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Today in history: operation Nachshon

Today in 1948, Operation Nachshon began – one of the turning points in the Israeli War of Independence.

After the UN partition plan was adopted in November 1947, the Arab locals began large-scale riots and attacks against Jewish targets. Initially, the Yishuv leadership thought that this was a wave of riots of a similar nature to those experienced several times during the Mandate years, and prepared for a defensive posture, while assisting isolated communities by convoys. But it soon became clear that this was a completely different issue for the Arabs – a real all-out war, and the dwindling British presence also changed the picture. The convoy system proved inadequate, with the failure of a number of convoys at the end of March 1948; and in early April, the Haganah carried out ‘Plan D’ – an offensive plan for holding the cities involved and opening routes to the settlements by maneuvering and occupying. In the Jerusalem front, the plan was implemented by Operation Nachshon – the conquest of Arab settlements in the area between Rida and Latrun, and the takeover of the Castel (now in the Mevaseret Zion area) that controlled the entrance route to the city. The battle for the Castel was difficult, but ended with a Jewish victory; local Arab forces in the Jerusalem area were broken, and the road to Jerusalem was opened – at least until the Jordanians entered the campaign one month later.

Photo Source: Wikipedia

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