Hakim assassinated British politician Lord Moyne in Cairo. Moyne's driver was also killed.
- January 27 – A British judge was kidnapped by Irgun and released in exchange for Jewish detainees.
- March 22 – Lehi members Eliyahu Bet-Zuri and Eliyahu Hakim were hanged in Cairo.
- April 23 – The Irgun mounted a raid on Ramat Gan police station during which guns were successfully seized, but two members were killed and Dov Gruner injured and taken prisoner.
- April 25 – Lehi attacked a lightly guarded military car park and killed seven British soldiers of the 5th (Scottish) Parachute Battalion. Some British soldiers retaliated by damaging Jewish property.
- August 14 – Irgun fighters overpowered and disarmed two British sentries, and then blew up the Yibne Railway Bridge.
- November 1 – Night of the Trains – Haganah fighters sabotaged railroads used by the British, and sank three British guard boats. At the same time, an Irgun unit led by Eitan Livni raided a train station in Lod, destroying a number of buildings and three train engines. One Irgun fighter, two British soldiers, and four Arabs were killed.
- December 27 – Irgun fighters raided and bombed British Intelligence Offices in Jerusalem, killing seven British policemen. Two Irgun fighters were also killed. Irgun also attacked a British Army camp in Northern Tel Aviv. In the exchange of fire, a British soldier and Irgun fighter were killed, and five Irgun fighters were injured.
- January 19 – Jewish fighters destroyed a power station and a portion of the Central Jerusalem Prison with explosives. During the incident, two persons were killed by police.
- January 20 – Palmach attacked the Givat Olga Coast Guard Station. One person was killed and ten were injured during the raid. A Palmach attempt to sabotage the British radar station on Mount Carmel was thwarted. Documents seized by the British indicated that the attacks were retaliation for the seizure of a Jewish immigrant ship two days before.
- February 22 – Haganah fighters attacked a police Tegart fort with a 200 lb bomb. In the firefight that followed, Haganah suffered casualties.
- February 23 – Haganah fighters attacked British mobile police forces in Kfar Vitkin, Shfar'am and Sharona.
- February 26 – Irgun and Lehi fighters attacked three British airfields and destroyed dozens of aircraft. One Irgun fighter was killed.
- March 6 – A military truck carrying 30 Irgun fighters disguised as British soldiers approached a British army camp at Sarafand, where the fighters infiltrated into the armoury and stole weaponry. An exchange fire began after the fighters were discovered. The remaining weapons and ammunition in the armoury were destroyed by a mine, and the truck then drove off at high speed. Four Irgun fighters were captured, two of them women. Two of the captured fighters were wounded.
- March 25 – The Jewish immigrant ship Wingate was fired on by British police as it docked in Haifa, killing a Palmach member.
- April 2 – Irgun launched a sabotage operation against the railway network in the south, inflicting severe damage. The retreating fighters were surrounded after being spotted by a British reconnaissance aircraft. Two British policemen were killed, and three British soldiers were wounded. Two Irgun fighters were killed, four wounded, and 31 arrested.
- April 23 – Dozens of Irgun fighters disguised as British soldiers and Arab prisoners infiltrated the Ramat Gan police station, then ordered the policemen into the detention cell at gunpoint, blasted open the door to the armoury and looted it. Irgun porters loaded the weapons onto a waiting truck. A British policeman on the upper story shot dead the Irgun Bren gunner covering the raid from a balcony on the building opposite the police station, then fired at the porters, who continued to load weapons under fire. One Irgun member was killed as he ran to the truck, and Irgun commander Dov Gruner was wounded and subsequently captured by the British. After the weapons had been loaded, the truck drove off to an orange grove near Ramat Gan.
- June 16–17 – Night of the Bridges – Haganah carried out a sabotage operation, blowing up ten of the eleven bridges connecting British Mandatory Palestine to the neighbouring countries, while staging 50 diversion ambushes and operations against British forces throughout Palestine. Haganah lost 14 dead and 5 wounded in the operation. The British responded with raids on Kfar Giladi, Matsuba, and Bet HaArava, encountering only minor resistance. Three Jews were killed, 18 wounded, and 100 detained.
- June 17 – Lehi attacked railroad workshops in Haifa. Eleven Lehi members were killed during the attack.
- June 18 – Irgun fighters took six British servicemen as hostages and released them after the death sentences of two Irgun fighters were commuted.
- June 29 – Operation Agatha – British military and police units began a three-day operation, searching three cities and Jewish settlements throughout Palestine and imposing curfews, arresting 2,718 Jews and seizing numerous arms and munitions which were found unexpectedly. The Jewish Agency building was raided, and numerous documents were confiscated. During the operation, four Jews were killed and 80 injured.
- July 22 – King David Hotel bombing – Irgun fighters bombed the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which was home to the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities and the headquarters of British forces in Palestine and Transjordan. A total of 91 people were killed, including 28 British soldiers, policemen and civilians. Most of the dead were Arabs. Another 46 people were injured. Irgun suffered two casualties when British soldiers became suspicious and fired at a group of Irgun fighters as they fled from the scene, wounding two. One of them later died from his injuries.
- July 29 – British police raided a bomb-making workshop in Tel Aviv.
- July 30 – Tel Aviv was placed under a 22-hour curfew for four days as 20,000 British soldiers conducted house-to-house searches for Jewish militants. The city was sealed off and troops were ordered to shoot curfew violators. British troops detained 500 people for further questioning and seized a large cache of weapons, extensive counterfeiting equipment, and $1,000,000 in counterfeit government bonds were discovered in a raid on the city's largest synagogue.
- August 13 – A crowd of about 1,000 Jews attempted to break into the port area of Haifa as two Royal Navy ships departed for Cyprus with 1,300 illegal immigrants on board, and a ship with 600 more was escorted into the port. British soldiers fired on the crowd, killing three and wounding seven.
- August 22 – Palyam frogmen attached a limpet mine to the side of the British cargo ship Empire Rival, which had been used to deport Jewish immigrants to Cyprus. A hole was blown in the ship's side.
- August 26 – British troops searched two Jewish coastal villages for three Jews involved in the Empire Rival incident. During the operation, 85 persons, including the entire male population of one of the villages, were detained.
- August 30 – British soldiers discovered arms and munitions dumps in Dorot and Ruhama.
- September 8 – Jewish fighters sabotaged railroads in fifty places in Palestine.
- September 9 – Two British officers were killed by an explosion at a public building in Tel Aviv.
- September 10 – British forces imposed a curfew and searched for militants in Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan, arresting 101 people and wounding four.
- September 15 – Jewish fighters attacked a police station on the coast near Tel Aviv, but were driven off by gunfire.
- October 6 – A member of the Royal Air Force was shot and killed.
- October 8 – Two British soldiers were killed when their truck detonated a mine outside Jerusalem. A leading Arab figure was wounded in another mine attack, and mines were also found near government house.
- October 10 – Haganah raided a camp in Atlit where illegal Jewish immigrants were being held, freeing 208.
- October 30 – Irgun launched an attack in the Jerusalem Railway Station, killing two British guards.
- October 31 – The British embassy in Rome was damaged by a bomb.
- November 1–2 – Palmach sank three British naval police craft.
- November 9–13 – Jewish underground members launched a series of land mine and suitcase bomb attacks against railroad stations, trains, and streetcars, killing 11 British soldiers and policemen and 8 Arab constables.
- November 17 – Three British policemen and a Royal Air Force sergeant were killed by a mine.
- November 18 – British police in Tel Aviv attacked Jews on the streets and fired into houses in retaliation for the mine attack that occurred the previous day. Twenty Jews were injured.
- November 20 – Three people were injured when a bomb exploded in the Jerusalem tax office.
- November 25 – The Jewish immigrant ship Knesset Israel was captured by four British destroyers. Efforts to force the Jewish refugees onto deportation ships were met with resistance. Two refugees were killed and 46 wounded. Haganah attacked the Givat Olga police station and the Sydna-Ali coastal patrol station, wounding six British and eight Arab policemen.
- November 26 – The British launched a massive search operation and established a 1,000-man cordon on the Plain of Sharon and in Samaria, looking for the perpetrators of the previous days attacks and illegal weapons. Jewish settlers put up violent resistance to the soldiers. The British reported 65 soldiers and 16 policemen wounded, while the Jews had 8 dead and 75 wounded.
- October 31 – The British embassy in Rome was bombed by the Irgun, wounding three.
- December 2–5 – Six British soldiers and four other persons were killed in bomb and mine attacks.
- December 28 – An Irgun prisoner was lashed eighteen times.
- December 29 – Night of the Beatings – Irgun fighters kidnapped and flogged six British soldiers. The British responded by ordering their soldiers back into army camps and setting up roadblocks. A car with five armed Irgun men carrying a whip was stopped. British soldiers opened fire, killing one Irgun fighter. The remaining four were arrested.
- January 5 – Eleven British soldiers were injured in a grenade attack on a train in Banha carrying British troops to Palestine from Egypt.
- January 12 – A Lehi member drove a truck bomb into a police station in Haifa, killing two British and two Arab constables, and wounding 140.
- January 26 – A British banker was taken hostage from his home by Irgun, and a British judge was captured the following day. Both men were released when British High Commissioner Alan Cunningham threatened martial law unless the two men were returned unharmed.
- March 1 – Irgun bombed the Officers Club on King George Street in Jerusalem, killing 17 British officers and wounding 27, resulting in martial law that lasted 16 days. Immediately after martial law was declared, two Jews were shot and killed, one of them a four-year old girl standing on the balcony of her home. During the period of martial law, 78 Jews suspected of membership in the Jewish resistance were arrested.
- March 9 – A British Army camp was attacked in Hadera.
- March 11 – Two British soldiers were killed.
- March 12 – Irgun attacked the Schneller Camp, which was being used as a barracks and office of the Royal Army Pay Corps. One British soldier was killed and eight were wounded. A British camp near Karkur was also raided, shots were fired at the Sarona camp, and a mine exploded near Rishon LeZion.
- March 29 – A British officer was killed when Jewish fighters ambushed a British cavalry party near Ramla.
- April 2 – The Ocean Vigour, a British freighter used to transport captured illegal immigrants to Cyprus, was damaged in a bomb attack by Palyam, the naval force of the Palmach.
- April 3 – The British transport ship Empire Rival was damaged by a time-bomb while en route from Haifa to Port Said.
- April 7 – A British patrol killed Jewish militant Moshe Cohen.
- April 8 – A British constable was killed in retaliation for Cohen's death. A Jewish boy was also killed by British troops.
- April 13 – The Jewish immigrant ship Theodor Herzl was captured by the British. Three Jewish refugees were killed and 27 injured during the takeover.
- April 14 – The Royal Navy captured the Jewish immigrant ship Guardian. Two Jews were killed and 14 wounded during the takeover.
- April 19 – Four Irgun fighters (Dov Gruner, Yehiel Dresner, Mordechai Alkahi and Eliezer Kashani) were hanged by British authorities. Irgun retaliated with three attacks; a British sentry was killed during a raid on a field dressing station near Netanya, a civilian bystander was killed during an attack on a British armoured car in Tel Aviv, and shots were fired at British troops in Haifa.
- April 21 – Irgun member Meir Feinstein and Lehi member Moshe Barzani killed themselves in prison with grenades smuggled to them in hollowed-out oranges, hours before they were to be hanged.
- April 22 – A British troop train arriving from Cairo was bombed outside Rehovot, killing five soldiers and three civilians, and wounding 39.
- April 25 – Lehi bombed a British police compound, killing five policemen.
- April 26 – A British police official was assassinated.
- May 4 – Acre Prison break – Irgun members working with Jewish prisoners inside Acre Prison managed to blow a hole in the wall, and assault the prison, freeing 28 Jewish prisoners. Irgun commander Dov Cohen, two Irgun fighters, and six escapees were killed in the raid. Three British guards were also killed. Five of the fighters and eight escapees were captured.
- May 6 – A British counter-terrorism unit led by Roy Farran abducted 16 year-old Lehi member Alexander Rubowitz, later torturing and killing him.
- May 12 – Two British policemen were killed by Jewish fighters in Jerusalem.
- May 15 – Two British soldiers were killed and seven injured by Lehi. A British policeman was also killed in an ambush.
- May 16 – A British constable and a Jewish police superintendent were assassinated.
- June 4 – Eight Lehi Letter bombs addressed to high British government officials, including Prime Minister Clement Attlee, were discovered in London.
- June 28 – Lehi fighters opened fire on a line of British soldiers waiting in line outside a Tel Aviv theater, killing three soldiers and wounding two. One Briton was also killed and several wounded in a Haifa hotel. A Jewish fighter was also wounded.
- June 29 – Four British soldiers were wounded in a Lehi attack at a Herzliya beach.
- July 17 – Irgun carried out five mining operations against British military traffic in the vicinity of Netanya, killing one Briton and wounding sixteen.
- July 18 – A British soldier was killed.
- July 19 – Irgun attacked four locations in Haifa, killing a British constable and wounding twelve. A British soldier was also killed.
- July 20 – A British soldier was killed.
- July 26 – Two British soldiers were killed by a booby trap.
- July 27 – Seven British soldiers were wounded in an ambush and mine explosions.
- July 29–31 – The Sergeants affair – British authorities hanged Irgun commanders Avshalom Haviv, Yaakov Weiss and Meir Nakar. In retaliation, Irgun hanged British intelligence corps sergeants Mervyn Paice and Clifford Martin, who had previously been abducted and held as hostages, afterwards re-hanging their bodies from trees in a eucalyptus grove near Netanya. A mine laid underneath exploded as one of the bodies was being cut down, injuring a British officer. In a separate incident, two British soldiers were killed and three wounded by a land mine near Hadera planted by Irgun fighters. British soldiers and policemen reacted by rampaging in Tel Aviv, breaking windows, overturning cars, stealing a taxi and assaulting civilians. Groups of young Jews then began stoning British foot patrols, causing them to be withdrawn from the city. Upon learning of the stonings, members of mobile police units drove to Tel Aviv in six armored cars, where they smashed windows, raided two cafes and detonated a grenade in the second one, and fired into two crowded buses. Five Jews were killed and fifteen wounded.
- August 1 – An anti-British riot broke out during the funeral procession of the five Jews killed the day before, and 33 Jews were injured. In Jerusalem, an attack by Jewish fighters on a British security zone in Rehavia was repulsed. One attacker was killed and two captured.
- August 5 – Three British police officers were killed by a bomb.
- August 15 – Irgun bombed a British troop train north of Lydda, killing the engineer.
- September 3 – A postal bomb sent by either Irgun or Lehi exploded in the post office sorting room of the British War Office in London, injuring two.
- September 21 – A British messenger was killed.
- September 26 – Irgun fighters robbed a bank, killing four British policemen.
- September 27 – A Jewish illegal immigrant was killed by the British.
- September 29 – Irgun bombed a British police station in Haifa, killing 13 and wounding 53.
- October 13 – Two British soldiers were killed in Jerusalem.
- November 12 – A total of 21 were killed in British-Jewish clashes.
- November 14 – Four Britons were killed in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
- December 12 – Jewish underground bombing attacks on buses in Haifa and Ramla killed 2 British soldiers, 20 Arabs and 5 Jews.
- December 25 – Lehi members machine-gunned two British soldiers in a Tel Aviv cafe.
- December 29 – Two British constables and 11 Arabs were killed and 32 Arabs wounded when Irgun members threw a bomb from a taxi at Damascus Gate.
- January 7 – A British officer was killed by Jewish militants near Hebron.
- February 29 – As part of the Cairo-Haifa train bombings, Lehi fighters mined a train that included coaches used by British troops north of Rehovot, killing 28 British soldiers and wounding 35.
- March 1 – Irgun bombed the Bevingrad Officers Club in Jerusalem, killing 20 Britons and wounding 30.
- April 6 – Irgun fighters led by Ya'akov Meridor raided the British Army camp at Pardes Hanna, killing seven British soldiers.
- April 20 – Jewish snipers attacked British soldiers and policemen throughout Haifa, wounding two policemen and a soldier. British forces killed five snipers.
- May 3 – A Lehi book bomb posted to the parental home of British Major Roy Farran was opened by his brother Rex, killing him.
Effect upon mutual British–Arab interests
Anglo-Arab relations were of vital importance to British strategic concerns both during the war and after, notably for their access to oil and to India via the Suez Canal. Britain governed or protected Oman, Sudan, Kuwait, the Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen, had treaties of alliance with Iraq (the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty (1930) and The Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1948) and Egypt (Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936). Transjordan was granted independence in 1946 and the Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948 allowed Britain to station troops in Jordan and promised mutual assistance in the event of war.
Armed conflict and illegal Jewish immigration
In November 1944, the Lehi (Stern Gang) assassinated Lord Moyne, the British minister in Cairo. The Jewish Agency Executive condemned terror attacks and called on its members to inform on known members of the Irgun. In the meantime, following the continued application of the 1939 White Paper the Jewish Agency Executive turned to illegal immigration. Over the next few years in Europe and North Africa, tens of thousands of Jews, many of them Holocaust survivors, sailed in overcrowded boats, despite the almost certain knowledge that it would lead to incarceration in a British prison camp (most boats were caught).
In Europe former Jewish partisans led by Abba Kovner began to organize escape routes taking Jews from Eastern Europe down to the Mediterranean where the Jewish Agency organized ships to illegally carry them to Palestine. British officials in the occupied German zones tried to halt Jewish immigration by refusing to recognize the Jews as a national group and demanding that they return to their places of origin.
In order to prevent Jewish illegal migrants reaching Palestine a naval blockade was established to stop boats carrying illegal migrants and there was extensive intelligence gathering and diplomatic pressure on countries through which the migrants were passing or from whose ports the ships were coming.
British officials in the liberated zones tried to halt Jewish immigration, and did not recognize the Jews as a national group, demanding that they return to their places of origin. Jewish concentration camp survivors (displaced persons or DPs) were forced to share accommodation with non-Jewish DPs some of whom were former Nazi collaborators, now seeking asylum. In some cases former Nazis were given positions of authority in the camps, which they used to abuse the Jewish survivors. Food supplies to Jewish concentration camp survivors in the British zone were cut to prevent them from assisting Jews fleeing Eastern Europe. In the British zone they were refused support on the grounds that they were not displaced by the war.
Troops in the U.S. zone were also not helping survivors but in 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman sent a personal representative, Earl G. Harrison, to investigate the situation of the Jewish survivors in Europe. Harrison reported,
[S]ubstantial unofficial and unauthorized movements of people must be expected, and these will require considerable force to prevent, for the patience of many of the persons involved is, and in my opinion with justification, nearing the breaking point. It cannot be overemphasized that many of these people are now desperate, that they have become accustomed under German rule to employ every possible means to reach their end, and that the fear of death does not restrain them.
The Harrisson report changed U.S. policy in the occupied zones, and U.S. policy increasingly focussed on helping Jews escape Eastern Europe. Jews escaping post-war anti-Semitic attacks in Eastern Europe learned to avoid the British zone and generally moved through American zones.
In April 1946 the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry reported that given a chance, half a million Jews would immigrate to Palestine:
In Poland, Hungary and Rumania, the chief desire is to get out.... The vast majority of the Jewish displaced persons and migrants, however, believe that the only place which offers a prospect is Palestine."
A survey of Jewish DPs found 96.8% would choose Palestine. The Anglo-American Committee recommended that 100,000 Jews be immediately admitted into Palestine.
Despite British government promises to abide by the committee's decision, the British decided to persist with a ban on Jewish migration.
A week after the King David hotel bombing on July 1946, four ships carrying 6,000 illegal immigrants arrived in Haifa, completely overflowing the temporary prison for illegal migrants at Atlit. The British government, which had known for some time that it would be unable to contain Jewish emigration, decided to intern all illegal immigrants on Cyprus (without trial). About 50,000 Jews, mostly Holocaust survivors, passed though these holding facilities. In October 1946, in fulfilment of the recommendation of the Anglo-American Committee, Britain decided to allow a further 96,000 Jews into Palestine at a rate of 1,500 a month. Half this monthly quota was allocated to Jews in the prisons on Cyprus.
Effects upon independence movements worldwide
According to the BBC documentary The Age of Terror: In the Name of Liberation, the successful Jewish struggle for independence in Palestine inspired numerous other violent campaigns for independence in countries under colonial rule throughout the world at the time, such as Malaysia and Algeria.
- List of Irgun attacks
- Violent conflicts in the British Mandate of Palestine
- Suez Crisis
- Israel-United Kingdom relations
- List of modern conflicts in the Middle East
- 6th Airborne Division in Palestine
- Charters, David. The British Army and Jewish insurgency in Palestine, 1945-47.
- Britain's Small Wars "A Total of 784 British men and women, soldiers and civilians were killed in Palestine between the year of 1945 and 1948." 
- Jewish Chronicle 8/8/47 and 22/8/47, both p. 1. See also Bagon, Paul (2003). "The Impact of the Jewish Underground upon Anglo Jewry: 1945–1947". St Antony's College, University of Oxford M-Phil thesis (mainly the conclusion) http://users.ox.ac.uk/~metheses/Bagon.html Retrieved on 2008-10-25.
- Fraser, T. G., "A crisis of leadership: Weizmann and the Zionist reactions to the Peel Commission's proposals, 1937–38", Journal of Contemporary History (Oct. 1988) Vol. 23, No. 4, p. 657.
- Text of Cmnd 5893 on the United Nations website, downloaded October 2011
- Shabtai Teveth, 1985, Ben-Gurion and the Palestinian Arabs, p. 200
- The Mauritian shekel: the story of the Jewish detainees in Mauritius, 1940–1945 by Geneviève Pitot, Donna Edouard, Helen Topor, 1998
- see also Foundations of Civil and Political Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Yvonne Schmidt, GRIN 2001, p. 312
- One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate by Tom Segev p. 482, Abacus 2001
- This Green and Pleasant Land: Britain and the Jews by Shalom Lappin. http://www.yale.edu/yiisa/workingpaper/lappin/Shalom%20Lappin%20YIISA%20Working%20Paper.pdf p. 21
- Foundations of Civil and Political Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Yvonne Schmidt, GRIN 2001, p. 312
- M. Begin, The Revolt: Memoirs of the Commander of the National Military Organization (Tel-Aviv: 1984 in Hebrew), chapter 8.
- The Palestine triangle: the struggle for the Holy Land, 1935–48 by Nicholas Bethell p. 267 1979
- One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate by Tom Segev pp. 479–480, Abacus 2001
- One Palestine Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate by Tom Segev p. 480, Abacus 2001
- see the House of Commons Debates (Hansard), Volume 427 Column 1682 23/10/46
- See Post-Holocaust Politics Britain, the United States, and Jewish Refugees, 1945–1948 by Arieh J. Kochavi, North Carolina 2001.
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency 7/1/48, The Times 19/12/46 p. 3 and 27/2/47 p. 5.
- Jewish Chronicle 8/8/47 and 22/8/47, both p. 1. For a discussion of antisemitism in Britain see T. Kushner, The Persistence of Prejudice: Antisemitism in British society during the Second World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1989). See http://www.workersliberty.org/node/6351 for an eye witness account of the Manchester riot.
- Bagon, Paul (2003). "The Impact of the Jewish Underground upon Anglo Jewry: 1945–1947". St Antony's College, University of Oxford M-Phil thesis  Retrieved on 2010-4-1.
- Sharon, Gilad: Sharon: The Life of a Leader
- UN resolution 181 section 1A. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/res181.htm
- The Times 22/1/48 p. 4, Trygve Lie, In the Cause of Peace, Seven Years with the United Nations (New York: MacMillan 1954) p. 163
- Security Council Resolution 46 (1948) 17/4/48
- Security Council Resolution 50 (1948), clauses 2–4 in Index to resolutions of the Security Council : 1946–1991 (New York: United Nations 1992).
- The Times 20 January 1949 p. 4 "Urgent Need for Information"
- The Times January 5, 1949 "No Intention of Intervening"
- The Israeli Air Force story by Murray Rubenstein, Richard M. Goldman 1979, see also http://www.spyflight.co.uk/iafvraf.HTM
- The Times January 10, 1949 p. 3 "British Force Sent to Akaba"
- The Times 10/1/1949 p. 4 "British Troops in Transjordan"
- The Observer 23/1/49
- The Times 25/1/49 "Last detainees leaving Cyprus"
- The Times 31/1/49 p. 4 "Israeli view of recognition"
- Ben-Yehuda, Hahman (1993). Political Assassinations by Jews. State University of New York Press. pp. 155–157. ISBN 978-0-7914-1166-7. http://www.sunypress.edu/p-1949-political-assassinations-by-jew.aspx.
- Golan, Zev (2003). Free Jerusalem. Devora Publications. pp. 151. ISBN 978-1-930143-54-8.
- Bell, J. Bowyer: Terror out of Zion: the fight for Israeli independence
- Martin Gilbert – Churchill and the Jews
- The Gallows
- Yehuda Lapidot – Besieged
- The Second Explosion at the Intelligence Offices
- Horne, pp. 295–296
- The 'Night of the Airfields'
- The Death Sentence
- The Sabotaging of the Railway Tracks in the South
- Silver, p. 64
- Black Sabbath
- "Lohamei Herut Yisrael (Lehi)". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/lehi.html. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Thurston Clarke, By Blood and Fire (1981)
- Time magazine, Un-British (1948)
- The Raid on the Jerusalem Officers Club
- "Acre Jail Break". Britains-smallwars.com. http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Palestine/Acre.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Taylor, Neil W.: The Tapestry of Israel (p. 240)
- Cesarani, David. Major Farran's Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain's War Against Jewish Terrorism 1945–1948. Vintage Books. London. 2010.
- Segev, Tom (2001). One Palestine, Complete; Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate
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- "PALESTINE: Eye for an Eye for an Eye". Time. August 11, 1947. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,887512,00.html.
- Bethell, Nicholas (1979). The Palestine Triangle. London: André Deutsch. pp. 323–340. ISBN 0-233-97069-X.
- The Sunday Times, Sept 24 1972, p. 8
- Donald Neff, Hamas: A pale image of the Jewish Irgun and Lehi Gangs. Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
- "Jewish-Zionist Terror". Guardian.150m.com. http://www.guardian.150m.com/palestine/jewish-terrorism.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- The Times – 1 March 1948
- Bard, Mitchell G., (PhD) (2005): The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Middle East conflict
- The Scotsman – 7 April 1948
- "40 Commando in Haifa". Britains-smallwars.com. http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Palestine/40.html. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Tore Kjeilen (2000-01-21). "Anglo-Jordanian Treaty of 1948 – LookLex Encyclopaedia". Lexicorient.com. http://lexicorient.com/e.o/angl_tr_jordan.htm. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Flight and Rescue: Brichah, written by Yehuda Bauer, published by Random House; New York, 1970
- Ted Gottfried, Displaced persons: the liberation and abuse of Holocaust survivors, p. 25
- A. Kochavi, Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States and Jewish Refugees 1945–1948 (Chapel-Hill: University of North Carolina Press 2001),pp 45–56. Y. Bauer, Out of the Ashes: The Impact of American Jews on Post-Holocaust European Jewry (Oxford: Pergamon 1989) chapter 2.
- accessed Nov 2007
- Inquiry Report http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/anglo/angch02.htm chapter II paragraph 12
- Y. Bauer, Out of the Ashes: The Impact of American Jews on Post-Holocaust European Jewry (Oxford: Pergamon 1989) p. 86, Z. V. Hadari, Second Exodus: The Full Story of Jewish Illegal Immigration to Palestine 1945–1948 (London: Valentine Mitchell 1991) p. 18. In reality less wanted to go to Palestine but DP's responded to Zionist requests that they write Palestine.
- The Times 3/8/1946 p. 4.
- Yehuda Bauer, Out of the Ashes: The Impact of American Jews on Post-Holocaust European Jewry (Oxford: Pergamon 1989)
- Yehuda Bauer, 'Flight and Rescue: Brichah, (Random House; New York 1970)
- Zeev Hadari, Second Exodus: The Full Story of Jewish Illegal Immigration to Palestine 1945–1948 (London: Valentine Mitchell 1991)
- Arieh Kochavi, Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States and Jewish Refugees 1945–1948 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press 2001)
- Tony Kushner, The Persistence of Prejudice: Antisemitism in British society during the Second World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1989).
- Miller, Rory, ed. "Britain, Palestine and Empire: The Mandate Years" (2010)
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- Menachem Begin, The Revolt, 1951.
- Trygve Lie, In the Cause of Peace, Seven Years with the United Nations (New York: MacMillan 1954)
DP conditions: http://bcrfj.revues.org/document269.html Jews on Cyprus: http://news.pseka.net/index.php?module=article&id=8199 DP camps (personal accounts): http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/orphans/english/themes/pdf/the_dp.pdf
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