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David Raziel (December 19, 1910 - May 20, 1941) was a fighter of the Jewish underground during the British mandate, and one of the founders of the Irgun.

Born in SmarhoĊ„marker (now in Hrodna Voblastmarker, Belarusmarker), Vilnamarker district in the Russian Empiremarker, he immigrated with his family at the age of three to British Mandate of Palestine, where his father became a Hebrew teacher at a Tel-Avivmarker elementary school. When the 1929 Hebron massacre broke out, he joined the Haganah in Jerusalemmarker, where he was studying philosophy and mathematics at the Hebrew Universitymarker. When the Irgun was established, he was one of its first members, and displayed outstanding military skills.

In 1937 he was appointed by the Irgun as the first Commander of Jerusalem District and a year later Commander in Chief of the Irgun. His term as leader was especially marked by violence against Arabs, including a sequence of market-place bombings.

On May 17, 1941 he was sent, with three of his comrades including Ya'akov Meridor, to Iraqmarker on behalf of the British army. On May 20, a bomb from a Germanmarker aircraft killed him and the British officer with him near an oil deposit in Habbaniyahmarker. Meridor returned to Palestine and took over command of the Irgun.

In 1955 his remains were exhumed and transferred to Cyprusmarker, and again in 1961 to Jerusalem's Mount Herzlmarker military cemetery.

Ramat Razielmarker, a moshav in the Judean Mountainsmarker is named after Raziel, as well as many streets in Israel bearing his name in commemoration. His sister, Esther was later a member of the Knessetmarker for Herut, the party founded by Irgun leader Menachem Begin.

Bibliography: The Birth of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, Daniel Levine, Gefen Publishing House Ltd., Jersualem, Israel, 1991, ISBN 965-229-071-8.


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