The Haganah

Haganah, a Hebrew word meaning "defense," was a Zionist military organization established in Jerusalem in 1920, succeeding the Hishamir organization or "The Guard," founded in 1909 in Palestine to provide security for and reinforce settlements.

Initially, the Haganah was a secretive military organization named Haganah and Avoda, meaning "defense and work," later omitting the word "work." Initially affiliated with the Labor Union, it later aligned with the Mapai party and Histadrut. Despite its charter emphasizing its non-partisanship and portraying itself as an organ for the Zionist settlement gathering, it initially maintained ties with political entities.

The organization's well-structured framework paved the way for what is now the Israeli Occupation Army. It contributed to the establishment of 50 Jewish settlements and the displacement of Palestinians from their homes. Initially, it operated as a civilian organization under a civilian administration. After the Arab Revolt in 1929, its nature dramatically changed as thousands of young men from Jewish settlements joined, importing foreign weapons and establishing workshops to manufacture hand grenades and light military equipment.

The Haganah fiercely opposed Zionist groups fighting the British, considering them obstacles to the promised Israeli state. Among these groups was the Lehi organization, which later transformed into the Stern Gang, providing British authorities assistance in establishing and training the Haganah's striking force, known as the Palmach.

Prior to the declaration of the State of Israel, the Haganah numbered around 36,000, in addition to 3,000 Palmach members. Its organizational structure was completed, facilitating its transformation into a unified and professional army for the Zionist state. On May 21, 1948, Ben-Gurion issued an order dissolving the Haganah's old framework, transforming it into the Israeli Defense Forces.

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