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During the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine against the British Mandate of Palestine the militant Zionist group the Irgun carried out sixty attacks against Arabs and Britishmarker soldiers. Irgun was described as a terrorist organization by the New York Times, the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry, prominent world figures such as Winston Churchill and Jewish figures such as Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, and many others. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes it as "an underground organization."

Irgun launched a series of attacks which lasted until the beginning of World War II. All told, Irgun attacks against Arab targets resulted in at least 250 Arab deaths during this period. Following is a list of attacks resulting in death attributed to Irgun that took place during the 1930s. The Irgun conducted at least 60 operations altogether during this period.

List of Irgun attacks 1937-1948

Date Casualties References
1937, March 2 Arabs killed on Bat-Yammarker beach.
1937, November 14 10 Arabs killed by Irgun units launching attacks around Jerusalem, ("Black Sunday")
1938, April 12 2 Arabs and 2 British policemen were killed by a bomb in a train in Haifamarker.
1938, April 17 1 Arab was killed by a bomb detonated in a cafe in Haifa
1938, May 17 1 Arab policeman was killed in an attack on a bus in the Jerusalemmarker-Hebronmarker road.
1938, May 24 3 Arabs were shot and killed in Haifa.
1938, June 23 2 Arabs were killed near Tel-Avivmarker.
1938, June 26 7 Arabs were killed by a bomb in Jaffamarker.
1938, June 27 1 Arab was killed in the yard of a hospital in Haifa.
1938, June (late) Unspecified number of Arabs killed by a bomb that was thrown into a crowded Arab market place in Jerusalemmarker.
1938, July 5 7 Arabs were killed in several shooting attacks in Tel-Aviv.
1938, July 5 3 Arabs were killed by a bomb detonated in a bus in Jerusalem.
1938, July 5 1 Arab was killed in another attack in Jerusalem.
1938, July 6 18 Arabs and 5 Jews were killed by two simultaneous bombs in the Arab melon market in Haifa.
1938, July 8 4 Arabs were killed by a bomb in Jerusalem.
1938, July 16 10 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Jerusalem.
1938, July 25 43 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Haifa.
1938, August 26 24 Arabs were killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Jaffa.
1938, February 27 33 Arabs were killed in multiple attacks, incl. 24 by bomb in Arab market in Suk Quarter of Haifa and 4 by bomb in Arab vegetable market in Jerusalem.
1939, May 29 5 Arabs were killed by a mine detonated at the Rex cinema in Jerusalem.
1939, May 29 5 Arabs were shot and killed during a raid on the village of Biyar 'Adasmarker.
1939, June 2 5 Arabs were killed by a bomb at the Jaffa Gatemarker in Jerusalem.
1939, June 12 1 British bomb expert trying to defuse the bombs killed, during a post office in Jerusalem was bombing
1939, June 16 6 Arabs were killed in several attacks in Jerusalem.
1939, June 19 20 Arabs were killed by explosives mounted on a donkey at a marketplace in Haifa.
1939, June 29 13 Arabs were killed in several shooting attacks around Jaffa during a one-hour period.
1939, June 30 1 Arab was killed at a marketplace in Jerusalem.
1939, June 30 2 Arabs were shot and killed in Liftamarker.
1939, July 3 1 Arab was killed by a bomb at a marketplace in Haifa.
1939, July 4 2 Arabs were killed in two attacks in Jerusalem.
1939, July 20 1 Arab was killed at a train station in Jaffa.
1939, July 20 6 Arabs were killed in several attacks in Tel-Aviv.
1939, July 20 3 Arabs were killed in Rehovotmarker.
1939, August 27 2 British officers were killed by a mine in Jerusalem.
1944, September 27 Unknown number of casualties, around 150 Irgun members attacked four British police stations
1944, September 29 1 Senior British police officer of the Criminal Intelligence Department assassinated in Jerusalem.
1945, December 27 7 British policemen killed during the bombing of British Intelligence offices in Jerusalem; 1 British soldier killed during attack of British army camp in north Tel Aviv
1946, July 22 91 people were killed at King David Hotel Bombingmarker mostly civilians, most ... staff of the hotel or Secretariat,

41 Palestinian Arabs, 15-28 British citizens, 17 Palestinian Jews, 2 Armenians, 1 Russian, 1 Greek and 1 Egyptian.
1946, October 30 2 British guards killed during Gunfire and explosion at Jerusalem Railway Station.
1947, January 12 4 killed in bombing of British headquarters.
1947, March 1 17 British officers killed, during raid and explosion.
1947, March 12 1 British soldier killed during the attack on Schneller Camp.
1947, July 29 2 kidnapped British sergeants hanged.
1947, September 26 4 British policemen killed in Irgun bank robbery.
1947, September 29 13 killed, 53 wounded in attack on British police station.
1947, December 11 13 killed in attack on Tireh, near Haifa
1947, December 12 20 killed, 5 wounded by barrel bomb at Damascus Gate.
1947, December 13 6 killed, 25 wounded by bombs outside Alhambra Cinema.
1947, December 13 5 killed, 47 wounded by two bombs at Damascus Gate.
1947, December 13 7 killed, 10 seriously injured in attack on Yehudieh.
1947, December 16(ca) 10 killed by bomb at Noga Cinema in Jaffa.
1947, December 20 6 Arabs killed, dozens wounded by bomb at Haifa refinery, precipitating the Haifa oil refinery massacre.
1947, December 29 14 Arabs killed by bomb in Jerusalem.
1948, January 1 2 Arabs killed and 9 injured by shooting attack on cafe in Jaffa.
1948, January 7 20 Arabs killed by bomb at Jaffa Gate.
1948, February 10 7 Arabs killed near Ras el Ain after selling cows in Tel Aviv
1948, April 9-April 11 107-120 Palestinians killed and massacredmarker (the estimate generally accepted by scholars, instead the first announced number of 254) during and after the battle at the village of Deir Yassinmarker near Jerusalemmarker, by 132 Irgun and 60 Lehi fighters. : page 100-101
Between 1937-1948 During 11 years of attacks, Hundreds of Palestinian civilians, over 20 British officers and over 20 Jewish civilians were killed in total by the Irgun (sum of table)


  1. Arie Perliger and Leonard Weinberg, Jewish Self Defense and Terrorist Groups Prior to the Establishment of the State of Israel: Roots and Traditions. "Totalitarian Movements & Political Religions," Vol. 4, No. 3, 100, (2003); Online version.
  2. Pope Brewer, Sam. IRGUN BOMB KILLS 11 ARABS, 2 BRITONS. New York Times. December 30, 1947.
  3. IRGUN'S HAND SEEN IN ALPS RAIL BLAST. New York Times. August 16, 1947.
  4. Walid Khalidi, From Haven to Conquest, p. 598; updated 1987 to From Haven to Conquest: Readings in Zionism and the Palestine Problem Until 1948, Institute for Palestine Studies, ISBN 978-0887281556.
  5. [1]
  6. Perliger and Weinberg, 101.
  7. Prof. Yehuda Lapidot, The Irgun website, links to sections on history of Irgun.
  8. J. Bowyer Bell, out of Zion: the fight for Israeli independence (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1977). pp.181
  9. Leonard Weinberg, Ami Pedahzur, Religious fundamentalism and political extremism, Routledge, p. 101, 2004.
  10. J. Bowyer Bell, Moshe Arens, Terror out of Zion, p. 39, 1996 edition
  11. Y. 'Amrami, A. Melitz, דברי הימים למלחמת השחרור ("History of the War of Independence", Shelach Press, 1951. (a sympathetic account of events, mostly related to Irgun and Lehi).
  12. Citing Arnold Zweig's letters to Sigmund Freud
  13. Irgun site Restraint and Retaliation section.
  14. Palestine Post, July 26-27, 1938
  15. Y. Ben-Ami, Years of Wrath, Days of Glory; Memoirs of the Irgun, Speller and Sons, NY 1982; p 229. Casualty figures from Palestine Post Feb 28, 1939.
  16. The Irgun web site, “The Split within the Irgun” section
  17. Palestine Post, June 20-22, 1939
  18. Palestine Post, June 30, 1939
  19. Palestine Post, July 5, 1939
  20. The Irgun web site, “The United Resistance” section.
  21. Thurston Clarke, By Blood and Fire, G. P. Puttnam's Sons, New York, 1981
  22. The Irgun web site, “The Raid on the Jerusalem Railway Station” section.
  23. Donald Neff, Hamas: A Pale Image of the Jewish Irgun And Lehi Gangs, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, May/June 2006, p. 14-15.
  24. The Irgun web site, “Raid on the Jerusalem Officers Club” section.
  25. The Irgun web site, “The Gallows” section.
  26. Palestine Post, Dec 14; Milstein, Vol 11, p91
  27. Uri Milstein, History of Israel's War of Independence, Vol II. p51
  28. Palestine Post, Dec 14
  29. Palestine Post, Dec 14
  30. Palestine Post, Dec 14
  31. Milstein, Vol II, p81.
  32. Milstein, Vol II, p91.
  33. Milstein, Vol II, p214.
  34. Palestine Post, Jan 2, 1948
  35. Palestine Post, Jan 9-10, 1948
  36. Milstein, Vol II, p53
  37. Palestine Post, Feb 13, 1948
  38. Kana'ana, Sharif and Zeitawi, Nihad (1987), "The Village of Deir Yassin," Bir Zeit, Bir Zeit University Press
  39. : Chapter 4: The second wave: the mass exodus, April—June 1948, Section: Operation Nahshon, page 238
  40. : Chapter 16: Deir Yassin, Section 12: The Massacre, page 376-381

See also

External links

  • Palestine Post Archive
  • Arie Perliger and Leonard Weinberg, Jewish Self Defense and Terrorist Groups Prior to the Establishment of the State of Israel: Roots and Traditions. Totalitarian Movements & Political Religions, Vol. 4, No. 3 (2003) 91-118. Online version

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