Timeline of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War

Timeline for the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The fighting associated with the 1948 Arab-Israeli War can be divided into these phases:

Prior to UN Partition (29 Nov 1947)



The start of World War I as Germany invaded Belgium and France; (Segev, 2000). Turkey allied with Germany.



On 2 Nov 1917 Britain published the Balfour Declaration in favour of a Jewish national home in Palestine (Herzog, 1982; Segev, 2000). Publication had been delayed so as not to interfere with Allenby’s campaign in Palestine.


In Mar 1917 the British under Allenby unsuccessfully attacked Gaza from Egypt (Segev, 2000). The Turks forcibly evacuated the residents. A second British attempt on Gaza also failed. In April the Turks forcibly evacuated Jaffa and Tel Aviv. At the end of Oct British troops took Beersheba and, finally, Gaza. Two weeks later they were in Jaffa and Tel Aviv. In late Nov they took Petach Tikva after a see saw battle. On 8 Dec the British marched through Bethlehem in heavy rain and fog. Turkish rule of Palestine came to an end when British troops captured Jerusalem on Sun 9 Dec 1917.



The Germans and Turks failed to recapture Jerusalem, and the British failed to take Amman (Segev, 2000). Later in the year Allenby won the battle of Megiddo.



In the treaty of Versaille the League of Nations agreed that Britain would stay in Palestine (Segev, 2000).


Tel Hai, Galilee

On Mon 1 Mar 1920 several hundred Arabs gathered outside Tel Hai, a Jewish farm in the upper Galilee (Segev, 2000). They accused the Jews of sheltering French soldiers and demanded to search the farm. The Jews did not oppose the Arab’s request, however, one of them fired a shot to attract the attention of the settlers at Kfar Giladi 2 km away. 10 men, under Yosef Trumpeldor, set out from Kfar Giladi to discover what was happening. Once at Tel Hai Trumpeldor took over, and somehow shooting broke out. Trumpeldor and five other Jews were killed (including two women), along with five Arabs. The Jews subsequently evacuated both Tel Hai and Kfar Giladi.


On 8 Mar 1920 Emir Faisal named King of Syria (Lunt, 1999). But on 24 Jul 1920 invading French forces defeated King Faisal’s Syrians at Maysalum. Faisal fled the country.


On 4 Apr 1920, during the week where unusually Jews were in Jerusalem for Passover, Christians for Easter, and Muslims for the Nebi Musa procession, rioting broke out (Segev, 2000). Over the next few days Arabs beat, killed and raped Jews, and looted their houses. Some Jews tried to organise community self-protection, but the British arrested at least 20, including Ze’ev Jabotinsky, for possession of arms. The final tally was 5 Jews dead, 216 wounded (18 critically), 4 Arabs dead (at least one accidentally in a crossfire), 23 wounded (1 critically), and 7 soldiers wounded.



On Sun 31 Apr 1921 the Palestinian Arabs rioted again (Segev, 2000). Jews were beaten, raped and killed, and Jewish houses looted. The next morning armed servicemen from the Jewish Legion took their revenge in Jaffa. Rioting continued for several days. This time the tally was 47 Jews and 48 Arabs killed, and 146 Jews and 73 Arabs wounded..


In Apr 1921 Emir Adbullah ibn Hussein formed his first government in Transjordan (Lunt, 1999). In Dec 1921 Peake Pasha took over the Reserve Mobile Force in Amman.


League of Nations

On 22 Jul 1922 the League of Nations confirmed the British Mandate for Palestine, including Transjordan (Lunt, 1999). At about this time Britain also got the Mandate for Iraq. France, in turn, was given a Mandate for Syria (excluding Transjordan and Lebanon).


Arab riots broke out in Palestine (Herzog, 1982).



On 25 May 1923 Transjordan became an independent state under British tutelage (Lunt, 1999). The new state included 80% of the land area of the Palestine Mandate (Herzog, 1982). Late in the year the Reserve Mobile Force was merged with the Police to become the Arab Legion.



On 28 Feb 1928 the first Anglo-Jordanian treaty was signed (Lunt, 1999).



Arab riots broke out in Palestine (Herzog, 1982).



On 30 Jun 1930 the British Mandate of Iraq expired with a new Anglo-Iraqi treaty (Lunt, 1999)


In Dec 1930 Glubb Pasha arrived in Amman as second in command of the Arab Legion (Lunt, 1999).



Arab riots broke out in Palestine (Herzog, 1982).

The British decided they need Jewish help to defend Jewish lives and property and established a Jewish Police Force, called Notrim in Hebrew, which is the masculine form of “Guards” (Katz, 1988b). The Jewish Police and Haganah were closely interrelated, and the Haganah forged the Jewish Settlement Police into a type of elite unit (they were called Nodedot in Hebrew).

The Jews started building stockade and tower settlement (Katz, 1988b).

Captain Orde Wingate was posted to Palestine (Katz, 1988b). He formed a joint British-Jewish unit to protect the pipeline of the Iraqi Petroleum Company – the Special Night Squads. The men came from the Notrim.



The Haganah established the elite FO’SH (Plugot Sadeh, or Field Companies) (Katz, 1988b). Amongst other things the FO’SH conducted raids on Arab villages.



Distrusting Wingate, the British authorities transferred him and disbanded the Special Night Squads (Katz, 1988b). (They were still operating in Sep, as I’ve got a photo of a patrol from then.)



On 17 May 1939 the British published a White Paper halting Jewish immigration to Palestine (Katz, 1988b).


The Haganah disbanded FO’SH (Katz, 1988b).



In May 1941 the Haganah created a full time military force called the Palmach (‘Plugot Mahatz’ or Strike Companies) (Katz, 1988b; Herzog, 1982).



A new Anglo-Jordanian treaty was signed on 22 Mar 1946 (Lunt, 1999). Transjordan was renamed Jordan, and became independent (presumably of British tutelage). And Emir Adbullah promoted himself to King.


On the night of 17-18 Jun 1946 the Palmach attacked all 11 of the heavily defended bridges leading into Palestine and managed to destroy 10 of them (Katz, 1988b).

On 10 Oct 1946 250 Palmachniks freed scores of prisoners from the detention camp at Atlit (Katz, 1988b).


Regional Commands

In mid-1947 the Haganah began setting up military districts, each with a brigade (Herzog, 1982):

  • Golani in the Jordan valley and eastern Galilee.
  • Carmeli in Haifa and the western Galilee.
  • Givati in the southern lowlands.
  • Alexandroni in the Sharon.
  • Etzioni in Jerusalem.
  • Kiryati in Tel Aviv.

On 18 Feb 1947 with 100,000 troops failing to keep peace in Palestine, the British parliament voted to hand the Palestine problem back to the UN.

29 Nov 1947: UN Partition Plan

The UN General Assembly voted for partition in Palestine (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Sharon & Chanoff, 2001).

Civil War to Independence (14 May 1948)

Nov 1947 – May 1948: Plan D

Plan D was the Haganah’s plan involved securing all areas allocated to the Jews by the UN Partition Resolution, plus areas of Jewish settlement outside those areas (Herzog, 1982). It was devised before the partition plan was approved in Nov 1947, revised in Dec 1947, and again on 10 Mar 1948 (Plan D). Effectively the aim was to control the routes any Arab armies were likely to take. A key part of the strategy was to take over areas as the British withdrew from them. Operation Nachshon (Apr 1948) was part of Plan D, and it was as part of Plan D that the Jews took over Safed (16 Apr – 10 May) and Tiberias (18-19 Apr) (Kurzman, 1970), and the police fortresses at Zemach and Gesher, Beit Shean in the Jordan valley, and several villages in the mounts of lower Galilee.

Dec 1947 – May 1948: War of the Roads

Following the announcement of the UN Partitiion Plan (29 Nov) the Civil War between Arabs and Jews flared up (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Mufti’s commander in Palestine, Abdel Kader el-Husseini (aka Abu Musa), adopted a policy of blocking the supply routes to outlying Jewish settlements. The Jews needed to get supplies to their outposts and the Arabs were trying to stop this. The most significant route was that to Jerusalem where the 100,000 Jews of the Holy city were dependent on the supplies trucked in from Tel-Aviv. This was also a very dangerous route as the 25 km from Bab el Wad to Jerusalem took 3 hours and many Arab villages overlooked the road. However, little villages and kibbutz all over the country also needed convoys on a regular basis. This situation led to a guerilla war fought on the roads of Palestine. Standard Arab practice was to position a large body of Army of Salvation men near a major roadblock. A second, smaller, group of gunmen waited down the road. Once the Jewish convoy had passed the smaller Arab group, they would rapidly erect a roadblock blocking the escape route. While Abdel Kader’s men manned the roadblocks, the sound of fighting would draw all the local tribesmen to help destroy the convoy. With time the Arabs refined their tactics and began mining the roadblocks and the shoulders of the road to make it difficult for the Jewish vehicles to extricate themselves.

30 Nov 1947 – 14 May 1948: Etzion Bloc

The Etzion Bloc comprised four religious Jewish villages 15 km south of Jerusalem (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). The settlements were isolated and dependent on convoys from Jerusalem. Within two weeks of the partition vote (29 Nov 1947) the first of these convoys was destroyed. For nearly six months the settlers held out before being crushed by the Arab Legion, supported by irregulars. The defenders of Kfar Etzion – the largest settlement – were massacred by Arab irregulars after their surrender.

30 Nov 1947

Petach Tikva

Arabs attacked a Jewish bus on the Petach Tikva-Lod road, killing five passengers (Herzog, 1982).

?? Dec 1947


Also sometime in December Abdel Kaderel-Husseini conducted his first organised action in Jerusalem (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). At night and in heavy rain Abdel Kader and 120 of his Army of Salvation shot up a house containing some Haganah men. The attack lasted only 15 minutes before it was broken up by the British. There was only one casualty – one of Abdel Kader’s men was bitten by a snake.

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

Within two weeks of the partition vote the Arabs ambushed a convoy to the Etzion Bloc (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The attack happened outside Bethlehem. All of the vehicles were lost and 10 of the 26 passengers killed.

6 Dec 1947


The United States (or possibly the United Nations) commenced an arms embargo to the middle east (Kurzman, 1970). This primarily hit the Jews as most of the Arab states had arms agreements with Britain.

12 Dec 1947

Haganah Mobilised

The Haganah were permanently mobilised(Sharon & Chanoff, 2001). Haganah tactics revolved around combating the Mufti’s gunmen, and intimidating Arabs residents of strategic suburbs and villages (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The standard tactic was to feint an attack on an Arab held village, to draw out the Mufti’s men, as a second group attacked from rear. They would blow up some houses, kill some people, then withdraw.

13 Dec 1947

Jerusalem (Damascus Gate bombing)

Irgun militants threw two bombs into a mass of Arab shoppers at Damascus Gate, killing six and wounding 40 (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

15 Dec 1947


The Arabs blew up the water pipes supplying Jerusalem (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The British subsequently repaired the pipes and the Jews implement contingency plans should it happen again.

Old City, Jerusalem

By mid-December the Haganah had also sneaked 120 men in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

18 Dec 1947

Somewhere ??

A Palmach unit, undertaking its first combat operation, attacked an Arab village (Kurzman, 1970). Although they killed ten Arabs and wounded five, the attack largely failed.

Late Dec 1947

Sheikh Badhur, Jerusalem Sector

Haganah attacks forces the Arab residents of Sheikh Badhur near Jerusalem to abandon their homes (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Tue 30 Dec 1947

Haifa, Northern Sector

Irgunists threw bombs from a speeding car into a crowd of several hundred Arabs standing outside the main gate of the Haifa oil refinery in the hope of finding employment as day laborers; six people were killed and forty-two wounded (Lockman, 1996). Survivors surged into the refinery compound and, along with some of the Arab refinery workers, attacked the Jewish refinery workers. In the hour it took for the British soldiers and police to arrive, forty-one Jews had been killed and forty-nine wounded.

Wed 31 Dec 1947

Old City, Jerusalem

The Arabs cut the bus route into the Jewish Quarter by erecting a road block at Jaffa Gate (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Jewish Quarter was under siege. Over the coming weeks the Jews smuggled all the men and supplies through to the Jewish Quarter in British convoys . By May the Jewish Quarter was defended by 150 men and women of the Haganah, and about 50 members of the Irgun and the Stern Gang. Between them they had three machine guns, a 2″ mortar, 42 sub-machine guns, three grenade launchers, and miscellaneous rifles and pistols.

Katamon, Jerusalem

As part of an escalating conflict in strategically located Katamon, the Haganah blew up eight abandoned buildings on the fringe of the Jerusalem suburb (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Balad al-Shaykh, Haifa, Northern Sector

In retaliation for the previous day’s massacre at the Haifa Oil refinery, The Palmach attacked the villages of Balad al-Shaykh and nearby Hawasa (Lockman, 1996). Balad al-Shaykh was not far from Haifa and a number of Arab refinery workers lived. The Jewish attackers killed 12-60 men, women, and children and destroyed several dozen houses (Lockman says 60 but Matthew Hogan and Ami Isseroff believe it was more likely 12).

?? Jan 1948

Romena, Jerusalem

Sometime in Jan, the Arab residents of Romena evacuated and Jewish civilians moved in (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Arabs had been the victims of several Irgun bombings, and the entire Arab population chose to leave.

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

Sometime in Jan 1948 the British evacuated the women and children from the Etzion Bloc (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

4 Jan 1948

Katamon, Jerusalem (Hotel Semiramis Bombing)

A Haganah demolitions team (four sappers supported by 10 riflemen) demolished the Semiramis Hotel in Katamon (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Haganah mistakenly believed it was a headquarters for the Arabs in the quarter. 26 people died including a Spanish diplomat.

7 Jan 1948

Old City, Jerusalem (Jaffa Gate bombing)

The Irgun rolled a bomb into the Arab crowd at the Jaffa Gate Stop of the No. 3 Bus (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). There were 17 dead. The four Irgunist were in an armoured car stolen from the British. Shortly after the bombing they crashed their car, and three were killed trying to escape. The remaining Irgunist was wounded and captured, although he was later busted out by his peers.

9 Jan 1948

Dan and Kfar Szold

200 Arab volunteers – from the 1st ‘Yarmuk’ battalion of the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) – crossed the Syria-Palestine border to attack the Jewish settlements of Dan and Kfar Szold in the upper Galilee (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The British sent a troop of armoured cars to support each kibbutz, and in a short but intense fight the Arabs were driven off.


The same day the first foreign Arab troops crossed the Jordan River over the Allenby Bridge from Jordan to Palestine (Kurzman, 1970). The British let them through.

11 Jan 1948

Deir Yassin, Jerusalem Sector

On the night of 11 Jan an Arab gang tried to set up a base in the village mill (Levi, 1986). The people of Deir Yassin violently opposed them and the son of the miller was killed. The inhabitants called the police and the gang abandoned their efforts.

12 Jan 1948

Britain confirmed its alliances, and associated promises of military aid, with Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan (Kurzman, 1970). Subsequently Iraqis rioted in Baghdad against this alliance, and the Anglo-Iraqi agreement was cancelled.

14 Jan 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

In Jan 1948 the 1,000 Arab irregulars under Abdel Kader el-Husseini (so possibly some were from the mufti’s Army of Salvation)attempted to crush the Jewish Etzion Bloc (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The defenders were the settlers themselves (280 men and women) and a reserve company of the Palmach. The Arab main force (300 men) attacked Kfar Etzion – the largest of the four villages – whilst diversionary attacks were made on Massuot Yitzhak and Ein Zurim. The main attack was stopped in its tracks by close range fire from the settlers. Meanwhile the diversionary attack force heading for Ein Zurim walked into an ambush prepared by the Palmach company and suffered heavy casualties. The Arab force subsequently withdrew. They left 150 dead, although the Jews only had 30 uninjured by the end the battle.

15-16 Jan 1948: The Thirty-Five

35 Jewish reinforcements for the Eztion Bloc were discovered as they tried to walk to the settlement (Kurzman, 1970). All died when thousands of local villagers swarmed to stop them.

15 Jan 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector (“The Thirty-Five”)

On the evening of 15 Jan 40 heavily loaded Jewish reinforcements, under Dani Mass, set off from Jerusalem on their way to the Etzion Bloc (Kurzman, 1970). They arrived at Hartuv at 2130 hours, and then pushed on despite advice to postpone their journey until the next day. Two unarmed men were left behind, and short afterwards a third sprained his ankle and was sent back in the company of two others. The remaining 35 hurried on.

16 Jan 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector (“The Thirty-Five”)

At dawn on 16 Jan, the 35 were spotted near the Arab village of Surif about 8 km west of the Hebron-Jerusalem road (Kurzman, 1970). Quickly surrounded by thousands of Arab irregulars under Ibrahim Abu Daya, the 35 took what cover they could near a cave. By 1500 hours the Arabs could see only eight Jews continuing the fight. At sundown the three remaining defenders killed themselves with a grenade. There were no survivors.

21 Jan 1948

20 Syrian trucks carrying 700 men of the ALA under Safr Bek crossed the border into Palestine (Kurzman, 1970).

25 Jan 1948

Fawzi el-Kaukjii – commander of the ALA – crossed into Palestine in disguise (Kurzman, 1970).

27 Jan 1948

Deir Yassin, Jerusalem Sector

On 27 Jan a force belonging to Abdel Khader tried to enter the village (Levi, 1986). Again the village people resisted the outsiders with force and the gang left in the direction of Beth Jallah.

Late Jan or Feb 1948

Bir Addas, Central Sector

A battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade attacked Iraqi ALA and Arab irregulars in Bir Addas (Sharon & Chanoff, 2001). The Jewish column left Magdiel, near Hod Hasharon, at night in heavy rain. They marched for an hour, first east then north, to reach the Arab village. The Jews attacked from the rear of the village under cover of machine gun fire. They reached the Arab trenches, but Iraqi fire stalled the attack and prevented the Jews reaching their primary objective – a big stone house. With casualties mounting the Jews retreated. Although the attack failed, the ALA withdrew from the village the next day.

[Herzog, 1982, says the first Jewish operations above company level was Operation Nachshon which commenced 5 Apr, so it is probable only a company of the Alexandroni Brigade was present at Bir Addas. This would certainly be more in keeping with the raiding nature of the war at that time.]

Early Feb 1948

Jaffa, Central Sector

Sheikh Hassan Salameh, a follower of the Mufti, was the Arab commander of the Jaga-Ramle-Lydda district including Jaffa (Kurzman, 1970). Salameh had, in turn, divided Jaffa into three districts: one under Abdel Bari. In early Feb the Iraqi Major Abdul Wahab al-Shaykh led 80 ALA soldiers into Jaffa.

By this time the Haganah regional brigades were fully operation and the independent Palmach battalions were starting to be consolidated into brigades as well (Herzog, 1982):

  • Negev in the southern lowlands and the northern Negev.
  • Yiftach in Galilee.
  • Harel in Jerusalem.

1 Feb 1948

Palestinian Post, New City, Jerusalem

Just after 2200 hours Adbel Kader’s men, including two British deserters, blew up the building the Palestinian Post (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Despite 1 dead and 20 wounded, the newspaper still managed to put out an edition by 0600 hours on 2 Feb.

4 Feb 1948

Tiberias, Galilee

Mistaking them for Jews, an ALA unit ambushed a force of Irish Guards near Tiberias (Kurzman, 1970). The Irish drove off the attackers and captured a few.

14 Feb 1948


A Haganah force under Moshe Kelman raided Sasa, a village deep in Arab held territory near Lebanon (Kurzman, 1970). The Jews blew up 35 houses and killed 60 Arabs before retreating via a swamp.

16 Feb 1948

Tirat Tzvi

The 1st “Yarmuk” Battalion (under Mohammed Safa) of the ALA attacked Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi in the Beisan valley at dawn on 16 Feb (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Jewish defenders were fore-warned and sent a mobile force in a wide encircling movement. The Arab crept forward in the rain swept fields. When the Arab attack went in the Jewish mobile force hit them in the flank causing them to retreat leaving may dead and a large amount of equipment (Herzog says 60 Arab dead and Kurzman says 40). Meanwhile the British at Beisan a few km to the north sent a platoon, including 3″ mortars and machine guns, to help the defenders. The British officer, Major R. Steele, marched into the Arab headquarters at As Samariya and demanded the they withdraw. The Syrian commander agreed under the condition the British pretended to attack his forces; which they did. Only one Jew was killed during the fighting.

Sun 22 Feb 1948

Ben Yehuda Street, New City, Jerusalem

About 0630 hours Abdel Kader’s men, again with the two British deserters, blew up three British truck loaded with explosives in Ben Yehuda street(Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). 46 people died (Kurzman; Collins & Lapierre say 54) and 130 were wounded. Because of the British connection, the Irgun started shooting British soldiers on sight. By 1200 hours the British had lost 12 men and ordered all of their troops out of the Jewish part of Jerusalem.

Jaffa, Central Sector

Having fallen out with the Mufti’s man in Jaffa, Sheikh Hassan Salameh, Major Abdul Wahab al-Shaykh was recalled and replaced by another Iraqi, Captain Abdel Najim al-Din (Kurzman, 1970). Although he had more men – the original 80 ALA men plus an further 150 – Najim also quickly fell out with Salameh.

?? Feb 1948

Netiva Ben-Yehuda

A Palmach force ambushed a busload of ALA men coming from Lebanon (Kurzman, 1970). In steady rain the Jews set up: explosives on a hairpin bend, riflemen in fields on the outside of the U, and the Jewish demolitions expert, a girl called Netiva Ben-Yehuda, alone on the inside of the U with the detonator. By the time the bus arrived at the hair pin, the rain had dampened the explosives and they didn’t go off. None-the-less a Palmachnic stopped the bus by shooting the driver. The occupants flooded out on the side of the bus facing Netiva, who proceeded to shoot the 16 that rushed her. In total 30 Arabs were killed in the 7 minutes of the action (Netiva Ben-Yehuda biography). Netiva subsequently became known as the “Blond Devil”.

[Netiva Ben-Yehuda is the grand-daughter of Eliezer Ben Yehuda who was the founder of modern Hebrew. She still has a late night radio program in Israel.]

Mar 1948


Mar 1948 was the coldest month the residents of Jerusalem could recall(Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

?? Mar 1948

Schneller Compound, Jerusalem

Forewarned by the British Major, the Jews took over the Schneller Compound as the British drove away(Collins & Lapierre, 1972). 15 minutes later the new owners repulsed an Arab attack.

Montefiore, Jerusalem

An Arab bomb destroyed 30 houses and injured 15 residents in the Jewish suburb of Montefiore (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Casualties were low because the Haganah had earlier evacuated residents from the most exposed houses.

Sat 6 Mar 1948

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

At 0000 hours Fawzi el-Kaukji openly crossed the Allenby bridge with 25 trucks and 500 men of the ALA (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). By this time the ALA had amassed 4,000 men in the Triangle.

Note: The political repercussions described in Collins and Lapierre (1972) match those given in Kurzman (1970) for the similar events he gives as occurring on 21 and 25 Jan. I’m not sure if they are in fact the same events, although Collins and Lapierre do mention infiltrations going back two months, it is is possible this is just the culminating event.

12 Mar 1948

Jerusalem (“Jewish Agency Bombing”)

A man of Abdel Kader’s drove a car from the American Consulate into the compound of Jewish Agency and blew it up(Kurzman, 1970). The explosion killed 14 people and wounded 40 others.

Mid Mar 1948

Haifa, Northern Sector

The first Arab military commander of Haifa, a former Arab Legionnaire called Mohammed Hamad al-Huneiti, led an arms convoy from Lebanon (Kurzman, 1970). The Jews ambushed the convoy, killed Huneiti and destroyed the convoy. In fact due to good intelligence the Jews successfully intercepted 9 of the 11 Arab convoys sent to Haifa.

27-28 Mar 1948: Nebi Daniel

A massive Jewish convoy was ambushed at Nebi Daniel when returning from the Etzion Bloc (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Although relatively few Jews were killed, they lost the majority of vehicles and weapons available to the Jerusalem command.

Sat 27 Mar 1948

Nebi Daniel, Jerusalem-Hebron Road

At 0930 hours on 27 Mar a massive Jewish convoy reached Kfar Etzion after an easy 90 minute drive (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). The convoy had about 200 soldiers and drivers, including 100 soldiers from the 6th Palmach Battalion. It also had the best best weapons and vehicles Jerusalem could offer including a Roadbuster, a crane, 19 armoured cars, 44 armoured tracks and buses, 18 machine guns, two mortars, 47 rifles, and 45 sub-machine guns. Aside from the much needed supplies, 136 men stayed in Etzion Bloc as a relief force. At 1130 hours the convoy began to retrace its steps with a scout car and a roadblock buster in front. After the convoy crashed through three roadblocks one of the trucks at the rear over turned and Arabs irregulars on the surrounding slops opened up. An armoured car rescued the driver of the overturned vehicle and the convoy pushed past three more roadblocks. The roadbuster, however, slipped into a ditch when trying to demolish the 7th and largest roadblock. Five armoured cars – with 35 men – managed to turn around and turn to the Etzion Bloc, however, most were trapped on the road. Most of the Jews retreated to a building – Nebi Daniel – near the road. The Arabs surrounded the Jews and laid down a heavy fire from only 170 m away. At 1830 hours the Arabs set the pinned roadbuster on fire with molotov cocktails; three crewmen made it to safety but the rest died in the vehicle. Overnight the Arab crept closer to Jewish trucks parked around Nebi Daniel.

Sun 28 Mar 1948 (Easter Sunday)

Nebi Daniel, Jerusalem-Hebron Road

Just after 0000 hours men under Sheikh Hamoud of Hebron rushed Nebi Daniel with a large mine; Jewish hand grenades stopped them 70 m from their goal (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Despite being plagued by heat, thirst, hunger, smoke, and wounds, both sides fought on. At 1000 hours the Arabs advanced under a smoke screen, but the attack was interrupted by the arrival of the British. The latter evacuated the surviving members of the convoy, but they had to leave all of their vehicles, weapons, and equipment. 135 Arabs and 12 Jews died during the fighting (Kurzman, 1970).

Late Mar 1948

Nahariya, Northern Sector

Arabs ambushed a Jewish convoy headed from Nhariya to Yechiam (Kurzman, 1970). All 46 Jews were killed.

30 Mar 1948

Deir Yassin, Jerusalem Sector

On 30 Mar 40-150 Arab fighters, mostly Iraqi and Syrian, asked to enter the Arab village of Deir Yassin (Kurzman, 1970, says 40 fighters; Levi, 1986, says 150). The Arab command pressured the villagers to agree to the presence of the troops, but the elders refused.

31 Mar 1948

Jerusalem Corridor

In the early morning 40 laden trucks headed from Tel Aviv up the mountain road to Jerusalem (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). 300 of Abdel Kader’s men, under Haroun Ben-Jazzi, waited for them at a massive roadblock. The roadblock was mined, and two Vickers machine guns were positions to fire onto the barricade. The Jewish blockbuster hit a mine when it hit the roadblock and was thrown into a ditch; this was the signal for the Arabs to rush the trucks. A second truck also hit a mine, thus eliminating any chance of moving forward. At the firefight continued half a dozen trucks fell into the road side gully trying to turn around. Arab irregulars swarmed to the scene to take part in the kill. After six hours the convoy was ordered to retreat They left behind two armoured cars, 16 trucks, and the convoy commander’s Hillman. With the road sealed, Jerusalem was under siege.

1 Apr – 20 Apr 1948: Operation Nachshon

Operation Nachshon was the Jewish attempt to open the Tel Aviv- Jerusalem road (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The plan was to gain control of the hilltop Arab villages, hence to control the road. Earlier Jewish operations had involved at most a company; this time they skipped right over battalion level operations and went straight to brigade. Nachshon was also unusual because it was the first time Jewish forces had tried to take and hold territory, as opposed to conducting a raid. The Operation started on 5 Apr, but was preceded by the attack on Kastel on 1 Apr. Initially successful, it finally failed when the Arabs took the heights above Bab el-Wad on 20 Apr.

?? Apr 1948


Sometime in April the Arab League named King Abdullah of Jordan as the Commander in Chief of the Arab armies preparing to invade Palestine (Herzog, 1982). Not that it made any difference to the individual plans of the various Arab nations and their armies.

Ramle, Central Sector

In preparation for Operation Nachshon a Haganah unit blew up Hassan Samameh’s headquarters near Ramle (Herzog, 1982). With key personnel dead, this limited the operations of the Army of Salvation in the coastal plain.

Thu 1 Apr 1948

Beit Daras, Southern Sector

At 2000 hours on 1 Apr Jewish troops ceased the abandoned RAF camp at Beit Daras (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982). Within two hours they repaired the airstrip thus allowing a DC4 containing Czech weapons to land (Herzog says 200 rifles and 40 machine guns; Collins & Lapierre mentiononly 120 machine guns).

3-9 Apr 1948: Kastel

The hill, village and Roman ruin of Kastel dominates Tel Aviv- Jerusalem road (Kurzman, 1970). For a week Jewish and Arab forces fought over this key position with the Jew taking final possession.

Note: I’m pretty sure about the order of events in Kastel’s finale, but I’m less sure of the start point. Collins and Lapierre (1972) say Abdel Kader started his attack at 2200 hours on 7 Apr, which would mean he died on the morning of 8 Apr, and Bahjat Abu Gharbieh left Kastel on the morning of 9 Apr. In contrast, Kurzman (1970) says Abdel Kader returned to Jerusalem on 6 Apr, and reached Kastel that night, which would mean he died on 7 Apr. Kurzman then says Bahjat Abu Gharbieh abandoned Kastel on 10 Apr, i.e. 3 days later. This 3 day gap poses some problems, as does the fact Kurzman also gives the date for the Deir Yassin attack as 10 Apr, i.e. one day too late. Kurzman correctly puts the the Deir Yassin attack in the same time frame as Bahjat Abu Gharbieh final evacuation of Kastel, but both are one day too late in his Timeline. All of which means I follow Collins and Lapierre

Sat 3 Apr 1948

Some port or other

A ship arrived containing Czech weapons for the Haganah (Herzog, 1982).

Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

Kastel the first Arab village to fall to the Jews (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). At 0330 hours on 3 Apr 100 -180 men from the Palmach Harel Brigade under Uzi Narkis attacked Kastel from the east. They surprised the inhabitants – only about 50 were armed – and within an hour had taken the village. Shortly after 12000 hours the Palmach were replaced by 35 – 70 men under Mordchai Gazit from the Etzioni Brigade. Gazit fortified the village, then began to attack the surrounding Arab-held heights. At sundown the Arabs counter-attacked in strength. Kamal Irekat’s 400 irregulars initially drove the Jews out of their trenches in the Tzuba rock quarry back to the quarry buildings, but made no further progress overnight.

Latrun, Tel Jerusalem Corridor

On 3 Apr the Givati Brigade under Shimon Avidan attacked the Latrun foothills from the west (Kurzman, 1970; not sure about this, need to check ??).

4-14 Apr 1948: Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

For eleven days the ALA tried to take Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek (Kurzman, 1970). Fierce battles in the surrounding hills finally forced Fawzi el-Kaukjii to retreat.

Sun 4 Apr 1948

Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

Overnight Irekat’s irregulars were unable to evict the Jews from the buildings of Tzuba rock quarry (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Dawn brought reinforcements under Ibrahim Abu Daya – probably 100 men – and a wild rush drove the Jews back to Kastel where they found themselves under siege. The attackers were also exhausted but were supplied by locals with food, water and ammunition. With mule loads of ammunition arriving at sundown, the Arabs pushed their attack into the village.

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

After two weeks of planning Fawzi el-Kaukjii’s ALA attacked Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek on the Jenin-Haifa road on 4 Apr (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). Fawzi el-Kaukjii had 1,000 fighters (the Kadisia Battalion, and units from the 1st Yarmuk Battaion and the Hittin Battlaion), a dozen 3″ mortars, several armoured cars, and artillery (seven 75mm and three 105mm) (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The defenders were 300 men, women and children with 50 rifles, two light machine guns, a heavy machine gun, two 2″ mortars and a 3″ mortar; they had no anti-tank weapons, not even molotov cocktails. They were, however, dug in with trenches, strong points, and wire. At 1700 hours the Arab artillery opened up in the the first artillery barrage of the war. The barrage stopped at 1900 hours after the Arabs had expended 1,000 shells and flattened most of the Kibbutz buildings. The Jews easily repulsed the subsequent Arab infantry attack. A local Jewish telephone operator managed to intercept calls made by Kaukjii and raised the alarm with the Haganah.

Mon 5 Apr 1948

Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

Shortly after 0000 hours Irekat was wounded and evacuated (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). As a result his men started to wander off, and by dawn only 100 of the 500 tribesmen remained.

Bab el Wad, Jerusalem Corridor

At 2100 hours on 5 Apr three battalions of Jewish troops – 1,500 men – moved into the heights above the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982). An abandoned British Army base and two Arab villages (Arab Hulda and Deir Muheisin near Latrun) fell easily, but they were repulsed by the villagers in Saris and Beit Mahsir. The Jews compensated by occupying the ground between those villages and the road. By 0000 hours the road was secure.

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

At 0300 hours on 5 Apr the first of the Haganah reinforcements – a company from the Golani Brigade – slipped into the kibbutz (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). Unbeknown to them they had been spotted by the Arabs, but were allowed to enter as Kaukjii wanted to trap them all. The ALA shelled the settlement but didn’t put in an assault. That night more Jewish reinforcements arrived.

Tue 6 Apr 1948


With the road in Jewish hands, a convoy wound its way to Jerusalem in the dark of the early morning (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982). After 10 hour drive they rolled into Jerusalem. Herzog says the convoy contained 60 trucks but Collins & Lapierre suggest 600!

Subsequent convoys made it up the road over the succeeding days, with the last reaching Jerusalem on the 20 Apr (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982). Once again Herzog and Collins & Lapierre differ; the former says five convoys reach Jerusalem in this period, but the latter say three. Aside from much needed supplied, these convoys brought up the Harel Brigade to help defend the capital.

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

There was little activity on the 5-6 Apr as officers of the nearby 3rd Hussar Regiment organised a cease fire with the Arabs (Kurzman, 1970).

Wed 7 Apr 1948

Deir Yassin, Jerusalem Sector

On the 7th of April, two days before Deir Yassin was attacked by Etzel and Lehi, the Haganah Intelligence Service announced that three days previously there had been a meeting

(Levi, 1986)


Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

On 6 Apr Abdel Kader el-Husseini – the Mufti’s commander in the Jerusalem area – collected 150 men and equipment and headed for Kastel (Kurzman, 1970). He arrived about 2200 hours and set up his headquarters in a village 3 km from Kastel (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

During the night of 7/8 Apr an Arab force crossed the road east of Kastel and ensconced themselves in the Jewish settlement of Motza (Herzog, 1982).

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

On 7 Apr the British brokered another cease fire to allow the women and children to be evacuated from Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek (Kurzman, 1970).


Lieutenant Colonel Ahmed Abd el-Aziz, commander of Egyptian volunteer force infiltrated the Negev to collect information (Kurzman, 1970).

Thu 8 Apr 1948

Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

At about 0000 hours on the morning of 8 Apr 300 men under Adb el-Kader attacked Kastel (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Adb el-Kader also had four mortars manned by British deserters. Ibrahim Abu Daya led the majority in a frontal assault, while two smaller groups were posted on the flanks. Under artillery and mortar fire, and pressed by the irregulars, the Jews began to retreat. By 2300 hours the Arabs were within 100 m of the Mukhtar’s house in the centre of the village. Arab sappers failed in an attempt to blow up this house, but the Arabs pressed their attack throughout the night. Fierce fighting left the defenders with only 60 effectives by 0530 hours, however, in the confusion they had managed to kill Abdel Kader without anybody realising it. At 0730 hours Uzi Narkis arrived with three armoured trucks and 60,000 rounds of ammunition, and Abu Daya withdrew his men. Some hours later, however, they were back with friends; 2,000 Arab villagers had come looking for the missing Adb el-Kader and closed around Kastel for the kill. By mid-morning Gazit’s men were being attacked from three sides. Later the Arab’s took the Muktar’s house. At 1345 hours three Palmach men crawled into the village – the only reinforcements that could get through the encirclement. With the pressure too great, and inadequate reinforcements, the Jews made a run for it; many being shot as they ran down the hill. The remainder of the Palmach unit, who had waited down hill, covered their retreat. When the Palmachniks retreated themselves their commanders formed the rearguard; 10 of the 11 were killed ( one squad commander survived). Once the Arabs had control of the summit they discovered Abdel Kader’s body, and becoming discouraged the majority abandoned the village. Only Bahjat Abu Gharbieh and 40- 50 men remained to defend Kastel. The surviving Jews made their way to Harel Brigade Headquarters at nearby Kiryat Anavim.

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

The cease fire was extended again on 8 Apr, which allowed a large number of Jewish reinforcements to arrive that night (Kurzman, 1970). For some days Jewish – both Palmach and Haganah – and Arab forces fought a see-saw battle over the surrounding hills and villages.

Fri 9 Apr 1948

Kastel, Jerusalem Corridor

Having earlier rejected an appeal from Abdel Kader, Kaukjii sent sent some 75 mm guns and 75 men to aid the attack on Kastel (Kurzman, 1970). The guns were effective in bombarding the Jewish positions near Kastel on the night of 8/9 Apr, but the men stalled at Ein Karem to watch events.

Shortly after 0000 hours on 9 Apr an exhausted Palmach company was sent up the hill with mortar support (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Bahjat Abu Gharbieh saw them coming and abandoned the village. .

Subsequently the Jews took the Arab villages of Kolonyah, Bab el-Wad, Beit Mahsir and Saris, and ousted the Arabs from their outpost in the Jewish settlement of Motza (Kurzman, 1970).

Deir Yassin, Jerusalem Sector (“Operation Unity”)

Deir Yassin was a “friendly” Arab village of 1,000 inhabitants located on a hill between Kastel to the west and Jewish Jerusalem to the east (Kurzman, 1970). Ein Karim to the southwest was its only Arab neighbour. At 0430 hours the Irgun and Stern Group attacked the village. Two platoons of Irgun under Mordechai Raanan attacked from the east and south, whilst the Sternist platoon under David Gottlieb attacked from the north – 132 men in total. The first shots were from Arab sentries in a pillbox on the east. An loudspeaker equipped armoured car with the Sternists was meant to warn the inhabitants to evacuate, however, the vehicle arrived after the Irgun went into action and soon became immobilised in a tank trap anyway. Caught in a house to house fight the Jews weren’t expecting they resorted to grenades and stens to clear houses; houses containing not only Arab fighters, but women and children as well. In view of their own mounting casualties the Jews then turned to explosives to clear houses – resulting in even more civilian casualties. By mid afternoon the fighting was over. There is considerable evidence that the Jewish fighters committed atrocities. The Jews suffered 40% casualties and the Arabs lost somewhere between 110 and 250 men, women and children.

[Note: Kurzman (1970) incorrectly gives the date as 10 Apr, however, the attack actually occurred on 9 Apr.]

10 Apr – May 1948: Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

The Moslem Brotherhood were repulsed by the religious defenders of Kibbutz Kfar Darom near Gaza, and settled down for a siege (Kurzman, 1970). Egyptian regulars took over from the irregulars on 15 May, but their own attack was also repulsed. They too settled in for a siege.

Sat 10 Apr 1948


ALA artillery began bombardment of Jewish Jerusalem from positions on Nebi Samuel (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970).

Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

A group of Moslem Brotherhood attacked the religious kibbutz of Kfar Darom (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Brotherhood had infantry, tanks, armoured cars and artillery. The first rush reached the Jewish trench line, but then stalled under heavy fire, and the Egyptians retreated. The second attack was spearheaded by armoured cars, but stalled when the lead armoured car was destroyed by anti-tank fire. As the Brotherhood retreated they sustained casualties from their own artillery. Given the Brotherhood were still besieging the kibbutz on 15 May, they can’t have retreated far.

Note: Herzog (1982) gives the date of this attack as 10 May, but I suspect he got the month wrong. He says when they were attacked by the Egyptian Regulars on 15 May, that the kibbutz had been cut off for months, which suggests more than 5 days between the two attacks.

11 Apr, 1948

Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

In the second day of the attack, a Moslem Brotherhood tank crashed through the gate of the kibbutz (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). When this vehicle was damaged by a molotov cocktail, the second tank retreated. The Egyptian infantry charged as the first tank extricated itself. Unfortunately they ran into a minefield. As the survivors withdrew they suffered a barrage of explosives stuffed into ceremonial tefillin bags. The Brotherhood sustained 70 casualties in the fighting at the kibbutz.

12 Apr 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

The garrison of the Etzion Bloc were ordered to harass Arab traffic on the Hebron-Jerusalem road (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

By 12 Apr it was clear to the Jews that their inferior numbers and two piper cub aircraft could not combat the ALA with its artillery (Kurzman, 1970). The Arabs, however, also felt at their limit, so to the relief of the defenders an intense artillery barrage was merely a cover for an Arab withdrawal.

Around this time Kaukji ordered his Druze battalion, under Shahib Wahab, to attack two Jewish held Arab villages near Mishmar Ha’emek (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). One of these was the village of Ramat Yohanan. Ramat Yohanan lies to the north of Mishmar Haemek and the idea was to relieve the pressure on Fauzi el-Kaukji in the main battle. Facing the Druze were units of the Haganah’s “Carmeli” Brigade. For two days Shahib Wahab sent waves of troops against the village. Both sides were exhausted when the Druze finally withdrew.

13 Apr 1948

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

On the evening of 13 Apr the Palmach told the Kibbutz defenders they were on their own for two days (Kurzman, 1970).

Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (Hadassah Convoy)

At about 0930 hours Arab irregulars ambushed a Jewish convoy headed for the the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). A British officer had been tipped the Arabs off about the convoy the night before. The convoy, containing two armour-plated ambulances, two busses, three trucks, and two armoured escort cars, had to pass through the Arab-controlled Sheikh Jarrah Quarter to reach the hospital. Four further Haganah armoured cars were sent to the rescue, but were also ambushed and forced to retreat. Despite the fact that a British post was within sight of the scene, and that two British convoys passed within 100 m of the spot (at 1300 hours and 1400 hours), the British took 6 hours to intervene effectively (1530 hours). 76 Jews died, many burnt to death in the buses; there were only 28 survivors.

14 Apr 1948

Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’emek

On 14 Apr the ALA closed in on the kibbutz again (Kurzman, 1970; Herzog, 1982, gives the finale as 12 Apr). A squad of eight kibbutzniks attacked a small Arab force approaching through a wood, and when these fled, other Arab units fled as well. The Jews had also taken two villages in the rear of the ALA, and Kaukji realised he was almost surrounded. Within 30 minutes the ALA had retreated from the area, and the battle was over.

15 Apr 1948

Nebi Yusha, Galilee

The Arabs in the Nebi Yusha fortress overlooking the Hulah valley drove off Palmach and Haganah forces killing 28 (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970).

Safed, Galilee

The night before the planned British withdrawal, the Palmach infiltrated a platoon into the Jewish Quarter of Safed (Herzog, 1982).

16 Apr – 10 May: Safed

After the British withdrew from Safed on 16 Apr the majority Arabs besieged the Jewish inhabitants (Kurzman, 1970). On 28 Apr the Jews broke the siege and on 10 May captured the city.

Post 15 Apr 1948

Jordan Valley

As part of Plan D (i.e. 16 Apr or after) the Golani Brigade took the police fortresses at Zemach and Gesher, Beit Shean in the Jordan valley, and several villages in the mounts of lower Galilee (Herzog, 1982).

16 Apr 1948

Safed, Galilee

As the British withdrew, the Arabs took over the major tactical locations in the city: a police fortress on Mount Cana’an, an ancient fortress in the twon, and Shalva House (strategically sited within the town) (Herzog, 1982). 14 hours of cross-quarter battle followed (Kurzman, 1970). Much to the surprise of the British and Arabs, the heavily outnumbered Jews managed to hold off the Arab attack.

Ironically the ALA left Safed shortly after the British, leaving only 20 men to assist the irregulars (Kurzman, 1970).

17 Apr 1948

Safed, Galilee

A unit of Palmach infiltrated into Safed, although the Jewish quarter remained blockaded (Kurzman, 1970).

18-19 Apr 1948: Tiberias

As British troops withdrew from Tiberias, the Jews took their place (Kurzman, 1970). Over night Haganah forced attacked from the old city upward and from the new city downward, thus cutting the Arab two in two. The next day the Arabs evacuated in trucks sent from Jordan.

18 Apr 1948

Tiberias, Galilee

As British troops withdrew from Tiberias, the Jews took their place (Kurzman, 1970). Over night Haganah forced attacked from the old city upward and from the new city downward, thus cutting the Arab two in two.

19 Apr 1948

Tiberias, Galilee

On the second day of fighting the Arabs evacuated in trucks sent from Jordan (Kurzman, 1970).

20-21 Apr 1948: Operation Misparayim (Scissors)

In two days of fighting the Jews took Haifa (Kurzman, 1970).

20 Apr 1948

Bab el Wad, Jerusalem Corridor

The Arabs – now under Emile Ghory – attacked another large Jewish convoy (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Without the backing of tribesmen from the surrounding villages (demoralised by Abdel Kader’s death, and evicted by Operation Nachshon), Ghory had to resort to mammoth roadblocks manned by relatively few fighters. All but six of the 300-350 vehicles made it through the noose, but the Arabs did manage to take the heights above Bab el-Wad again, thus closing the circle around Jerusalem once again.

Haifa, Northern Sector (“Operation Misparayim”)

At 1130 hours the British withdrew to the Port area of Haifa (Kurzman, 1970). Once he was informed, Captain Amin Izzedin, commander of the Arab forces in Haifa, took a boat to Beirut en route to Damascus, and never returned.

Operation Misparayim (Scissors) started at 1300 hours when a company of the Carmeli Brigade attacked the Nejidah building next to the Rashmiyah bridge (Kurzman, 1970). This bridge controlled all traffic into and out of Haifa on the east. In a vicious floor to floor fight the Jews took the Nejidah building but then found themselves exposed to sniping from adjacent buildings. With casualties mounting the Jews waited to be rescued.

On the night of 20/21 Apr Jewish armoured cars made several unsuccessful attempts to break through to the Nejidah building (Kurzman, 1970).

21 Apr 1948

Haifa, Northern Sector (“Operation Misparayim”)

Whilst the Arabs concentrated on the Nejidah building the remainder of the Jewish Battalion in Haifa under Mordechai Makleff, supported by a 3″ mortar and several Davidka artillery pieces, smashed into the Arab at the foot of Mount Carmel (Kurzman, 1970). By 0730 hours on 21 Apr they were making considerable progress, although the staunch Arab defenders of the Huri building had to be burnt out. In this fighting the Jews lost 18 men for about 100 Arabs. Yunis Naff’a, the deputy military commander, then took boat for Beirut, following in the footsteps of his superior. He was not alone; most Arabs evacuated the city.

The Jews in the Nejidah building were relieved on the night of 21 Apr (Kurzman, 1970).

22 Apr – 17 May: Operation Ben-Ami

In Operation Ben-Ami the Carmeli Brigade seized Arab strongholds around Acre, thus partly isolating the town (Herzog, 1982). Carmeli also pushed northeast to link up with Jewish settlement in the western Galilee (e.g. Yehiam and Hanita). On 17 May the Jews took Acre itself.

Last week of Apr 1948: Operation Chametz (Leaven)

Operation Chametz (Leaven) was the Haganah code name for the operation to cut Jaffa off from other Arab centres (Kurzman, 1970). This involved taking a number of Arab villages to the east, manned by Iraqi volunteers (Herzog, 1982). With the Kiryati Brigade pinning down Arab forces in Jaffa, the Givati Brigade pushed up from the south (Phase A: Tel Arish (failure); Phase B: Yazur) as the Alexandroni Brigade came down from the north (Phase A: Tel Litvinsky Camp, El-Kheiriya, Sakiya; Phase B: Salameh, Yazur). The situation changed a bit with the Irgun attack on Jaffa of 29 Apr.

26 Apr – 13 May 1948: Jaffa

In hard fighting, first against the Arab (irregulars and ALA) and then against the British, the Irgun took Jaffa (Kurzman, 1970).

26-27 Apr 1948: Operation Jebusi

Operation Jebusi was a three pronged attempt to consolidate the Jewish areas of Jerusalem (Kurzman, 1970). The attacks were toward Nebi Samuel (failed), Sheikh Jarrah (succeeded but evicted by British), and Katamon (success).

Earlier in Apr 1948 the garrison of the Etzion Bloc tried to cut the Hebron-Jerusalem road In preparation for the attack on Katamon (Kurzman, 1970). They blew up a bridge and cut telephone lines.

26 Apr 1948

Jaffa, Central Sector

At 0800 hours on 26 Apr 600 men of the Irgun under Amihai Faglin (known as Gideon or Giddy) attacked Jaffa from the east (Kurzman, 1970). The fighting quickly bogged down, with the Irgun making little progress on 26 or 27 Apr.

Nebi Samuel, Jerusalem (“Operation Jebusi”)

Wishing to open the route between Jerusalem and Nevi Yaakov to the northwest, the Jews attacked the Arab hilltop village of Nebi Samuel (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Nebi Samuel was also where the ALA artillery bombarding the city were located. The attackers were Palmach troops from the Harel brigade under Poza. The Arab ambushed the Palmach as they neared the top of the hill, killed 35 including Poza, and drove the Jews back.

Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (“Operation Jebusi”)

That night the Jews managed to drive the Arab irregulars under Bahjat Abu Gharbieh from the Sheikh Jarrah Quarter (Kurzman, 1970).

Katamon, Jerusalem (“Operation Jebusi”)

In the south of Jerusalem Ibrahim Abu Daya irregulars and an Iraqi unit of the ALA dominated Katamon from their position in the Greek Orthodox monastery of Saint Simeon (Kurzman, 1970). On 26 Apr the 4th and 5th Battalion so fthe Palmach Harel Brigade and the 4th Battalion of the Jerusalem Etzioni Brigade moved into the district. 120 Palmachniks rushed the monastery and drove the Arabs out.

27 Apr 1948

Katamon, Jerusalem (“Operation Jebusi”)

At dawn on 27 Apr the Abu Daya counter attacked the Palmach in the monastery of Saint Simeon (Kurzman, 1970). This counter attack including a fresh contingent of 200 irregulars and four 3″ mortars, and a rather good Arab sniper (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The attack failed to dislodge the Jews, but the high cost in casualties persuaded the Jews to start evacuating. A group of 30 men, including all the walking wounds plus some escorts, made a run for it, but only one reached safety. Before another group of Jews made a dash for it, the Arabs had retreated from the Monastery. The battle had been costly. Of the original 120 Palmachniks, 40 were dead and 60 wounded (Herzog, 1982). Of Abu Daya’s original band, only six were still standing. As the Jews advanced into Katamon, they were attacked by armoured cars of the Arab Legion – complements of Abdullah Tel the local Legion commander (there is also mention of Legionnaires in civilian cloths assisting Abu Daya). But this final effort also failed and within hours the Jews had taken most of Katamon, when their activities were curtailed by a British brokered ceasefire. .

Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem (“Operation Jebusi”)

At 1800 hours the British – because the suburb was on their line of retreat – forced the Jews to evacuate Sheikh Jarrah (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Subsequently, upon British withdrawal, the Jews returned.

28 Apr 1948: Operation Yiftach

Operation Yiftach was the code name for the Jewish plan to thrust east from Rosh Pina to Safed, thus breaking the Arab blockade (Kurzman, 1970). Herzog (1982) says Operation Yiftach kicked off on 30 Apr, although he agrees the Haganah took Rosh Pina on 28 Apr.

28 Apr 1948

Jaffa, Central Sector

At 1600 hours on the third day of the Jaffa fighting (28 Apr) the Irgun re-launched their offensive with new tactics (Kurzman, 1970). Under cover of a mortar barrage the Irgun men began carving two tunnels through the buildings of Jaffa. Breaking down the connecting walls between houses with picks and sledgehammers, they could approach Arab positions under cover. By 1900 hours they were within 70 m of the forward Arab positions. The advanced continued in the darkness. Once the Irgunists were near enough they used explosives to silence the Arab posts.

Ramat Naftali, Galilee

The Arabs started an ultimately unsuccessful attack on the Jewish settlement of Ramat Naftali near Lebanon (Kurzman, 1970).

Safed, Galilee (“Operation Yiftach”)

Literally as the British withdrew on 28 Apr, the Palmach took control of the Police fortress at Rosh Pina and a neighbouring Army camp (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). That night the 3rd Battalion of the new Yiftach Brigade attacked the Arab village of Ein Zeitun, under 2 km from the besieged Jews in Safed. Moshe Kellman’s men attacked with the support of Davidka mortars and the applause of the Safed Jews. Ein Zeitun and nearby Birya fell quickly, thus breaking the siege.

29 Apr 1948

Jaffa, Central Sector

By dawn on 29 Apr, the Irgun were within two blocks of the sea (Kurzman, 1970). The Irgun quickly pushed through to the sea splitting Arab Jaffa in two.

The Haganah launched Operation Chametz (Leaven) about the time the Irgun took Jaffa (Kurzman, 1970). The northern pincer easily captured several Arab villages. Things were less rosy in the south. A battalion from the Givati brigade under Yaacov Prulov took the Arab position at Tel Arish at dawn, however, his 180 men crowed on to the small hill offered choice targets for the counter-attacking Arabs. Prulov lost 40 men, and had to call in covering fire from the Irgun mortars.

30 Apr 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

The garrison of the Etzion Bloc were ordered to close the Hebron-Jerusalem road to Arab traffic (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). They blocked the road, cut telephone wires, and ambushed passing vehicles.

Jaffa, Central Sector

At 1100 hours British tanks attacked the Irgun in Jaffa. The tanks advanced along the three roads leading from the centre of the city. The first column was halted when a Jewish piat crew destroyed the lead vehicle. The second column was also halted when the lead tank was destroyed, but in this case the vehicle had a building collapsed on top of it by Irgun sappers. The third British column knocked out the Jewish armoured car sent to stop it, but having heard the fate of their peers decided to withdraw as well. To discourage further attacks, the Irgun then dynamited houses along all three routes.

Subsequently the political conflict between Captain Abdel Najim al-Din of the ALA and Hassan Salameh (of the Mufti’s faction) caused both to abandone Jaffa to its fate (Kurzman, 1970). Although replaced by another ALA commander, Michael al-Issa, Najim took his 300 ALA men with him.

1 May 1948

Jaffa, Central Sector

During the morning of 1 May British Spitfires strafed Irgun positions in Jaffa (Kurzman, 1970). British reinforcement also arrived from abroad (Egypt and Cyprus); a destroyer appeared off Jaffa’s shore and an infantry battalion, two Royal Marine Commando units, and a tank regiment all arrived.

At about 1600 ours British attacked the Irgun in Jaffa again (Kurzman, 1970). This time with tanks and infantry. In a contest which basically pitted British firepower against Irgun sapper teams, the Irgun came out on top. Although isolated Irgun positions were blasted into submission, the Irgun sappers managed to hold up the British columns by demolishing houses, thus threatening the advancing tanks. By 1800 hours the British admitted defeat.

The new ALA commander, Michael al-Issa, then abandoned Jaffa with his men, and subsequently all Arab resistance dissolved (Kurzman, 1970). Arab refugees flooded away from Jaffa, and within days less than 5,000 remained of the original 70,000 inhabitants.

In early May the Haganah continued their operation Chametz by taking the Arab villages of Salameh and Yazur to the east of Jaffa (Kurzman, 1970). The Irgun and British also agreed a cease fire line, before the Haganah replaced the Irgun in the sandbag positions.

4 May 1948

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

In the first encounter between Jews and Arab regulars the 12th Independent Garrison Company of the Arab Legion, plus Arab irregulars from the local villages attacked the Etzion Bloc (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). Two squadrons of Arab Legion armoured cars pounded the Jewish outposts, and forced the defenders out of the Russian monastery. The outnumbered Jews mowed down the attacking infantry and the Arabs withdrawn by evening. Of the 400 defenders, 42 had become casualties.

Note: Kurzman (1970) also says the Arab Legion supplied tanks. Jewish survivors claimed at least one British tank was involved in the attack (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

6 May 1948

Safed, Galilee

During the night two Palmach platoons attacked from the Central Hotel in Safed up the hill toward the citadel (Kurzman, 1970). In the darkness the platoons got confused and shot each other up with many casualties.

[Herzog (1982) says the Jews attacked the Mount Cana’an police fortress on 5 May, and I suspect these are the same events being described. I’ve gone with Kurzman as his description is more complete. Must check Kurzman again just to be sure ??]

7 May 1948

Safed, Galilee

For the first time Arab artillery opened up on the Jewish quarter of Safed (Kurzman, 1970). The artillery had come from the force attacking Ramot Naftali.

8-16 May: Operation Maccabee

The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road had been cut at the Bab el Wad since 20 Apr; Operation Maccabee was intended to open the route again (Herzog, 1982). Givati Brigade attacked from the west and Harel from the east. Initially, on the 8 May, the operation went well, but the Harel couldn’t take Beit Machsir and withdrew from the ground they had captured. Attacks on couldn’t take Beit Machsir on 9 or 10 May also failed. The Harel Brigade took Beit Machsir in their third attempt, but they were too exhausted to move on to Deir Ayub (Herzog, 1982). The Arabs counter-attacked with ALA artillery support. The Givati Brigade tried to push a convoy up through the contested road, but ALA forces (including armoured cars and artillery) stopped them at Latrun. The ALA also drove the Harel men from their positions about Bab el Wad, but in a see saw battle the Harel Brigade regained control. Around 16 May the Givati tried to push another convoy up the road, and found no opposition. A miscommunication between the ALA and the Arab Legion meant the road was free.

8 May 1948


The Arab League declared a truce in Jerusalem from 8-14 May (Levi, 1986).

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road (Operation Maccabee)

A battalion from the Givati Brigade secured the road from Hulda to Latrun (Herzog, 1982). Meanwhile the 5th and 6th Battalions from Harel Brigade captured the high ground between Bab el Wad and Abu Ghosh, but weren’t in a position to put in their planned attack on Beit Machsir so withdrew. The element of surprise was gone and as the Jews withdrew the Arabs moved in.

9 May 1948

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road (Operation Maccabee)

The Harel Brigade was repulsed from Beit Machsir (Herzog, 1982).

Safed, Galilee

130 largely untrained members of the ALA arrived in Safed from Syria (Kurzman, 1970). Having escorted to Safed, the local ALA commander, Colonel Shiskekli, then abandoned his post he returned to Damascus, followed soon afterwards by Sari Anfish who had commanded the detachment. That left the local military leader, Amin Jamian, in charge.

10 May 1948

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Road (Operation Maccabee)

The Harel Brigade was repulsed from Beit Machsir (Herzog, 1982).

Safed, Galilee

At 0900 hours the Palmach had another go at the Arab held strong points in Safed (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). This time the attack on the citadel was under Avinoam Hadash. Although driven back three times by machine-gun fire, the Jews used Davidka mortars and piats to silence the Arab bunkers, and took the citadel on the fourth attempt. The hardest fighting was, however, down the hill at the Arab held municipal police station. After a sudden downpour ruined one set of explosives, Jewish sappers blew a hole in the wall, allowing the attackers to clear the first floor in vicious hand to hand fighting. The remaining defenders retreated to the roof, where the majority held out until night fall. That night the entire Arab population of Safed, including the survivors from the police station and the unharmed defenders of the Teggart fortress atop Mount Caanan, evacuated the city.

12-14 May 1948: Etzion Bloc Last Stand

With Amman expecting an arms convoy along the Hebron-Jerusalem road, the Transjordians organised an major attack on the Etzion Bloc (Kurzman, 1970). Captain Hekmat Mehyar – commander of the Arab Legion in Hebron – had 40 tanks and armoured cars, and artillery, all of the Arab Legion, plus 4,000 Arab irregulars. Kfar Etzion fell on 13 May, and the other settlements surrendered the day after.

12 May 1948


The Arabs shut off the water supply to Jerusalem (Herzog, 1982).

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

At dawn (0400 hours) the Arabs under Captain Hekmat Mehyar attacked Kfar Etzion – the largest of the four settlements (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Mehyar began his attack with a company of Arab Legion infantry, a squadron of armoured cars, and hundreds of irregulars. Once again the defenders mowed down waves of attackers, but the pressure was too much and the Jews began to retreat to Kfar Etzion or one of the other settlements. Only 8 of the 32 defenders at the Russian Monastery were able to withdraw. Yellow hill, between the monastery and Lone Tree, was the next target. It was defended by 18 men with a MG34 machine gun and the settlement’s only mortar. After an hour the defenders retreated to Kfar Etzion, as their MG34 had jammed and the mortar had ran out of ammunition. The Arabs then rushed Lone Tree, where the Jews lone Bazooka failed to stop the advancing armoured cars. Next to fall was the telephone exchange; thus cutting all land communication between the settlements. By late morning the Arabs had taken the eastern outposts and were pressing in on Kfar Etzion. None the less Mehyar called for reinforcements and duly received two more platoons. Under heavy artillery, mortar and machine gun fire, by 1345 hours the defenders had suffered 100 killed and many wounded. Rock Hill was the last bastion before the Kfar Etzion. Manned by only a handful of men with a 2″ mortar used as a bazooka and two light machine guns, this position managed to drive off an attack by the Legion armoured cars. As night fell the fighting dwindled. Over night the Haganah tried using light aircraft to drop supplies to the settlements, but most fell in the Arab lines. Before midnight 35 wounded were evacuated from Kfar Etzion to Massuot.

13 May – 15 1948: Operation Pitchfork

A three pronged Jewish attack to secure Jerusalem up to the old city (Kurzman, 1970). As the British withdrew the Jews took over their positions.

13 May 1948

New City, Jerusalem

The British allowed Haganah patrols to operate in the British controlled zones of Jerusalem (Kurzman, 1970).

Old City, Jerusalem

Haganah men took moved into the Armenian quarter linking the Jewish quarter to Zion Gate and the new city (Kurzman, 1970).

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

Over night Colonel Abdullah Tel, Arab Legion commander in Palestine, took command of the attack on the Etzion Bloc (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970). Tel immediately reorganised the attack, separately his regulars from the irregulars, and concentrating his armoured cars at Lone Tree. At 1130 hours the remaining 152 defenders of Kfar Etzion (including 88 settlers) watched the Arabs renew their attack. The defenders on Rock Hill held out until there was no ammunition left. An Arab Legion armoured car crashed the gate of the Kfar Etzion – the protecting mines, laid only the night before, failing to explode, and the settlements only Bazooka being beyond the technical ability of its untrained team. The car, although driven off by molotov cocktails, had breached the Jewish defenses. Other armoured cars and Arab irregulars exploited the gap. The 50 surviving Jews surrendered, but many were subsequently slaughtered leaving only three men and one woman alive. The woman, Eliza Feuchtwanger was the sole survivor of the Palmach unit in the settlement.

Jaffa, Central Sector

At 1530 hours the British left Jaffa and the remaining 5,000 Arab surrendered to the Jews (Kurzman, 1970).

Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

During the night the Israeli’s attempted to run the Moslem Brotherhood siege of Kibbutz Kfar Darom (Kurzman, 1970). Unfortunately the convoy bogged down in sand 3 km from the kibbutz and were then pounded by Arab artillery. All but two vehicles were hit, but 59 of the 60 men made it to the settlement on foot.

Malkiya, Galilee

In the first Jewish offensive against a regular Army, Dan Laner led the 1st Palmach battalion of the Yiftach Brigade against Malkiya (Kurzman, 1970). Before dawn one company occupied Kalkieh itself, a second occupied the former British military camp outside, and the third occupied the hill village of Kadesh. The Lebanese army immediate responded, their counter-attack preceded by artillery. The army camp fell to Lebanese armoured cars and infantry, and Laner ordered his men to retreat south taking their 120 casualties with them.

Fri 14 May 1948

New City, Jerusalem

The British began to withdraw from Jerusalem at 0400 hours (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Kurzman, 1970, says 1200). With Haganah patrols already in “Bevingrad” – the British security zone next to the Old City – it took relatively little time for the Jews to capture the area. The afternoon was spent in a relatively ineffective firefight with Arabs on the walls of the Old City.

By mid-morning Haganah troops under Yitzhak Levi had taken the Sheikh Jarrah and the Police School (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Levi ordered the isolated settlers in Neve Yaacov into his lines.

In the south a group of Iraqi volunteers took the Allenby Barracks (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Facing them was Avram Uzieli with two Haganah platoons and a Davidka with only three shells. The first shell failed to explode but the second terrified the Iraqis who fled when Uzieli fire his third and last.

In the American Colony, between Sheikh Jarrah and Musrara, Bajhat Abu Gharbieh blocked the Haganah’s advance with a mixture of Syrian Moslem Brothers, Iraqis and Lebanese volunteers (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Syrians defended a school, the Iraqis a hotel and the Lebanese St Paul’s Road opposite the Russian Compound. Gharieh had at least one browning machine gun.

Old City, Jerusalem – Operation Shfifon (“Serpent”)

Forewarned by a British deserter the Jews occupied all the British positions as their previous owners left (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). At 1500 hours the Haganah men in the Armenian Quarter were ordered to leave so as not to violate a truce, but at 1600 the Arabs walked in despite it (Kurzman, 1970). A couple of hours later the Arabs drove the Jews from Zion Gate, thus blockading the Jewish Quarter. Otherwise the truce kept fighting to a minimum.

Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem Sector

The other three settlements in the Etzion Bloc surrendered to the Arab Legion (Kurzman, 1970). Massuot Yitzhak, the last of them, surrendered at 2000 hours. In total there were 359 survivors from the four settlements (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Following the fall of the Etzion Bloc the Jewish command ordered other isolated settlements to be abandoned (Herzog, 1982). These were Hartuv to the west of of Jerusalem, and Atarot and Neve Yaakov to the north, Kibbutz Beit Haarava and the potash works at the northern end of the Dead Sea. .


At 1200 hours, as the British guards withdrew, the Jews began unloading the S.S. Borea (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Within its holds were the Haganah’s first field artillery – five 65 mm mountain guns, and 48,000 shells.

Jordan Valley

The Arab Legion captured Naharayim Power Station on the Jordan River (Herzog, 1982). Just before this, not sure when exactly, the Arab Legion failed to take the Gesher Police fortress. Meanwhile Syrian artillery opened up on the Jewish settlements south of the Sea of Galilee and on Ein Gev to the east.

One company of 2nd Battalion, Golani Brigade was mopping up in the area of Mount Tabor (Herzog, 1982).

14 May 1948: Declaration of the State of Israel

David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the State of Israel at 1600 hours(Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Independence to the First Truce (11 Jun 1948)

The Protagonists

At the declaration of Independence the Israeli’s had nine operational brigades (Herzog, 1982):

  • Carmeli – western Galilee
  • Yiftach (Palmach) – eastern Galilee
  • Golani – southern Galilee
  • Alexandroni – Central sector (Haifa to Tel Aviv)
  • Kiryati – Central Sector (north and northeast of Tel Aviv)
  • Harel (Palmach) – Jerusalem Corridor
  • Etzioni – Jerusalem
  • Givati (over 3,000 men in five battalions) – Southern Sector
  • Negev (Palmach; 800 men in two battalions) – Southern sector

Three additional Israeli brigades were being formed (Herzog, 1982)

  • 7th Brigade – western Jerusalem corridor
  • 8th Armoured Brigade
  • 9th Oded Brigade – Northern sector

In addition to the forces already in Palestine, the neighbouring Arab states immediately sent contingents across the border:

  • Palestinian Irregulars
  • Foreign Volunteers
  • ALA: 4,000 – 6,000 men (Kurzman, 1970; Collins & Lapierre, 1972)
  • Lebanese Army: 2,000 men (Herzog, 1982), although a Moroccan contingent of 800 joined them (Collins & Lapierre, 1972)
  • Syrian Army: Initially 2,000 (Collins & Lapierre, 1972)
  • Iraqi Army: 10,000 (Herzog, 1982; Sharon and Chanoff, 2001)
  • Jordanian Arab Legion: 4,500 (Collins & Lapierre, 1972)
  • Egyptian Army: Initially 7,000 – 10,000 (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970; and Laffin, 1988a).

See also my TO&E for both Israelis and Arabs.

15 – 21 May 1948: Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

An entire Syrian brigade, backed by armour, artillery and aircraft, attacked the Jewish settlements south of the Sea of Galilee (Kurzman, 1970). They took Zemach with tanks, and Masada and Shaar Hagolan without a fight, but were repulsed from the twin Deganias. When the Israeli’s acquired their own artillery the Syrians withdrew and the Jews reoccupied the area.

Sat 15 May 1948

New City, Jerusalem

Early in the morning 150 Sternists under David Gottlieb occupied the Notre Dame Hospice and Soeurs Réparatrices Convent near New Gate, and the Fast Hotel near Jaffa Gate (Kurzman, 1970; Collins & Lapierre, 1972, say the “Haganah” and say they took Notre Dame at 0700 hours). Fierce fighting and high casualties forced the Sternists out. According to Kurzman a Haganah force failed to retake Notre Dame, however, Collins and Lapierre imply they did.

In the American Colony, between Sheikh Jarrah and Musrara, Bajhat Abu Gharbieh blocked the Haganah’s advance with a mixture of Syrian Moslem Brothers, Iraqis and Lebanese volunteers (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Syrians defended a school, the Iraqis a hotel and the Lebanese St Paul’s Road opposite the Russian Compound. Gharieh had at least one browning machine gun. Following their capture of the Notre Dame Hospice the Haganah attacked Gharbieh’s men in Musrara. For two hours the battle raged, centering on the basketball court of a Swedish school.

Old City, Jerusalem

At 1930 hours the cease-fire, such as it was, expired and Arab mortars started pounding the Jewish Quarter (Kurzman, 1970). Some religious inhabitants refused to assist the defenders on the Shabbat.

Latrun, Jerusalem Corridor

The ALA withdrew back into Jordan (Herzog, 1982) leaving only 200 irregulars under Haroun Ben-Jazzi to control the crossroads at Latrun (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The ALA passed the on coming Arab Legion, but failed to communicate the fact that the Latrun positions were now virtually empty. Later that day a Palmach unit from the 5th Battalion of the Givati Brigade took the undefended crossroads. Although the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road in Jewish hands, all the traffic that passed was a lone truck (which became known as the “Orphan Convoy”). Some hours later the Givati men were ordered south to face the Egyptians.

Note: Herzog (1982) and Collins & Lapierre (1972) state the ALA was disbanded after they withdrew into Jordan. This obviously can’t be true as ALA forces fought after this date, for example, with the Lebanese in early June and taking Nazareth on 11 Jun (Kurzman, 1970).

Tel Aviv, Central Sector

Egyptian planes began bombing Tel Aviv in the early hours of the morning (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

A Syrian force under Colonel Abdel Wahab Bey al-Hakim attacked the Israeli held Arab village of Zemach, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Kurzman, 1970; Herzog, 1982; Zaloga, 1981). Wahab had the 1st infantry brigade (two battalions), a company of Renault R-35 and R-39 tanks, an armoured car battalion, an artillery regiment, and air support; on the other hand he was short of ammunition for both artillery and small arms. The Israeli’s were vastly outnumbered and outgunned, but staged a show for the benefit of the Syrians – the Syrians heard tank engines (tractors) and saws convoys of trucks bringing reinforcements and supplies (empty trucks driven into the mountains, the coming back with their headlights on full). In Zemach itself, the Israeli’s had a company of the Golani Brigade plus some reinforcements from local settlements. At 0700 hours, after hours of bombardment and air attack, a Syrian company advanced on Zemach. The defenders opened up when the enemy infantry were 150 m from the fence line, and drove them back.

South of Zemach, another Syrian force (an infantry company supported by artillery and armoured cars) attacked on the settlements of Masada and Shaar Hagolan but was stopped at the fence line – although all but one of the defenders became a casualty (Kurzman, 1970; Herzog, 1982). As a result of these setbacks Wahab called for a battalion of reinforcements. Meanwhile the Israeli’s rushed reinforcements to the threatened settlements including settlers from nearby villages, part of the 3rd Battalion of the Golani Brigade, and a company of Palmachniks from the Yiftach Brigade.


At 0005 hours the first Arab Legion troops crossed Allenby Bridge (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). During morning four regiments (battalions) of the Arab Legion followed them (Kurzman, 1970; Lunt, 1999). They advanced via a dirt track on a spur beyond Jericho; this had been paid for by Glubb Pasha and built by local villagers. The Arab Legion were initially deployed as follows:

  • 1st Brigade – Nablus
  • 3rd Brigade – Ramallah
  • 1st Independent Garrison Company – Jericho or Hebron ??
  • 8th Independent Garrison Company – Jericho or Hebron ??
  • 12th Independent Garrison Company – Hebron

Kalkilya, Central Sector

A company from the Alexandroni Brigade attacked the bridge on the outskirts of Kalkilya (Sharon & Chanoff, 2001). The platoon of Ariel Sharon held the bridge from 0100 to 0130 hours under enemy fire, until the other platoons were in position. When their comrades were ready Sharon’s men blew the bridge and beat a retreat. According to Sharon the destruction of the bridge delayed the subsequent Iraqi advance.

Kibbutz Nirim (Dangour Colony), Southern Sector

Located 6 km southeast of Rafa on the Sinai border, Kibbutz Nirim was the closed Jewish settlement to Egypt (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Egyptians, who called it Dangour, attacked the settlement at 0800 hours, five hours late. This isn’t surprising given the Kibbutz didn’t even appear on the Egyptian’s maps, they’d not conducted any reconnaissance, and that the infantry had to walk 15 km through the desert to find it (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The attacking force included the 6th Infantry Battalion, four tanks, several armoured cars, 20-27 Bren carriers, artillery, and trucks for the infantry. The defenders had 45 fighters, two light machine guns, four Stens, and only 17 rifles, one of which had a telescopic sight. The settlers also trenches, pillboxes and dummy minefields, but no real ones. The Egyptians attacked under cover of an intense bombardment. Bren carriers got to within 30 m of the barbed wire, but 30 dead due to accurate Jewish fire, and the threat of the non-existent minefields, persuaded the Egyptians to retreat. Once back in the camp the Egyptian infantry discovered they still had no water.

Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

The Moslem Brotherhood had been besieging Kibbutz Kfar Darom since their failed attack on 10 Apr (Kurzman, 1970). As the Egyptian 6th Battalion attacked Kibbutz Nirim, the 1st Battalion pushed on to Kibbutz Kfar Darom to free up the volunteers for an advance through Beersheba to Hebron. Upon their arrival at Kibbutz Kfar Darom the 1st Battalion attacked through a wheat field with seven tanks and a unit of 70 Sudanese soldiers on one side, plus five armoured cars from the north. Only 30 Israelis manned the defenses (Herzog, 1982). The operator of the kibbutz’s sole piat crawled through the barbed wire to attack the approaching tanks – although undamaged the tanks retreated. Heavy fire from the defenders subsequently persuaded the Sudanese to also retreat. The siege continued until the first UN truce.

Suez Canal, Egypt

The Egyptians confiscated a ship load of Jordanian ammunition (Collins & Lapierre, 1972).

16 May 1948

Old City, Jerusalem

In the morning of 16 May the Arabs attacked the Jewish Quarter from all sides (Kurzman, 1970). Although under pressure the Jews held out. In the first day of fighting the Arabs took 25% of the land area of the quarter (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). (By the way, the Irgun had 40 men under Isser Nathanson in the Jewish Quarter; on 16 May they were defending the northest sector.)

1st and 8th Independent Garrison Companies of the Arab Legion occupied the Mount of Olives (Lunt, 1999; Herzog, 1982, says 17 May).

Malkiya, Galilee

During the night an Israeli force, supported by piper cubs, took Nebi Yusha, the police fortress south of Malkiya (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970).

Separately, an Israeli convoy crossed into Lebanon via open fields, then attacked Malkiya from the north (Kurzman, 1970). The Lebanese, thinking the approaching trucks were reinforcements, were surprised and quickly ousted.

Gesher, Jordan Valley

An Iraqi brigade crossed the Jordan river on pontoon bridges, and surrounded Gesher (Kurzman, 1970; Herzog, 1982, puts this attack on 15 May). Iraqi armoured cars assaulted the neighbouring police fortress. One crashed the main gate, but was destroyed by a molotov cocktail – the rest retreated. Despite the Iraqi failure to take the village, Gesher remained under siege.

Kibbutz Nirim (Dangour Colony), Southern Sector

The Egyptians put in a second, unsuccessful attack on Kibbutz Nirim (Herzog, 1982). Following this failure, they blocked the settlement and pushed on up the coast.

17 May 1948

Old City, Jerusalem

The Jewish Quarter continued to hold out (Kurzman, 1970). The untrained Arab attackers looted and burned each building they took, which slowed up their advance.

Acre (“Operation Ben-Ami”)

On the night of 17 May, as the final act of Operation Ben-Ami, the Israelis attacked Acre, the last coast city in Arab hands (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970, says 19 May). The town surrendered after 22 hours of fighting.

18 May 1948


Soon after 0800 hours Glubb Pasha ordered the 100 men of the 1st Independent Garrison Company of the Arab Legion from the Mount of Olives into the Old City (Kurzman, 1970; Lunt, 1999). At 1735 hours Kaukjii led a battalion of ALA from Jericho to a village near Jerusalem; his artillery began pounding the New City. In the evening Glubb Pasha ordered the 8th Independent Garrison Company to join the 1st company in the Old City.

(?? not sure of the dates for the events listed under 18 and 19 May, i.e. the timing of the Palmach attack on Zion Gate versus the arrival of the Legion. IN the Timeline given here the Legion arrive before the attack, which is wrong ??)

Just before midnight the 4th Battalion of the Palmach Harel Brigade under Uzi Narkis took Mount Zion (Collins & Lapierre, 1972; Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970, suggests this occurred in the morning). After six weeks of fighting, Narkis’s “Battalion” contained only four under strength platoons.

Latrun, Jerusalem Corridor

The 4th Battalion of the Arab Legion took control of Latrun (Herzog, 1982).

Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

Wahab’s battalion of reinforcements arrived and at dawn (0500 hours) the Syrian armour attacked Zemach again (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Syrians had some 30 armoured vehicles including a company of Renault R-35 and R-39 tanks (Zaloga, 1981). The Israelis had two 20 mm anti-tank guns. The tanks attacked with artillery support. When one of the Israeli anti-tank guns was destroyed, and a Syrian mixed armoured and infantry force started to outflank the town to the south, the Israeli defenders ran for it leaving many casualties behind. The Police fortress was the last Jewish position to fall, with all defenders killed by point-blank tank fire. By 0800 hours Zemach was in Syrian hands. At 0900 hours 20 Israelis counter-attacked from Degania-A. The attack failed, and five men were killed, but the operation stalled any further Syrian advance.

Note: Herzog (1982) states the attackers were the Syrian 1st Brigade under Brigadier-general Husni el Zaim. Kurzman (1970) says Colonel Abdel Wahab Bey al-Hakim. Is it quite likely that el Zaim was Wahab’s superior.

Bnot Ya’akov Bridge, Galilee

On the night of 18/19 May men from the Yiftach Brigade raided the Syrian supply base at Bnot Ya’akov Bridge, thus disturbing Syrian plans (Herzog, 1982).

19-24 May 1948: Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid)

In an attempt to open the coast road to Tel Aviv the Egyptians attacked Yad Mordechai; the settlement was called Deir Seneid by the Arabs after the nearby village (Kurzman, 1970). For five days an Israeli force of little more than a company had held off a vastly superior Egyptian force containing two infantry battalions, an armoured battalion, and artillery regiment, and inflicted about 300 casualties (Herzog, 1982). The Jews beat back several assaults but finally abandoned the kibbutz.

Ilan from the Museum at Yad Mordechai emailed to say the Egyptians had:

One battalion of Vickers mark IV tanks Some other types of tanks that had been found in the Western Desert including – Matilda Mark II. Ilan of Yad Mordehai Museum knows of 11 Matilda tanks fielded by the Egyptians. Some sources say they had a few companies of Matilda. On 12 Jun 1948 one of the defenders of Kibbutz Negba identified two Matilda Tanks among the nine Egyptian tanks approaching from the south. [I‚ve a question about this. You said 12 Jun but I suspect you meant 12 Jul. I know of three attacks on negba – 21 May, 2 Jun, 12 Jul ˆ and 12 Jun isn‚t one of them.] – Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40. The Egyptians had at least one M13/40 at Kibbutz Negba on 12 Jul 1948. We know because one was disabled by an Israeli mine and the Yad Mordehai Museum have a photograph of it.

19 May 1948

Old City, Jerusalem

At 0000 hours the Arabs began bombarding the Palmach position on Mount Zion (Kurzman, 1970).

At 0100 hours men of the Etzioni Brigade attacked the Jaffa Gate (Kurzman, 1970). The attackers – comprising Yosef Nevo’s armoured unit (two ex-British armoured cars and a scout car), an armoured bus with sappers under Moshe Salamon and a supporting infantry to put in the assault itself – formed in and near the Tannous Building (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Despite the moonless night, the Arab irregulars manning the walls saw the Jewish preparations, called for help and blocked the gap in the Gate with rubbish carts. Arabs came running to their call for help. The Jewish armoured force started taking casualties as soon as they approached the gate – Nevo lost his machine gunner, radio operator and radio from his scout car. The lead armoured car was knocked out well short of its intended position, thus halting the column. As Nevo tried to open the route – by pushing the car out of the way – the sappers suffered badly in their armoured bus and began to fleeing by foot. The attack was over, and the Jews dug into the Tannous building.

At 0200 hours Uzi Narkis’s Palmachniks began their attack on Zion Gate – the assault group was under Major David ‘Dado’ Elazar (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). At 0325 two Israeli sappers blew the gate, and the Palmachniks pushed on to the Jewish Quarter. Narkis’s four already under-strength platoons (Collins & Lapierre, 1972) suffered about 1/3 casualties at the gate. After some supplies and reinforcements – 80 largely untrained men of the Etzioni Brigade who viewed themselves more as porters than soldiers – were passed into the Jewish Quarter, the Palmach unit withdrew to Mount Zion. With no Jews defending Zion Gate, the Arab Legion closed the line life again.

That night the Palmachniks made a second attempt on the Zion Gate (Kurzman, 1970). But they couldn’t get through the new defenders – the Arab Legion.

Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem

Kurzman, 1970

A Arab Legion unit (predominantly 2 MR) under Major Slade pushed the Irgun out of Sheikh Jarrah, and by 1400 hours Legion Armoured Cars had reached Damascus Gate (Kurzman, 1970). They withdrew back into Sheikh Jarrah.

Lunt, 1999

On the morning of 19 May the 10-12 armoured cars of 2 MR led Slade’s Arab Legion force into Sheikh Jarrah (Lunt, 1999). They were backed by infantry, a troop of four 4″ mortars, a troop of 4 6-pounder anti-tank guns, and a troop of 4 25-pounder guns. The 25-pounders weren’t much use as the FOO – in one of the armoured cars – just buttoned himself up and saw out the fight in safety. Irgun in the Police School put up little resistence. The Legionnaires had cleared the suburb by 0730 hours, then pushed on across the open ground to the Arab suburb of Musrara in the Arab Quarter. By 1400 hours Legion Armoured Cars had reached Damascus Gate, and made contact with the Independent Garrison Company manning the walls. During the day Slade’s force gained two companies from 1 MR (thus leaving only 2 companies to defend Nablus).

(Young, 1972)

The Arab Legion attacked at 0345 hours on 19 May (Young, 1972). They had one infantyr company, one armoured car squadron, four 6-pounder anti-tank guns and four 3″ mortars, plus support from a artillery battery. During the day two more companies joined them. By night fall they had secured Sheikh Jarrah, although the armoured cars withdrew.

19-20 May 1948: Mandelbaum Gate

(Collins & Lapierre, 1972)

The Jordanians now chose to intervene in Jerusalem in strength (??). The plan was that behind an artillery barrage, the task force would drive the Haganah from the Arab quarter of Sheikh Jarrah, which protected Jerusalem’s northern approaches, and proceed along the Nablus road to Damascus Gate where they could link up with other Legion forces in the Old City. By clearing the Sheikh Jarrah area, and establishing a line across the western edge of the Old City, Glubb hoped to contain the Jews in the west of the city. In contrast the Jews thought the Legion’s intention was to attack Jewish Jerusalem through the Mea Shearim suburb near Sheikh Jarrah, and they based their plans on this premise. As it turned out, because of a mistake made by an Arab armoured car driver, the Legion ended up attacking the Mandelbaum Gate to Mea Shearim.

At 0345 hours a barrage of 25-pounders and 3 inch mortars opened up – sending the residents of Mea Shearim scurrying for shelter. The barrage lifted at 0430 allowing the Legion task force to advance. Major Slade had three infantry companies (2 from the 5th Regiment and 1 from the 6th), one armoured car squadron (12 Marmon Herrington IVFs from the 2nd Regiment; although the Jews say the Arabs had 17), four 6-pounder anti-tank guns and four 3-inch mortars, and presumably with trucks to transport the men and equipment. (It is possible only the armoured car squadron and a single company were involved in the actual advance; the rest providing support.) To reduce causalities the force moved forward with the armoured cars considerably ahead of the infantry.

The Irgun defenders of the Police School covering the road into Sheikh Jarrah fled at the sight of the Armoured Cars, but Yitzhak Levi – the local Jewish commander – forced them back at gun point. Despite this they put up little resistance to the legionnaires and the Jordanians moved into Sheikh Jarrah largely unopposed.

Meanwhile, Yosef Nevo arrived in Mea Shearim with his “armoured” force (two stolen British Daimler armoured cars, a pair of bazookas and a Davidka), and was put in charge of the defence.

The Legionnaires stopped to dismantle a road block in Sheikh Jarrah, whilst their 3 inch mortars kept up supporting fire. One of the mortar rounds fell short killing Lt. Abdullah Salam – a company commander – and wounding Major Slade. The column withdrew back to the ridge above the suburb, thus giving the Jews time to prepare their defences.

Mandelbaum Gate

Nevo, not realising the Legion was headed for Damascus Gate, prepared for his defence of Mea Shearim and Jewish Jerusalem. The Legion had two logical routes into west Jerusalem. The first, most direct route, was across the open field from the Police School to the northern end of Mea Shearim (the Sanhedria neighborhood). The other was straight up the road through Sheikh Jarrah to the intersection commanded by the Mandelbaum house at the the eastern end of the Mea Shearim; although longer this would leave the Arabs with only one exposed flank. Nevo decided to split his forces to cover these two routes, and left the area between largely undefended. Nevo also concentrated his heavy weapons near Mandelbaum house as he thought the Legion was most likely to take that route. That meant the northern sector had only a pair of machine guns for support, whereas the Gadna younth in the east had the two British armoured cars, two bazookas and the Davidka of the “armoured” force. Otherwise the Gadna were armed with rifles, molotov cocktails, and a single machine gun. The Gadna fortified the two story Mandelbaum house, and mined two houses on St. George Street in the hope of splitting the advancing Legionary force. Nevo’s reserve was 30 men plus Camri Carny’s team with his Beza machinegun. By midnight the defenders were as ready as they were going to be.

Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid), Southern Sector

At 0745 hours three Egyptian Spitfires bombed Yad Mordechai on the coastal highway (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The air attack was followed by a three hour artillery bombardment – between 2,500 to 4,000 shells were lobbed into the settlement. During the morning Captain Zakaraya Muhieddin led a Egyptian reconnaissance to the kibbutz in preparation for the subsequent infantry attack, a rare activity for the Egyptians. Two companies of the 1st Battalion attacked from a banana plantation toward the pillbox area; the lead company at least was predominantly of Sudanese. The artillery barrage lifted when the infantry were 100 m from the wire, where upon Israeli fire savaged the attackers forcing them to retreat. A second attack was similarly turned back. With ammunition running low the defenders abandoned their pillbox and ran for it, but ironically the Egyptians thought this a ploy to draw them into bobby trapped positions, so once again retreated. It is possible the Egyptian’s lack of enthusiasm was due to the absence of wire cutters.

Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

Overnight, and against orders, the Jewish defenders evacuated Masada and Shaar Hagolan south of Zemach (Kurzman, 1970). The Syrians walked on the morning of 19 May.

20 May 1948

Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem

At dawn the 3rd Regiment of the Arab Legion, under Major William Newman, plodded into Sheikh Jarrah (Kurzman, 1970). The men had walked eight km after a truck ride from the Triangle, and now they pushed into the open area between Sheikh Jarrah and the Jewish New City. Communications broke down and it was 1200 hours before Newman discovered one company had made it to Damascus Gate; the other two companies were still missing. Newman, wishing to find his missing men, moved up with a troop of armoured cars. They took the wrong route and blundered into the New City. Two were knocked out and the remaining one fled. One of the lost units, equipped with anti-tank guns, had mistakenly ended up at the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, where it was halted by Israeli fire. Newman’s regimental command eventually made it to Damascus Gate, and retrieved the lost units.

(Collins & Lapierre, 1972)

At first light on 20 May the Legion’s mortars again opened up on Mea Shearim. Major John Buchanan – Slade’s replacement – led the Legionary advance on Sheikh Jarrah. Nevo deployed his reserve in response. Carny and his machine gun joined a line of riflemen in the rock field between Mea Shearim and Sheikh Jarrah, on a hill about 300 m from the road. The lead Legionary armoured car took the wrong turn at the junction of the Nablus and St George roads, and headed up the latter into the waiting Jewish ambush.

The first bazooka shot knocked out the lead armoured car. Unfortunately for the Legion Lt Negib, the task force’s artillery forward observer, was killed inside this vehicle. Six other armoured cars moved up to assist the disabled car, but another was destroyed by one of the Jewish Daimlers. The Arab infantry then moved up in support but were driven off by the Gadna youth after a furious fight around the Mandelbaum house. Meanwhile Carny crippled yet another armoured car with his machine gun fire when it and a companion turned up the dirt track through the rock field only 50 m from Carny’s machine gun post. Surprised by the desperate defence against an attack they hadn’t intended to make, the Legion task force withdrew to regroup.

Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid), Southern sector

Morning brought renewed shelling at Yad Mordechai (Kurzman, 1970). At 1100 hours, under cover of smoke screen, the 2nd Battalion – bar one platoon left in reserve in the banana plantation – attacked along the south-eastern flank. This time the Egyptians were equipped with wire cutters, however, unfortunately, a khamsin (hot wind) cleared the smoke as the Egyptians were cutting the wire. Jewish fire, including mortar shells, left 40% of the attacking force as casualties at the fence. At 1830 hours the settlement beat off the 5th attack, but by this time had themselves suffered 16 dead and 20 wounded (Herzog, 1982, says 38 casualties). On the other hand the Egyptians were up to 200 casualties. Both sides were calling for reinforcements.

Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

About 0430 hours the Syrians launched 5-8 Renault R-35 tanks, 10 armoured cars, and supported by artillery, against Degania-A (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970; Zaloga, 1981). The kibbutz had only 70 defenders, and their heaviest weapons was a 20 mm anti-tank gun (presumably rescued from Zemach). The Syrian armour halted about 150 m from the fence, but attacked at 0730 hours, now backed by a company of infantry. While the armoured cars gave the infantry covering fire, the tanks blasted the Israeli positions at point blank range. The tanks breached the wire, but after three tanks and an armoured car were knocked out by molotov cocktails and the remaining 20mm anti-tank gun, the Syrians retreated.

Before noon the Syrians had a go at Degania-B to the south (Herzog, 1982). Time time they fielded two infantry companies supported by eight tanks and armoured cars. The infantry were driven off, and a second attempt combining armour and infantry also failed.

About 1200 hours the Israelis got unexpected reinforcements – two ancient 65mm field artillery pieces (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The surprise of the Jewish artillery caused the Syrians to withdraw back to the hills of the Jordan valley. The Israeli’s managed to savage one Renault R-35 and one R-39 from the battlefield (Zaloga, 1981).

Acre, Northern Sector

After 22 hours of fighting, Acre surrendered to the Israelis (Kurzman, 1970).

21 May 1948

Old City, Jerusalem

After a see-saw battle the Arab Legion took Nissan Beck Synagogue (Kurzman, 1970). A Jewish counter-attack retook it.

Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem Sector

The first Arab attack on Ramat Rachel (Herzog, 1982).

Zemach, Degania-A, and Degania-B, Jordan Valley

With the Syrians gone, the Israelis reoccupied Zemach (Kurzman, 1970).

Kibbutz Negba, Southern Sector

The Egyptians were repulsed from Kibbutz Negba (Herzog, 1982).

Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid), Southern Sector

At 0200 hours a Palmach platoon, the only reinforcements available, entered the kibbutz (Kurzman, 1970).

22 May 1948

Old City, Jerusalem

The Arabs captured 1/3 of the remaining area of the Jewish Quarter (Kurzman, 1970).

Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem Sector

Early in the morning the Haganah sent a platoon to reinforce Ramat Rachel on the Bethlehem-Jerusalem road (Kurzman, 1970). They failed to get through as the bus was ambushed and 10 men, including the commander, were killed.

During the morning Palestinian irregulars under Ibrahim Abu Daya (who led the attack on the Thirty-Five) attacked Ramat Rachel (Kurzman, 1970). Abu Daya had between 300-350, three artilly pieces and six armoured cars. The Arabs rushed the wire fence, but Jewish fire beat them back. Abu Daya was one of the casualties. None-the-less the Jewish defenders were forced to withdraw to the concrete dining hall and the irregulars started looting the settlement.

Abraham Halperin led the Haganah’s reserve force (two platoons) into Ramat Rachel in the early evening (Kurzman, 1970). They easily cleared the irregulars from the settlement, but then withdrew themselves as they were needed elsewhere. The defence was once again in the hands of the home guardsmen.

23 May – ?? 1948: Latrun

In the battles of 1st Latrun (23 May), Second Latrun (30 May), Third Latrun (??) and Fourth Latrun (9 Jun) the Israelis attempted to break through the Arab Legion positions at Latrun – they failed (Herzog, 1982).

23-24 May 1948: Hospice of Notre Dame de France

Hospice of Notre Dame de France
from Garden side

Pasha Glubb believed he had to capture the massive Hospice of Notre Dame de France before his men could safely move into the Jewish New City (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Notre Dame was a natural fortress. The largest building in Jerusalem, the three-story Hospice was solid mass of stonework, masonry, timber and plaster and formed a honeycomb of rooms and windows. And it lay just outside the Old City between the New and Damascus gates – on the path the Legion would have to take to advance into Jewish Jerusalem.

On 23-24 May the Arab Legion’s 3rd Mechanised Regiment attempted to drive the Israelis from the massive building (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Facing them were a unit of Gadna (16-17 years olds of the youth organisation of the Haganah), supported by Home Guards, and other armed civilians. In two days of fighting the Jewish youth and homeguardsmen drove of the best the Arab world could throw at them. This was a turning point for the battle of Jerusalem, and basically defined where the Israeli-Jordanian border would be at the end of the war.

Arab Legion

  • 200 Infantrymen (Lt. Ghazi el Harbi)
  • 2 x 6-pounder anti-tank guns
  • 2 x Vickers heavy machineguns
  • 8 x 2″ mortars
  • 4 x 3″ mortars
  • 1 x 25-pounder field gun (Lt. Fendi Omeish)
  • 4 x Armoured cars (Lt. Zaal Errhavel)


  • Unit of teenage Gadna
  • Home Guards
  • Other armed civilians.
  • 1 x Piat anti-tank weapon
  • Masses of hand grenades.

23 May 1948

New City, Jerusalem

The Arab Legion attacked Notre Dame on the morning of the 23 May with a two hour bombardment by the Legion’s artillery and mortars (??). Around 1200 hours the firing subsided as four Legion armoured cars approached the building. Apparently the cars had difficulty approaching the Hospice due to rubble in the street; caused either by the Hospice’s facade collapsing into the street due to the artillery fire (Herzog, 1982) and/or a nearby Convent being demolished by the Jews the night before (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). Two armoured cars were hit by the Jew’s sole Piat, and as the car’s guns could not elevate enough to reach the 3rd floor where the Piat was located, the attackers retreated (including the damaged cars). Following this failure 200 infantrymen of the Legion attacked. Some broke into the Hospice’s garden, whereupon a group of them broke into the building itself under a barrage of hand grenades from upper floors. For the rest of the that day the Jewish defenders held the Arabs to a few rooms in the Hospice. Ghazi el-Harbi with about 10 men was lodged in the basement from 0900 hours until ordered to withdraw 1700 hours (Kurzman, 1970).

Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem Sector

On 23 May, about 60 Arabs from the neighbouring village of Sur Baher took the majority of Ramat Rachel again (Kurzman, 1970). They were assisted by the Moslem Brotherhood’s artillery. Once again the Jewish defenders were forced back to the dining hall. Later that day some Moslem Brothers and Arab Legionnaires arrived and sent men from Sur Baher packing. The new arrivals began looting, and were routed when in the evening the Haganah’s reserve force made their second appearance. The Jewish reserves withdrew again, but this time they left 10 Haganah men and 65 Irgunists who had arrived late that night.

Latrun, Jerusalem Corridor (First Battle of Latrun)

The 2nd Battalion of the Arab Legion took up positions at Deir Ayub and Yalu, freeing up 4th Battalion to concentrate on Latrun itself (Herzog, 1982).

?? Needs an intro ?? After a delayed start, the Alexandroni Battlaion attached to 7th Brigade reached its jump off point at dawn (0400 hours) (Herzog, 1982). Full daylight made the attackers perfect targets for the Arab Legion troops dug in above them, and the attack quickly faltered. The infantry battalion of 7th Brigade holding the flank was meanwhile attacked from its rear by Arab Legion and Arab irregulars; the counter-attackers had come via Beit Jiz and Beit Susin which the Israelis had assumed were empty. Under intense fire, in high temperatures and lacking sufficient water, the Israelis retreated.

Gesher and The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

The Iraqi Brigade at Gesher left a token force to continue the siege, whilst the majority moved south to Nablus via Jordan (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). There they were reinforced by a second brigade. The Arab Legion Battalion that had been stationed in the Triangle was now free to head south to Latrun.

Note: I’m a bit confused here ?? The Arab Legion Battalion that arrived at Latrun was 2 MR which is actually from 3rd Brigade and was never stationed in Nablus. In fact the armoured cars from 2 MR were fighting in Sheikh Jarrah on 19 May.

Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid), Southern Sector

At 1400 hours the Egyptians opened up with another massive bombardment (Kurzman, 1970). This time the Egyptians send in two infantry battalions (Herzog, 1982) backed led by Mark VI light tanks and Matildas (Zaloga, 1981). With ammunition running low and their machine guns becoming unserviceable the Jews were hard pressed but beat back the attack.

Kurzman (1970) presents the attack as being by a single platoon, presumably the lead platoon of the general attack. At 1500 hours Lieutenant Saad el-Gammal led an attack with two tanks, five Bren gun carriers, three armoured cars, and 14 picked men from his platoon in 2nd Battalion (the reserve platoon, hence with few casualties). Gammal advanced with two or three men behind each Bren carrier. He advanced right to the wire with the Egyptian guns still laying down cover; because of this, and the lack of smoke, the defenders didn’t see him coming. The attackers used Bangalore torpedos to cut the three lines of wire – still with no Jewish bullets fired. Gammal fired a flare and then he and his men followed the first tank through the gap, leaving the other vehicles outside to wait for the expected reinforcements. By 1900 hours, after dark had fallen, Gammal was down to two men and still hadn’t received reinforcements – his company commander had been wounded and didn’t think to attack. His tank had been also been disabled by an suicidal Jewish grenade thrower. Disappointed, but the most successful Egyptian officer so far, Gammal retreated.

24 May 1948

New City, Jerusalem

The fight at Notre Dame continued on the 24 May (Collins & Lapierre, 1972). The Arab Legion were once again supported by an armoured car but unfortunately this got too close to the Hospice and was dispatched with Molotov cocktails. At 1700 hours, after about half of his 200 men were dead or wounded, Glubb called off the attack (Herzog, 1982).

Ramat Rachel, Jerusalem Sector

The Egyptian Colonel Aziz personally led the third attack on Ramat Rachel (Kurzman, 1970). Aside from his own men he was supported by 53 Arab Legionnaires with two armoured cars and over 100 Palestinian irregulars. Day light brought a flurry of Egyptian shells. The Arab infantry attacked about 1000 hours, overrunning the eastern part of the settlement. With casualties mounting the Jews retreated to the dining hall – again – where they maintained silence to persuade the Arabs they were all dead. With the settlement apparently in Arab hands – an an Egyptian flag flying – local villagers arrived to loot, and the Moslem Brothers and Legionnaires joined in. The Brotherhood troops and Legionnaires were subsequently withdrawn, leaving the villagers to loot. That night about 50 men of the Harel Brigade arrived and Ramat Rachel was once again in Jewish control.

Yad Mordechai (Deir Seneid), Southern Sector

Just after 0300 hours the defenders of Yad Mordechai abandoned the settlement (Kurzman, 1970). At 2300 hours Lieutenant Gammal led a company of more than 80 men into the the settlement, and was relieved to find it empty.

25 May 1948

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

The Iraqis moved past Tulkarim headed for the Mediterranean (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970, implied this move was on 28 May). Sometime before 28 May the Iraqis took the Jewish settlement of Geulim.

26 May 1948

The Radar, Jerusalem Corridor

During WWII The British had erected a tall radio mast near the Christian Arab village of Abu Gosh on the main Tel Aviv to Jerusalem highway (??). It became known as the “Radar” and upon the British evacuation in 1948 the facility was occupied by 80-90 Israelis of the Etzioni Brigade. On 26 May 1948 (Herzog, 1982, and Laffin,1982, although Lunt, 1999 says 24 May) a company of the Arab Legion’s 1st Mechanised Regiment under Lt. Adbudllah Falah cut through the barbed wire entanglements under heavy fire and stormed the position. Three Legionnaires died in the attack and 26 were wounded including Lt. Falah (who later died of his wounds). 13 Israelis were killed. Repeated Israeli counter-attacks were repelled by the Arab Legion defenders.

Around this time the Israeli’s took Beit Jiz and Beit Susin to secure any future attacks on Latrun (Herzog, 1982). The Alexandroni Battlaion attached to 7th Brigade was replaced by battalion from Givati.

28 May – 3 Jun: Attack on Jenin

To counter the Iraqi push to Natanya on the sea, the Israeli Carmeli and Golani brigades attacked Jenin in the Triangle (Herzog, 1982). The took the town on 3 Jun but were not in a position to hold it under Iraqi pressure, and withdrew. The Israelis continued to hold all of the positions north of the town.

28 May 1948


Under “Order No. 4” the various Israeli armed forces (Haganah, Palmach, Irgun, Stern Gang etc) were collectively transformed into the Israeli Defence Force (commonly referred to by its acronym, IDF in English, and Tzahal in Hebrew) (Herzog, 1982; Katz, 1988b, says 30 May).

Old City, Jerusalem

The Arab Legion imposed a cease-fire from 0000 to 1300 hours to give the Jews a chance to surrender, which with only 35-36 men and women in arms and only 300 rounds of ammunition left, they did (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Arab Irregulars destroyed the Jewish Quarter including 58 synagogues.

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

Israeli troops from Golani and Carmeli began moving south from Afula toward Jenin and took Zar’in (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970).

Meanwhile Iraqi units reached Kfar Yona, Ein Vered and Kfar Javits, the later only 10 km from Natanya on the coast (Herzog, 1982). This was as far west as they got; the Alexandroni Brigade halted them and recaptured Geulim.

29 May 1948

Ashdod, Southern Sector

Israeli reconnaissance spots 500 Egyptian vehicles on the coastal road heading towards Ashdod, only 40 km from Tel Aviv (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). In fact Mohammed Neguib – in charge of the column – had 2,300 men of the 2nd Brigade, 10 tanks and 6 field guns. Only one Israeli unit was available to confront the Egyptians – a company whose men were mostly suffering from food poisoning. However, the Egyptians were stopped by an attack by Israel’s first four Messerschmitts, and the belief the Jews had 4,000 men waiting for them on the road ahead. They halted at the blow bridge about 3 km north of the village of Isdud and dug in. Subsequently Israeli 65 mm artillery and Givati raiders harassed the Egyptian flanks.

30 May 1948

Latrun, Jerusalem Corridor (Second Battle of Latrun)

The Israeli plan for the second battle of Latrun demanded that (Herzog, 1982):

  • The battalion attached from Givati Brigade attack from Beit Susin, across the Latrun-Jerusalem road, then take Deir Ayub and Yalu, thus threatening the Latrun-Ramallah road and the Arab Legion’s supply route.
  • The 7th Brigade’s armoured battalion, under Laskov, supported by an infantry battalion, would take the Latrun police fortress, the village itself, and the Monastery.

The Givati Battalion took Deir Ayub unopposed, however, when the leading platoon suffered minor casualties when it pushed toward Yalu (Herzog, 1982). The platoon, company and battalion panicked, abandoned Deir Ayub, and retreated. Alerted by this attack, the Arab Legion commander threw all his reserves – including cooks and clerks – into the police fortress.

Laskov’s armoured reached the village and police fortress, and even broke through the outer gate of the fortress, but didn’t get the expected infantry support (Herzog, 1982). Israeli flamethrowers mounted on half tracks were used to drive the Arab Legion soldiers from the edge of the roof of the police fortress, but also highlighted the Israeli positions for Arab Legion anti-tank gunners. And when the Israeli sappers were shot down trying to blow the inner gate, Laskov’s armour had to retreat. .

The judgment of Colonel David Marcus (aka Mickey Stone), an American staff officer with the Israeli’s was “Plan good, artillery good, armour excellent, infantry disgraceful.”

31 May 1948

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

On the night of 31 May / 1 Jun a Golani force took the Arab villages in the Mount Gilboa range northeast of Jenin (Herzog, 1982). Golani also seized Megiddo and Lajun to the north of Jenin.

1st week of June 1948

Galilee and Jerusalem Corridor

The Yiftach Brigade moved south to face the Arab Legion at Latrun (Herzog, 1982). They were replaced in Galilee by the Oded Brigade.

1 Jun 1948

Ashdod, Southern Sector

The Israeli’s had organised a brigade sized force to attack the Egyptians at Ashdod (Kurzman, 1970). Three battalions of infantry (including one from the Irgun), and a company of armed jeeps were waiting at the jump off point when the attack was cancelled. The Israelis mistakenly believed the Arabs had agreed to a ceasefire and called off the attack.

2 Jun 1948

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

The Carmeli Brigade took Mukeibila and Jalama to the north of Jenin (Herzog, 1982). The Golani Brigade Araneh and Deir Ghazala.

Kibbutz Negba, Southern Sector

At 0700 hours Egyptian tanks and infantry – from the 1st Brigade under Brigadier Said Taha Bey – attacked Kibbutz Negba under cover of a smoke screen (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). 1,000 Egyptians against 140 Israelis. The Egyptians made it to the inner fence but the Israeli’s sole piat team saw off six tanks, and others were driven off by molotov cocktails. An Israeli jeep force also threatened the Egyptian’s rear. A second smoke screen shielded the mauled Egyptians as they withdrew. The Egyptians suffers over 100 casualties.

Ashdod, Southern Sector

After dark the Israeli’s put in their attack on the Egyptians at Ashdod Herzog, 1982; (Kurzman, 1970). The Jews attacked from the north, east and south. The main attack, that from the north into the Egyptian rear, was repulsed about dawn on 3 Jun with 30 killed from the approximately 90 men involved. Carmi’s company of armed jeeps, half-tracks, and armoured cars, attacking from the south made slow going through heavy sand dunes, and was still fighting when dawn broke. They retreated under heavy Egyptian fire, and narrowly escaped being cut off by a column of Egyptian armoured cars. Although bloodily repulsed (there were over 100 Israeli casualties), this attack convinced the Egyptian command to consolidate their gains.

3 Jun 1948

The Triangle (Jenin, Tulkarim, Nablus)

By dawn on 3 Jan, three Carmeli battalions had taken the high ground surrounding Jenin (Kurzman, 1970). All the remaining Arabs in the area had retreated to the Police fortress: Major Nuh had about 200 Iraqi paratroopers, some Iraqi soldiers who had retreated from positions in the nearby hills, 40 Palestinian irregulars, and some local civilians. Nuh called for reinforcements and artillery support. The headquarters of Carmeli 21st Battalion was taken out by the Arab bombardment, and one Israeli company abandoned their positions. By 1050 the Iraqis were running low on ammunition. The Israeli’s then ambushed Iraqi reinforcements – a convoy of 40 vehicles under Major Omar Ali – approaching from Nablus (this was the force originally intended to head for the coast). Ali’s men debussed and with support from Palestinian irregulars, aircraft, and a storm of artillery and mortar fire, attacked the entrenched Israelis in the hills. The relatively untrained Arabs took severe losses and failed to reach Jenin, but the the Jewish forces were also dwindling. A second Iraqi force arrived in the afternoon and coordinated with Ali’s. The Israeli’s reserve – several armoured cars and four civilian buses, each with a platoon of infantry – then took undefended Jenin. In the evening men from the Golani Brigade tried to blow their way into Jenin’s Police fortress, but they had insufficient explosives to made a large enough hole, and were forced to retreat. Under pressure from the Iraqis and with no reinforcements of their own, the Israeli command decided to withdraw. Overnight the entire Israeli force withdrew from Jenin and the surrounding hills.

4 Jun 1948


On the night of 4 Jun the Alexandroni Brigade took the large village of Kakun on the road between Tulkarim and the coastal city of Natanya (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970).

5 Jun 1948


The Alexandroni Brigade repulsed several Arab attacks on Kakun (Kurzman, 1970).

6 Jun 1948

Malkiya, Galilee

On the morning of 6 Jun a combined Arab force attacked Malkiya (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). Kurzman says the Arab had three Arab battalions – one Lebanese, one Syrian and one ALA – whereas Herzog says two brigades of Lebanese and ALA units. The defenders were from the untried Oded Brigade and were caught by surprise. None-the-less the Syrians took heavy causalities when they stumbled into a minefield. The Israeli’s stopped the advance of the ALA, but the Lebanese took Malkiya. Nearby Kadesh also fell. The ALA subsequently spread out west and east into Galilee.

Mishmar Hayarden, Galilee

The Syrian 2nd Brigade – two infantry battalions and tanks – attacked Mishmar Hayarden near the Syrian border (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970; Zaloga, 1981). In the morning Syrian infantry forded the Jordan river under cover of an artillery barrage. The local settlers, plus reinforcements from the Oded brigade, managed to prevent the Syrians bringing their armour across the fords. Late in the day, the Syrians withdrew to the east bank again.

7 Jun 1948

Kibbutz Nitzanim, Southern Sector

The Egyptian guns opened up at 0000 hours (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). The Egyptians had the 9th Infantry Battalion, a platoon of tanks, a company of armoured cars, a regiment of 25-pounder guns, a battery of anti-aircraft guns, two batteries of anti-tank guns, and a squadron of fighter planes. The 130-150 defenders were half settlers and Givati Brigade soldiers with light arms, one 2-inch mortar, and a single piat. The Egyptian infantry advanced from the northwest at 0900 hours, but only got to 40 m of the wire before being driven back. A second infantry attack was also driven back. Two Egyptian planes strafed and bombed the Israeli positions before tanks attacked the defences on the east and northeast. The Jewish piat took out two tanks, but when the operator was wounded there was no trained replacement and the Egyptians broke into the settlement. Some defenders attempted to hold off the attackers from a hill in the centre of the kibbutz, but by 1500 hours, most survivors -100 people mostly wounded – had retreated to the “Palace”, a large Arab house in the south of the kibbutz. Some of the occupants tried to escape, but were driven back by Egyptian fire. The Jewish commander and his female radio operator walked out to offer to surrender, but were shot dead. Shortly after another surrender attempt succeeded. 90 men and 7 women were taken captive.

Hill 69 and Company B, Southern Sector

Hill 69 was a former British army camp about 1.5 km southwest of Kibbutz Nitzanim and 800 m east of the coast road (Kurman, 1970). The Israelis decided to take the hill to threaten the nearby Egyptians. At 0300 hours Captain Aharon and 75 relatively inexperienced men from B company, 51st Battalion, Givati Brigade, marched the 1,100 m south from Beit Daras, across an open field between unmarked Jewish minefields. They occupied the hill unopposed, and settled into a shallow positions under the shadow of the three large water towers on the hill. Their defensive circle was only 120 m across – too small an area for the number of men. At 0500 hours the Egyptian artillery opened up and the Jews saw bren carriers and half-tracks approaching along the road from the kibbutz. Under fire from the Israeli’s, two half-tracks ran off the road into a ditch. The other Egyptian vehicles retreated when a piat opened up. None-the-less the Egyptians kept pounding the hill top positions with everything they had. Dug into soft earth, the Israeli fox holes began to crumble and casualties mounted. At about 1200 hours a battalion of Egyptian infantry supported by two tanks and several half-tracks closed in on the hill from three sides – only the route through the minefield to Beit Daras was still open. At 1315 hours Captain Aharon retreated with the 3rd platoon, but the runner sent to inform the other platoons was killed before reaching them. In the confusion most Israelis abandoned their positions and ran for the track as Egyptian armoured tried to cut the life line. A second Israeli company deployed in the orange grove outside Beit Daras to give covering fire, but Egyptian tanks crawled to within 50 m of them and opened up; and to add insult to injury their own supporting mortars dropped over 20 shells on them. Under fire from Egyptian mortars and tank machine guns, Company B ran along the track – few reached safety. One Israeli chose to stay behind – a young artillery observer spotted Egyptian positions for the mortars at Beit Daras. After all other survivors had reached safety and the Egyptian tanks began to ascend the hill, this man called in mortars on his own position. Two tanks were knocked out but the observer was also killed.

The Egyptians subsequently pushed on to Beer Tuvia, but were repulsed (Herzog, 1982).

9 Jun 1948

Latrun, Jerusalem Corridor (Fourth Battle of Latrun)

The Yiftach Brigade, having moved down from Galilee, joined the Harel Brigade for an attack on Latrun (Herzog, 1982). Yiftach attacked from the west and Harel from the eastern mountains. The plan went awry when the Harel Brigade took the wrong position, hence exposed advancing Yiftach forces to murderous Arab fire.

?? to check Zaloga (1981) and ?? say several Israeli tanks – from 82nd Tank Battalion of 8th Brigade – were destroyed by the Arab Legion 6-pounder, but somebody else ?? says they retreated when the first tank malfunctioned.

10 Jun 1948

Jerusalem Corridor

The Arab Legion counter-attacked after the failed Fourth Battle of Latrun, and took Gezer near Hulda (Herzog, 1982). The village was looted, but the Yiftach Brigade retook it during the evening.

The first convoy drove from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over the Burma Road (Herzog, 1982).

Ein Gev, Galilee

The 100 armed defenders of Ein Gev, a lonely settlement to the east of the Sea of Galilee, saw off a Syrian Battalion backed by artillery (Herzog, 1982).

Ramat Naftali, Galilee

In a day long battle the Lebanese were beaten back from Ramat Naftali (Herzog, 1982).

Mishmar Hayarden, Galilee

Two Syrian brigades attacked Mishmar Hayarden (Herzog, 1982; Kurzman, 1970). One struck the settlement from the north and south, whilst the second pushed towards Mahanayim to close off the Mishmar Hayarden from the rear. Eight Syrian tanks led the assault on the settlement, destroying defenses at point blank range. By 1200 hours (Herzog, says “late in the day”) they had taken the settlement. Most of the defenders were killed; there were only 20 Israeli prisoners. Further advance by the Syrians was blocked by units of the Oded Brigade and an entire battalion from the Carmeli Brigade which had been rushed to the area, but which arrived too late.

Negev, Southern Sector

The 7th Battalion from the Negev Brigade were repulsed from the police fortress at Iraq Suedan (Herzog, 1982). Meanwhile other units of the Negev Brigade took Beer Ashuj on the Auja-Beersheba road. Palmach – presumably Negev again – took Kaukaba and Huleiqat south of the Junction (the intersection of the Majdal-Faluja and Kaukaba-Julis roads). But the Egyptians took control of the high ground dominating the Junction, thus blocking the road to the south. Givati captured Hill 113 near the Junction

11 Jun 1948

Nazareth, Galilee

The ALA took Nazareth (Kurzman, 1970).

Around this time an attack by the Golani Brigade was driven off from Lubya to the north of Nazareth (Herzog, 1982).

11 Jun – 9 Jul 1948: First UN Truce

At 1000 hours on 11 Jun 1948 the first UN truce came into effect (Herzog, 1982). Both sides welcomed the respite. For the Israeli’s the most important result was that Jerusalem could be restocked via the Burma Road. The first truce lasted less than a month ending on 9 Jul.

First to the Second Truce (15 Oct 1948)

?? Jun 1948

8th Armoured Brigade

Just after the Lydda battle the Israeli 8th Armoured Brigade began receiving modified half tracks with 20 mm, 2-pounder, and 6-pounder guns mounted (Zaloga, 1981).

Nazareth, Galilee

Ignoring the first truce the ALA attacked Sejera near Lubya and Nazareth, but after heavy fighting were driven off (Herzog, 1982).

Kibbutz Kfar Darom, Southern Sector

The Israeli’s saw little point in maintaining such an exposed position, so secretly abandoned Kibbutz Kfar Darom toward the end of the first UN truce (Herzog, 1982).

10 Jul 1948

??, Northern Sector

A combined arms operation brought the Iraqis into Palestine (Zaloga, 1981).

12 Jul 1948

Negba, Southern Sector

Egyptian Mark VI light tanks and infantry were pushed back from Negba (Zaloga, 1981).

16 Jul 1948

Nazareth, Galilee

Zaloga (1981) mentions the ALA being supported by Syrian automitrailleuses Doge, i.e. Dodge trucks with improvised armour and an turret mounted SA.18 37mm gun. The half tracks of the Israeli 7th Brigade dealt to them on 16 Jul.

?? 1948: Second UN Truce

At ?? hours the second UN truce came into effect (??).

Second truce to Armistice (20 Jul 1949)

24 Feb 1949

Armistice between Israel and Egypt.

23 Mar 1949

Armistice between Israel and Lebanon

3 Apr 1949

Armistice between Israel and Jordan

20 Jun 1949

Armistice between Israel and Syria


See my full list of Arab-Israeli sources.

1 thought on “Timeline of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War”

Leave a Reply