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In the time of the British Mandate the citadel in the old city of Acre was used as a prison in which many Arabs were imprisoned as criminals or for participating in the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. Around 140 prisoners were executed during the Palestinian general strike alone.
On April 19, 1947 Dov Gruner and the three men (Yechiel Dresner, Mordechai Alkahi and Eliezer Kashani) captured by the British 6th Airborne Division were hanged in Acre Prison to become the first post war ‘martyrs’ of the Irgun. Dov Gruner in a broadcast declared the British Army and Administration to be ‘criminal organizations’.
Two weeks later, 4 May, the Irgun attacked the prison, blowing a hole in the wall through which 28 Irgun prisoners escaped. 214 Arab prisoners also escaped.
The prison also contained Jewish prisoners, members of the Hagana, Lehi, and Irgun. One of those prisoners was Eitan Livni (father of Tzipi Livni), the Irgun operations officer. In total, the prison contained 700 Arab prisoners and 90 Jewish prisoners.
A room in the prison was occupied for some months by Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri, Baha' Allah, the founding prophet of the Baha'i religion, and members of his family, who were exiled to Ottoman Syria in 1868. The cell is now a site of pilgrimage for Baha'is making a wider pilgrimage or ziyarat to the Baha'i shrines in Haifa and Bahji, outside Akko.
- Acre Prison break
- Exodus (1960 film), directed by Otto Preminger, based on the novel Exodus, by Leon Uris.
- Olei Hagardom
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