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Sign-O-Pedia: War of Independence (Israel)

About the tag

[כתHistorical BackgroundThe War of Independence, also known as the War of Liberation or 1948 Arab–Israeli War is the war that began with the UN resolution on the partition plan in which it was decided that the Land of Israel would be divided into Jews and Arabs (November 29, 1947) [in fact, the war began the day after the partition decision, on November 30], and lasted until July 20, 1949 with the signing of the armistice agreement with Syria.

The Jewish community fought the war through the underground organizations: Haganah, Etzel ו Lehi, and the IDF (after the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948), against the Arabs of the Land of Israel, and Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

As mentioned, the war began on November 30, 1947, the day after the declaration of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948, Arab armies joined the war, when during this period Israel’s main efforts were to stop the advance of the Arab forces.
The first truce began on May 10, 1948, mediated by the United Nations. Most of the parties stopped fighting. The truce lasted for about 4 weeks until July 7, 1948.
The second truce was carried out after 10 days of fighting at the end of the first truce, after a vigorous demand by the UN Security Council. From July 19 and actually lasted until the end of the war ,

At the end of the war, the borders of the State of Israel were determined, when Jerusalem was divided, the eastern part was under the control of Jordan, so was the West Bank. The Gaza Strip came under Egyptian control. And the State of Israel stretched from Metula in the north to Eilat in the south.
The number of dead on the Israeli side was 6,272 and on the Arab side about 15,000 people.

After the partition plan and before the establishment of the state, the British imposed a blockade on the beaches of Israel, which prevented the importation of weapons. So the Israeli forces suffered from a severe lack of weapons. They tried to reduce this shortage by trying to buy weapons from different sources, and even turn to the direction of self-production of weapons.
In April 1948, the procurement ship "Nora" breached the blockade, anchored in the port of Tel Aviv and brought many weapons . More shipments followed.

The Israeli mortar "Davidka" developed during the War of Independence by David Leibovitz, and its main success was the great noise it made, a noise that in many cases caused the Arab attackers to flee. , (More about the Doidekah on the page dedicated to Haganah)

The Egyptian army used armored personnel carriers (Bren Carrier), left over from the British rule

IDF forces

Ground Forces
The land army was mainly composed of forces that came from the "Haganah" organization, mainly the Palmach and the Hish, as well as forces from the Etzel and the Lehi.

The following divisions participated in the fighting (the symbols of the divisions were taken from signs on the site):
- Givati Brigade - the "Haganah" brigade established in November 1947 after the UN assembly. Responsible for the Tel Aviv area and the south.
- Etzioni Brigade - was established in November 1947 and was intended to operate in the area of the city of Jerusalem.
- Alexandroni Brigade - Defense Brigade (Field Forces), was established in December 1947 and was responsible for the Sharon area.
- Golani Brigade - In February 1948, the Lebanese Brigade was split into the Golani and Carmeli Brigades, when the Golani Brigade was responsible for the settlements in the north, and in particular for the transport routes to them.
- The Carmeli Brigade - In February 1948, the Lebanese Brigade was split into the Golani and Carmeli Brigades, when the Carmeli Brigade was responsible for the Haifa area .
- The Negev Brigade - a brigade established on the basis of the Palmach forces, established in the middle of March 1948, and was responsible for the south of the country.
- Harel Palmach Brigade - The brigade was established during Operation Nachshon on April 16, 1948 and operated in escorting convoys to Jerusalem, the breakthrough to Jerusalem, and in the battles that took place in Jerusalem and its surroundings. "Shear HaGai" and the 6th battalion "Jerusalem" ,
During the War of Independence, battalion headquarters of the brigade lived in Kiryat Inavim
- 7th Brigade - established in May 1948, the first armored brigade
- The Yiftach Palmach Brigade - The brigade was established during the Yiftach operation at the end of May 1948, on the basis of the Palmach forces and was responsible for the Galilee area.

Air Force
The pilots of the Air Force (Air Service), which consisted mainly of light aircraft, defended the coasts of Israel against the ships of the Egyptian Navy

Foreign volunteers to Israel - more than 3,000 people who came from outside Israel with the aim of helping the IDF in the War of Independence. They worked in all branches of the army: the Air Force, the Naval Service, the Medical Corps and the Field Forces

Commanders and headquarters
With the beginning of the War of Independence, due to the bombings of Tel Aviv, the leadership of the "Haganah" moved to the "Helama" sanatorium in Ramat Gan, where the swearing in of the IDF High Command was also held on June 27, 1948

The fighting

The siege and battles in the Jerusalem area
The siege of Jerusalem resulted from blocking the only traffic artery to Jerusalem
To ensure a regular supply of food to Jerusalem, convoys were organized, accompanied by armored vehicles, vehicles protected by steel plates

At the beginning of 1948, after frequent shootings at vehicles traveling on the Jaffa-Jerusalem road , it was decided to establish a security road, south of Tel Aviv, through the Mikve Israel Agricultural School, Holon, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Hulda to Jerusalem (Parking was many times in Mezkerat Batia )
Details about the caravans are also found in the memorial to the pioneers of the path to Jerusalem
Accompanying the convoys were the Palmach men who were called "Foormans" after their office in the National Institutions building, for which camouflage he carried the sign "Shimon Foorman" (travel man in Yiddish)

Below are several major convoys:
- The Hartuv convoy - a convoy that set out to bring supplies to the besieged Hartuv settlement, on March 18, 1948. The convoy was attacked on its way back to Jerusalem - 11 fighters were killed.
- Nabi Daniel convoy - a large convoy that left on March 27, 1948 to deliver supplies to the besieged Gush Etzion. On her way back near the village of Nabi Daniel she came across a checkpoint and in the battle that ensued 15 of the convoy members were killed
- Huldah convoy - left Huldah on March 31, 1948 with the aim of bringing supplies to besieged Jerusalem. The convoy that got stuck in the mud was attacked by Arab forces that came from Ramla. During the fighting, 22 people were killed
- The Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, as well as the Hebrew University campus there, were besieged. On April 13, 1948, a convoy left with food and medical supplies (the Hadassah convoy). The convoy was attacked and 78 of the hospital staff members were killed in the attack, after that the convoys stopped going to Hadassah Hospital until the end of the War of Independence .

During the days of the siege, every drop of water was important, a battalion of water distributors of the "Mishmar Ha’am" organization was responsible for distributing the water

Main promotions in the Jerusalem area
- Operation Nachshon - April 2-14, 1948 - after the losses of Nabi Daniel’s convoy, it was decided to open the road to Jerusalem, as part of the operation the Kastel was captured and the road to Jerusalem was temporarily opened
The headquarters of the operation was in Kibbutz Naan
- On May 18, 1948, the men of the Palmach "Harel" captured Mount Zion and from there broke through the Zion Gate to help the Jewish Quarter in the Old City
- Battles of Shaar HaGai - On April 20, 1948, a convoy of more than 250 trucks left accompanied by fighters of the 4th and 5th battalions of the "Harel" brigade. The convoy was attacked in the Shaar HaGai area. The road remained blocked, and 15 of the convoy were killed.
- Operation Yevusi - April 22, 1948 - Operation "Yebosi" took place following information that the British were preparing to evacuate parts of Jerusalem, the defense forces tried to take control of these areas. As part of the operation, the village of Shuafat was captured and destroyed by the Fifth Battalion of the Palmach-Harel Brigade , Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and San Simon Monastery and Katmon neighborhood In addition to attempts to take over the Augusta Victoria complex in the Mount of Olives
- Operation Maccabi - May 7, 1948 - Repeated attempts to take control of the Shear HaGai gates in order to open the road to Jerusalem
- Operation Yoram - June 8, 1948 - the third attempt to capture Letron, thereby opening the road to Jerusalem. The fifth battalion of the Harel Brigade participated in the battle. The attempt failed and 16 fighters were killed in the battle
- Burma Road - a road that was opened on June 10, 1948, bypassed the Letron compound, and thus enabled the arrival of supplies to Jerusalem. ,
- Operation Pitchfork - taking over the center of Jerusalem through the "Etzioni" brigade
- In May 1948, the battles over the Notre Dame hostel took place. It was the battles that stopped the invasion of the Jordanian Legion from entering West Jerusalem. Lehi fighters first participated in the battles and later, as part of the "Haganah’s" operation "Kalshan", the building was occupied by the "Moriya" battalion from the "Etzioni" brigade
- The Mountain Operation - October 19, 1948 - the last operation in the Jerusalem Corridor area, against the Egyptian and Arab forces in the area.

Gush Etzion and the Israelite convoy
Gush Etzion, which had 4 kibbutzim, was included in the partition plan in the territory belonging to an Arab state. Immediately at the beginning of the War of Independence, the Arabs laid siege to the bloc. The battalion came to the aid of the Gush and participated in The Convoy of 35 and the Nabi Daniel convoy and in the battles that took place to lift the siege.
The children and women who were evacuated from Gush Etzion were housed in the "Hatzer Hagdola" in Tel Aviv

The first battle on Gush Etzion was on January 14, 1948, in which the attackers were repelled, the day after the battle, it was decided to send the The Convoy of 35 to increase the number of fighters in the block. Commanded by Danny Mass, who was the commander of Gush Etzion and the deputy commander of the 6th battalion. The platoon was discovered and hordes of Arabs attacked it. All the members of the platoon were killed in the battle.

Northern Israel
- On March 14, 1948, an explosive squad from the "Carmel" brigade of the "Hagana" penetrated the tunnel and the Hanikra Bridge in Rosh Hanikra and blew up the bridge
- On April 4-15, 1948, the Battle of Mishmar HaEmek was held, between Arab forces under the command of Fawzi al-Qawuqji, and between the Haganah and the Palmach forces under the command of Yitzhak Sadeh and Dan Laner. The battles ended with the victory of the Haganah forces, and the occupation of the surrounding Arab villages
- Between the months of April and May 1948, several attempts were made to occupy the Nabi Yusha police station, a police station of strategic importance because it dominates the access roads to the settlements in the north of the country. The name of the citadel was changed to citadel 28 after the name of the 28 warriors who fell trying to take over the citadel
- Between April 27-29, 1948, the Trans-Jordanian Arab Legion and irregular forces attacked Kibbutz Gesher, later Iraqi forces also joined them. The kibbutz withstood all the attacks
- On May 14, 1948, the three bridges near Gesher were sabotaged to prevent the advance of the Iraqi army
- Operation "Dekel" - an operation to conquer Nazareth from the forces of the Arab "Salvation Army"
- Operation "Hiram" - an operation to liberate the Upper Galilee, between October 28-31, 1948. Following the operation, the Arab "Salvation Army" stopped functioning. The 7th Brigadeparticipated in the operation ,

The center of the country
- On February 20, 1948, Palmach fighters of the 5th battalion of the "Harel" brigade attacked the ice factory in Yazir (area), a place that was a center of Arab gangs and a threat to the convoys to Jerusalem
The Battle of Qaqun - July 4-5, 1948 - The forces of the Alexandroni Brigade occupied the village which was a point of control over the area and controlled the road to Sharon. It was the biggest defeat of the Iraqi army in the war of independence. 16 fighters of the brigade fell in the battle

Liberation of Jaffa
In the liberation of the city of Jaffa from the Arabs, the forces of the "Haganah" and the Etzel participated
The Etzel High Command that coordinated the attack on Jaffa was at Alliance High School in Tel Aviv
In order to prepare the ground for the occupation of Jaffa, an operation of the "Haganah" took place immediately after the IDF attack on Jaffa - "Operation Hametz" (April 28, 1948) whose purpose was to occupy the surroundings of Jaffa. The "Haganah" brigades participated in the operation: "Alexandroni ", "Givati" and "Kiriaiti"
- In May 1948, Etzel forces tried to take control of the city of Ramla. There were several rounds of attempts, but at the end the city remained under Arab control. At the end of the fighting, 51 Etzel soldiers were killed
- The Danny operation July 9-18, 1948, was one of the largest operations of the IDF after the declaration of the state. As part of this operation, the cities of Ramla and Lod , and the Lod airport were occupied. At the end of the operation, Beit Nuva strongholds were also captured and an enclave was created for Latron and the village of Tzova

South of the country
In order to block the advance of the Egyptian army, in May 1948 a checkpoint was established in the village of Warburg by the Givati Brigade
- In May 1948, Kibbutz Negba was bombed by the Egyptian army. The water tower that was shelled and remains to this day serves as a souvenir of this war
- Between May 19-24, 1948, battles took place in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai between the Egyptian army and members of the kibbutz and members of the Palmach. At the end of the battles fought against a superior Egyptian force, more than 300 Egyptian soldiers and 26 members of the kibbutz and Palmach fighters were killed. Faced with the superior Egyptian force, it was decided to abandon the kibbutz, until it was liberated as part of Operation Yoav in November 1948
- In June 1948, the Egyptian army advanced as far as the "Ad Halom" bridge and occupied Nitzanim. The only control that stood in his way was Hill 69. A company of the Givati Brigade fortified itself in the hill, and fought the forces of the Egyptian army. 20 warriors fell in the battle, the hill was conquered, but the progress of the Egyptian army was stopped
- On October 21, 1948, the city of Beer Sheva was liberated by the 8th and 14th Brigade


Monuments are scattered throughout Israel, mainly those dedicated to those who fell in the War of Independence.
Ramat Gan , Tel Aviv , Ra’anana , Shaar HaGai , Shuaba , Givat HaKarb , Modi’in , Ramla , Emek Hefer , Beer Tovia , Negba , Letron , near the Zion Railway , Kiryat Inavim , Bat Yam , Haifa , Jerusalem , Rishon LeZion

The places on the site that refer to the concept War of Independence (Israel) (1-25  of 191)
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