Operation Nachshon (Hebrew : מבצע נחשון, Mivtza Nahshon) was a Jewish military operation during the 1948 war. Lasting from 5–16 April 1948, its objective was to break the Siege of Jerusalem by opening the Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem road blockaded by Palestinian Arabs and to supply food and weapons to the isolated Jewish community of Jerusalem. The operation was also known as "The operation to take control of the Jerusalem road,", following which participating units later broke-off to form the Harel Brigade.
Hebrew is a Northwest Semitic language native to Israel; the modern version of which is spoken by over 9 million people worldwide. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites and their ancestors, although the language was not referred to by the name Hebrew in the Tanakh. The earliest examples of written Paleo-Hebrew date from the 10th century BCE. Hebrew belongs to the West Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic language family. Hebrew is the only living Canaanite language left, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language.
Arabs are a population inhabiting the Arab world. They primarily live in the Arab states in Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and western Indian Ocean islands. They also form a significant diaspora, with Arab communities established around the world.
Nachshon was the first major Haganah operation and the first step of Plan Dalet, The plan was a set of guidelines for taking control of the territory allotted to Palestinian Jews by the 1947 UN Partition Plan, and defending its borders and people, including the Palestinian Jewish population outside the borders, 'before, and in anticipation of' the invasion by regular Arab armies.According to the Israeli Yehoshafat Harkabi, "Plan Dalet" called for the conquest of Arab towns and villages inside and along the borders of the area allocated to the proposed Jewish State pursuant to the UN Partition Plan. In case of resistance, the Arabs of conquered villages were to be expelled outside the borders of the Jewish state. If no resistance was met, the Arab residents could stay put, under military rule. Operation Nachshon was carried out by the Haganah's Givati and what was later to be known as the Harel Brigade of the Palmach.
Haganah was a Jewish paramilitary organization in the British Mandate of Palestine (1921–48), which became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Plan Dalet was a plan worked out by the Haganah in Mandatory Palestine in March 1948. Its name was from the letter Dalet (ד), the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Yehoshafat Harkabi was chief of Israeli military intelligence from 1955 until 1959 and afterwards a professor of International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
By the end of March 1948, Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni's troops were preventing supply convoys from reaching Jerusalem. The city was besieged and the Jewish population was forced to adhere to a rationing system. On 31 March a 60 vehicle Jewish convoy was ambushed at Khulda and forced to turn back with the loss of five vehicles and 17 dead.Yishuv leader David Ben-Gurion decided to launch Nachshon in order to open up the city and provide supplies to the Jewish residents. Although initially intended as a one-shot affair, Nachshon later proved to be the first operation in the implementation of Plan Dalet.
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was a Palestinian Arab nationalist and fighter who in late 1933 founded the secret militant group known as the Organization for Holy Struggle, which he and Hasan Salama commanded as the Army of the Holy War during the 1936–39 Arab revolt and during the 1948 war.
Khulda, also Khuldeh, was a Palestinian Arab village located 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) south of Ramla in the Mandatory Palestine. Known as Huldre to the Crusaders, it is also mentioned in documents dating to the periods of Mamluk, Ottoman, and Mandatory rule over Palestine. During the 1948 war, the village was depopulated as part of Operation Nachshon and was subsequently destroyed. The Israeli kibbutz of Mishmar David was established that same year on land belonging to the village.
David Ben-Gurion was the primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel.
The operation was named after the Biblical figure Nachshon Ben Aminadav, who was the first to wade into the Red Sea when the Hebrews escaped from slavery in Egypt. The operation was commanded by Shimon Avidan.
In the Hebrew Bible, Nahshon was a tribal leader of the Judahites during the wilderness wanderings of the Book of Numbers. In the King James Version, the name is spelled Naashon.
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez. The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.
Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.
The first orders were given on 2 April 1948.A telegraph confirming the beginning of the operation, was released on 5 April, with the operation starting that same night. It lasted until 20 April. 1,500 men from the Givati and Harel brigades took control of the road to Jerusalem, allowing three of four convoys to get to the city.
The operation was a military success. All the Arab villages that blocked the route were either taken or destroyed, and the Jewish forces were victorious in all their engagements. Nonetheless, not all the objectives of the operation were achieved, as only 1,800 tonnes of the 3,000 envisaged were transported to the town, and two months of severe rationing had to be assumed.
Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was killed during the night of 7–8 April, in the middle of the battles taking place in Al-Qastal. The loss of the charismatic Palestinian leader 'disrupted the Arab strategy and organisation in the area of Jerusalem.'His successor, Emil Ghuri, changed tactics: instead of provoking a series of ambushes throughout the route, he had a huge road block erected at Bab-el-Oued, and Jerusalem was once again isolated as a consequence.
During Operation Nachshon the Haganah wanted to attack the strategic village of Abu Gosh but this was opposed by the Stern Gang whose local commanders were on good terms with the mukhtar.
Operation Nachshon exposed the poor military organisation of the Palestinian paramilitary groups. Due to lack of logistics, particularly food and ammunition, they were incapable of maintaining engagements that were more than a few hours away from their permanent bases.
Faced with these events, the Arab Higher Committee asked Alan Cunningham to allow the return of the Mufti, the only person capable of redressing the situation. Despite obtaining permission, the Mufti did not get to Jerusalem. His declining prestige cleared the way for the expansion of the influence of the Arab Liberation Army and of Fawzi al-Qawuqji in the Jerusalem area.
Between 15 and 20 April, three convoys, totalling over 700 lorries were able to reach Jewish Jerusalem.The Arabs, however, managed to block the road immediately thereafter. Operation Nachshon was therefore followed by Operation Harel, and immediately thereafter Operation Yevusi. Further operations in the Jerusalem region, Operation Maccabi and Operation Kilshon, took place in May.
|al-Qastal||90||3–9 April||Palestinian irregulars led by al-Qadir||Palmach||First target of the operation due to its commanding position over the road to Jerusalem. Taken on night of 3rd but the attackers retreated the next day. They briefly held the position on 8th and finally took complete control on 9th. All buildings including the mosque were demolished.|
|Dayr Muhaysin||460||6 April||n/a||n/a||Inhabitants ordered to leave and the village completely levelled. Palestinian irregulars launched several counterattacks and on 9 April the British army ordered the Jewish forces out because of the threat to British supply routes.|
|Khulda||280||6 April||no resistance||Haganah Battalion||The attackers were ordered to leave by the British army. Jewish forces bulldozed all the village buildings on 20 April.|
|Saydun||210||6 April||n/a||n/a||Villagers fled.|
|Dayr Yasin||610||9 April||villagers||Irgun, Lehi with Haganah assistance.||Around a sixth of inhabitants killed after village taken.|
|Qalunya||1,260 (including 350 Jews)||11 April||n/a||Palmach||Taken in a night-time attack. The villagers fled on hearing of killings in neighbouring Dayr Yasin. All buildings blown up on 10 & 11 April.|
|Bayt Naqquba||240||11 April||n/a||Palmach, Haganah||Depopulated and levelled shortly after capture. In 1962 the village of Ein Naqquba was recognised; its population consisted mainly of "internal refugees" from Bayt Naqquba.|
|Bayt Thul||260||after 11 April||n/a||n/a||Changed hands several times over following months, finally coming under Israeli control in July.|
|Saris||560||13 April||no opposition.||Haganah, force of 500 men.||Seven villagers, including women, killed in the attack, the rest were expelled. 25–35 buildings destroyed.|
|Khirbat Bayt Far||300||1st half of April||n/a||Haganah||May have been taken in subsequent operations at the end of April.|
|Dayr Ayyub||320||1st half of April||n/a||n/a||Scene of an ambush of a Jewish convoy to Jerusalem on 17 April. Village depopulated and changed hands several times over the summer.|
|Wadi Hunayn||3,380 including 1,760 Jews||17 April||n/a||Givati Brigade||May have been taken and depopulated a few weeks later.|
|Bab el-Wad||11–17 April||n/a||n/a||Several buildings marking beginning of valley leading to Jerusalem. Briefly held on 11th, finally captured on 17th.|
Zionist political violence or refers to acts of violence or terror committed by Zionists.
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, or the First Arab–Israeli War, was fought between the newly declared State of Israel and a military coalition of Arab states over the control of former British Palestine, forming the second and final stage of the 1947–49 Palestine war.
Al-Qastal was a Palestinian village located eight kilometers west of Jerusalem named for a Crusader castle located on the hilltop. Used as a military base by the Army of the Holy War, the village was captured by the Palmach in the lead up to the Arab-Israeli War and depopulated of its residents.
Killings and massacres during the 1948 Palestine war resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and unarmed soldiers.
The Kfar Etzion massacre refers to a massacre of Jews that took place after a two-day battle in which Jewish Kibbutz residents and Haganah militia defended Kfar Etzion from a combined force of the Arab Legion and local Arab men on May 13, 1948, the day before the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Of the 129 Haganah fighters and Jewish kibbutzniks who died during the defence of the settlement, Martin Gilbert states that fifteen were murdered on surrendering.
The Battle of Haifa, called by the Jewish forces Operation Bi'ur Hametz, was a Haganah operation carried out on 21–22 April 1948 and was a major event in the final stages of the civil war in Palestine, leading up to the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The objective of the operation was the capture of the Arab neighborhoods of Haifa.
The Battle for Jerusalem occurred from December 1947 to 18 July 1948, during the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. The Jewish and Arab populations of Mandatory Palestine and later the Israeli and Jordanian armies fought for control of Jerusalem.
The 1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine was the first phase of the 1948 Palestine war. It broke out after the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution on 29 November 1947 recommending the adoption of the Partition Plan for Palestine.
The causes and explanations of the exodus of Palestinian Arabs that arose during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine and the 1948 Arab–Israeli War are a matter of great controversy between historians, journalists and commentators of the Arab–Israeli conflict.
The Semiramis Hotel bombing was a terrorist attack carried out by a Jewish paramilitary group, the Haganah on the Christian owned Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon neighborhood of Jerusalem during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine.
The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Zionist paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi attacked Deir Yassin, a Palestinian Arab village of roughly 600 people near Jerusalem. The assault occurred as Jewish militia sought to relieve the blockade of Jerusalem during the civil war that preceded the end of British rule in Palestine.
The Battles of Latrun were a series of military engagements between the Israel Defense Forces and the Jordanian Arab Legion on the outskirts of Latrun between 25 May and 18 July 1948, during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Latrun takes its name from the monastery close to the junction of two major highways: Jerusalem to Jaffa/Tel Aviv and Gaza to Ramallah. During the British Mandate it became a Palestine Police base with a Tegart fort. The United Nations Resolution 181 placed this area within the proposed Arab state. In May 1948, it was under the control of the Arab Legion. It commanded the only road linking the Yishuv-controlled area of Jerusalem to Israel, giving Latrun strategic importance in the battle for Jerusalem.
The battle of Mishmar HaEmek was a ten-day battle fought from 4 to 15 April 1948 between the Arab Liberation Army commanded by Fawzi al-Qawuqji and the Haganah commanded by Yitzhak Sadeh. The battle begun when al-Qawuqji launched an attack against Mishmar HaEmek with the intent of taking the kibbutz, which was strategically placed beside the main road between Jenin and Haifa. In 1947 it had a population of 550.
The 1948 Palestinian exodus, also known as the Nakba, occurred when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs — about half of prewar Palestine's Arab population — fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Palestine war. Between 400 and 600 Palestinian villages were sacked during the war, while urban Palestine was almost entirely extinguished. The term nakba also refers to the period of war itself and events affecting Palestinians from December 1947 to January 1949.
Events in the year 1948 in the British Mandate of Palestine.
The Army of the Holy War or Holy War Army was a Palestinian Arab irregular force in the 1947-48 Palestinian civil war led by Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni and Hasan Salama. The force has been described as Husayni's "personal" army. The Arab League set up the Arab Salvation Army as a counter to the Army of the Holy War and as part of its plan to contain the Palestinian Arab leadership and to prevent it from exercising independent political or military options, although in practice the Arab governments prevented thousands of volunteers from joining either force.
This article deals with the history and development of tanks of the Israeli Army, from their first use after World War II in the establishment of the State of Israel after the end of the British Mandate, and into the Cold War and what today is considered the modern era.
The 1947–49 Palestine war, known in Hebrew as the War of Independence or the War of Liberation and in Arabic as The Nakba or Catastrophe, refers to the war that occurred in the former Mandatory Palestine during the period between the United Nations vote on the partition plan on November 30, 1947, and the official end of the first Arab–Israeli war on July 20, 1949.
Joseph "Yosefle" Tabenkin was a commander of the Fourth Battalion of the Palmach's Harel Brigade in the years leading up to and during 1948 Palestine war, also known as Israel's "War of Independence."