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Yigal Allon ( , 10 October 1918 – 29 February 1980) was an Israelimarker politician, a commander of the Palmach, and a general in the IDF. He served as one of the leaders of Ahdut HaAvoda party and the Israeli Labor party, acting Prime Minister of Israel, as well as being a member of Knessetmarker and government minister from the tenth through the seventeenth Knessets.

Early life and military career

Allon was born in Kfar Tavormarker, British occupied Palestine. In 1937 he graduated from Kadoorie Agricultural High Schoolmarker, and joined kibbutz Ginosarmarker. His military activities began when he served as commander of a field unit of the Haganah, and then as a commander of a regiment during the Arab riots of 1936-39. In 1941 he became one of the founding members of the Palmach. That same year he took part in the British invasion of Lebanon and Syria. In 1943 he became the Deputy Commander of the organization, and served in this post until 1945, when he became Commander in Chief.

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Allon led several of the major operations of the war, on all three fronts, including Yiftach, Danny, Yoav, and Horev. Operation Danny was the first one in which several brigades (Yiftach, Harel, the 8th Armored Brigade and two battalions from the Kiryati and Alexandroni) were involved, and was carried out under Palmach command. It was held at the end of the first truce, July 9-19, 1948. The objectives were to capture territory East of Tel Aviv and then to push inland and relieve the Jewish population and forces in Jerusalem.The first phase of the operation succeeded, capturing the two towns of Lydda and Ramlemarker and putting the international airport at Lydda and the strategic railway station in Israeli hands. Following the capture of the two towns there was an exodus of their Arab populationmarker and only a few hundred of the 50,000 to 70,000 residents remained. The second phase of the operation failed after several costly attacks on Arab Legion positions at Latrunmarker and the threat of a UN imposed cease fire.

His last military role was commander of the Southern (Egyptian) Front. He retired from active service in 1950..

He was fluent in Arabic and made efforts to go into Arab villages and make peace. He was believed to be a close friend of the elder King Hussein of Jordan.

Political career

Knesset

After ending his military career, Allon embarked on a political career. He became a prominent leader in Ahdut HaAvoda, and was first elected to the Knessetmarker in 1955, where he served until his death. He was a member of the Economic Affairs Committee, Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Education and Culture Committee, Joint Committee on the Motion for the Agenda Regarding Sports in Israel, and the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee.

Government roles

He served as the Minister of Labour from 1961-67. In this role he worked to improve the state employment service, extend the road network, and fought to get legislation on labor relations passed. From 1967-69 he served as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Immigrant Absorption. In 1967 he was a part of the group that planned the Six-Day War.

Allon served briefly as interim Prime Minister following the death of Levi Eshkol on 26 February 1969. He held office until 17 March 1969, when Golda Meir took over.He became the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Culture in Meir's government, and served in that post until 1974. In 1974 he was a part of the delegation to the Separation of Forces Agreement. He became the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1974, and held this post until 1977.

At the time of his sudden death in 1980, he was a candidate for the leadership of the Alignment, challenging the incumbent party head Shimon Peres.

Allon was the architect of the Allon Plan, a proposal to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bankmarker with a negotiated partition of territories. A major road in the West Bank, leading north-eastwards from Jerusalem, is named after him.

References

  1. Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited. Cambridge University Press, 2004, p. 424-436.
  2. Sabtai Teveth Ben Gurions Spy Columbia University Press ISBN 0-231-10464-2 p 19
  3. Yigal Allon Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  4. Knesset Member, Yigal Allon Knesset
  5. Allon, Yigal (1918-1980) Jewish Agency for Israel
  6. Yigal Allon Jewish Virtual Library



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