List of battles and operations in the 1948 Palestine war

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Following is a list of battles and operations in the 1948 Palestine war.

Operations in the 1947–1948 inter-communal war in Palestine[edit]

Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Description
Siege of Jerusalem February - March 1948 Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqqadas attempt to blockade Jerusalem
Operation Hashmed lit. Destroy! March 30, 1948 Haganah clearance of the IsdudYibna road
Operation Nachshon Named for Nahshon April 4–20, 1948 Haganah clearance of Arab forces blocking the road to Jerusalem
Battle of Mishmar HaEmek April 5–9, 1948

Arab Liberation Army attempt to conquer the kibbutz of Mishmar HaEmek.

Battle of Ramat Yohanan April 12–16, 1948 Battle in Ramat Yohanan between Druze and Haganah forces, leading to a Druze–Haganah alliance
Operation Harel[1][2] Named for Harel Brigade April 15–21, 1948 Haganah clearance of Arab forces northeast of the Tel AvivJerusalem road
Operation Bi'ur Hametz lit. Destruction of bread (referring to cleaning one's house of bread on Passover) April 21–23, 1948 Haganah capture of Haifa (Misparayim Plan)
Battle of Manshiyya April 25–27 Irgun attack on the Manshiyya neighborhood of Jaffa, leading to British intervention
Operation Hametz[3] See Chametz April 27 – May 13, 1948 Haganah capture villages east of Jaffa
Operation Yevusi[4] Named for Yevus, a name for Jerusalem and its first inhabitants. April 22 – May 2, 1948 Haganah capture of buildings in Jerusalem's Western neighborhoods
Operation Yiftach[5] Named for Yiftach Brigade April 15 – May 15, 1948 Haganah/Palmach capture of Safed and other villages in the eastern Galilee
Operation Matateh[6] lit. Broom May 3–4, 1948 Part of Operation Yiftach; opening up TiberiasMetula road
Battle of Safed May 6–12, 1948 Part of Operation Yiftach; capture of Safed by Palmach forces
Operation Maccabi[7] lit. Maccabee May 8, 1948 Haganah opening up the corridor to Jerusalem.
Operation Gideon[8] May 11, 1948 Haganah capture of Beit She'an and surrounding area.
Operation Barak[9][10] lit. Lightning May 10–15, 1948 Capturing areas under responsibility of Givati Brigade
Operation Ben-Ami Named after the KIA commander Ben-Ami Fechter May 13–14, 1948 Capture of Acre and the coast up to the Lebanese border
Operation Schfifon lit. Cerastes cerastes May 13, 1948 Capture of buildings abandoned by British troops in the Old City of Jerusalem
Operation Kilshon lit. Pitchfork May 14–18, 1948 Capture of buildings abandoned by British troops to strengthen the Jewish military position in Jerusalem

Arms acquisitions[edit]

Following is a list of operations undertaken by the Yishuv and later Israel to acquire munitions abroad.

Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Description
Operation Balak Named for Balak March 31 – August 12, 1948 Aerial transport of arms acquisitions from Czechoslovakia
Altalena Affair June 22, 1948 Irgun arms acquisition which led to Haganah's Operation Tihur (lit. Purifying) and the destruction of the Altalena ship
Operation Velvetta September 24–27, 1948 Transport of Supermarine Spitfires acquired by Israel through Czechoslovakia

First stage[edit]

Following is a list of operations between May 15, 1948—the Arab invasion of Palestine—and June 11, 1948—the first truce of the war.

Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Description
Northern front
Battle of Malkiya May 13–15, 1948 Successful Lebanese capture of al-Malkiyya
Battle of Gesher May 15–17, 1948 Failed Iraqi attack on Gesher
Battles of the Kinarot Valley May 15–21, 1948 Successful Syrian capture Samakh and failed attack on Degania Alef and Degania Bet
Israeli raid on Syrian customs house May 18–19 Successful Israeli raid on Syrian customs house, destroying vehicles and munitions, and creating an alliance with regional Bedouin
Operation Namel lit. Port May 22–23, 1948 Successful Israeli capture of al-Tantura (near Haifa)
Operation Erez[11] lit. Cedar May 28–30, 1948 Preparation for Operation Yitzhak by capturing the area of Mount Gilboa
Operation Yitzhak June 3, 1948 Israeli failure to capture Jenin
Battle of Mishmar HaYarden June 10, 1948 Successful Syrian capture of Mishmar HaYarden
Battle of Ein Gev June 10, 1948 Failed Syrian attack on Ein Gev
Jerusalem front
Battle for Jerusalem

(May 15 – July 18, 1948)
Arab (primarily Jordanian) siege of Jerusalem, ending in a stalemate. Israeli control of West Jerusalem, Jordanian control of East Jerusalem.

Battles of the Old City of Jerusalem May 16–28, 1948 Jordanian capture of the Old City of Jerusalem
Battles of Jerusalem May 19–30, 1948 Israeli–Jordanian battles in northern Jerusalem
Battles of Ramat Rachel May 22–25, 1948 Seesaw battles in Ramat Rachel, ending in the failure of Egypt and Jordan to capture the village
 
Operation Bin Nun A Named for Joshua Bin Nun May 30, 1948 Israeli failure to capture Latrun
Operation Bin Nun B Named for Joshua Bin Nun June 1, 1948 Israeli failure to capture Latrun
Operation Yoram June 8–9, 1948 Israeli failure to capture Latrun
Battle of Gezer June 10, 1948 Successful Jordanian raid on Gezer
Southern front
Battles of Kfar Darom May 13–15, 1948 Failed Egyptian army and Muslim Brotherhood attacks on Kfar Darom
Battle of Nirim May 15, 1948 Failed Egyptian attack on Nirim
Battle of Yad Mordechai May 19–24, 1948 Egyptian failure to capture Yad Mordechai, evacuation by besieged Israelis
First Battle of Negba June 2, 1948 Failed Egyptian attack on Negba
Operation Pleshet lit. Phillistia June 2–3, 1948 Israeli failure to capture Isdud; successful stoppage of Egyptian advance
Battle of Nitzanim June 7, 1948 Successful Egyptian capture of Nitzanim
Battle of Hill 69 June 10, 1948 Successful Egyptian capture of Hill 69 near Nitzanim

Battles of the Ten Days and second truce[edit]

Following is a list of battles and operations between the first and second truces of the war—July 8, 1948—July 18, 1948. This period was named "Battles of the Ten Days" in Israel. Also listed are Israeli operations during the second truce.

Northern front
Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Israeli units Arab units
Operation Dekel lit. Palm tree July 9–18, 1948
Successful Israeli capture of Nazareth and the Lower Galilee
Operation Brosh lit. Cypress July 9–18
Unsuccessful Israeli attempt to drive the Syrian army out of Israel
Central and Jerusalem fronts
Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Israeli units Arab units
Operation Danny Named after Danny Mas of the Convoy of 35 July 9–18, 1948
Relief of Jerusalem and removal of threat on Tel Aviv—the planned capture of Lydda, Ramla, Latrun and Ramallah (abbr. Larlar). The first stage (Lydda and Ramla) met with success, and the second did not materialize.
Battles of the Mandelbaum Gate July 9–19
Seesaw battles for the Mandelbaum Gate area that ended in a stalemate
Operation Kedem lit. East July 16–17, 1948
Israeli failure to capture East Jerusalem
Southern front
Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Israeli units Arab units
Operation An-Far Short for Anti-Farouk July 8–15, 1948
Israeli failure to open a corridor from the center of the country to the Negev
Second Battle of Negba July 12, 1948
  • Givati units
  • Local paramilitaries
  • 9th Battalion (4th Brigade)
Egyptian attack on Negba repulsed
Battle of Be'erot Yitzhak July 15, 1948
  • 9th Battalion units (Negev)
  • Local paramilitaries
  • 3rd Battalion
Egyptian attack on Be'erot Yitzhak repulsed
Operation Death to the Invader July 16–18, 1948
Israeli failure to open a corridor from the center of the country to the Negev
Second truce
Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Israeli units Arab units
Operation Shoter[12] lit. Policeman July 24–26
  • Local paramilitaries
Israeli capture of the "little triangle" south of Haifa, to relieve the Tel Aviv – Haifa road[13]
Operation GYS 1 Abbreviation for Golani, Yiftach, Sergei July 27, 31, 1948
Israeli failure to open a corridor from the center of the country to the Negev
Operation GYS 2 July 31, 1948
Successful Israeli escort of a convoy to the Negev enclave
Operation Avak lit. Dust August 23 – October 21, 1948
Israeli Air Force operation to transport food, supplies and soldiers to the Negev enclave

Final stage[edit]

Following is a list of battles and operations from the second truce of the war up to the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

Name Etymology /
English translation
Date Description
Northern front
Battle of Sheikh 'Abd October 22–23 Battles in and around the Israel–Lebanon border position of Sheikh 'Abd end in a ceasefire
Operation Hiram October 24–29, 1948 Israeli expulsion of Fawzi al-Qawuqji's Arab Liberation Army and capture of the Galilee
Jerusalem front
Operation HaHar lit. The Mountain October 19–22, 1948 Israeli operation to extend the Jerusalem Corridor to the south[14]
Operation Yekev lit. Winery October 19–21, 1948 Successful Israeli capture of certain positions around Jerusalem, failure to take the outskirts of Beit Jala
Southern front
Operation Yoav
(October 15–22, 1948)
Named after KIA commander Yitzhak "Yoav" Dubno
Successful lifting of the Egyptian siege on Jewish settlements in Negev
Battle of the Beit Hanoun wedge October 15–22, 1948 Israeli capture of Beit Hanoun in order to create a wedge between Egyptian forces to the north–northeast and south
Battles of the Separation Corridor October 15–22, 1948 Successful lifting of the Egyptian siege on Jewish settlements in Negev
Operation Moshe Named after Moshe Albert, KIA in Beit Eshel October 21, 1948 Israeli capture of Beersheba
Operation Egrof lit. Fist October 15–16, 1948 Israeli aerial bombardment of Egyptian bases in Operation Yoav
Naval campaign in Operation Yoav October 16–22, 1948 Naval engagements between Israel and Egypt, including sinking of the Egyptian flagship Emir Farouk
 
Northern Negev campaign after Operation Yoav October 27 – November 9, 1948 Israeli capture of Bayt Jibrin, Isdud and Majdal, and other important points, culminating in Operation Shmone
Operation Shmone lit. Eight November 9, 1948 Israeli capture of the Iraq Suwaydan police fort
Operation Lot Named for the Biblical character Lot November 23–25, 1948 Israeli link-up with the enclave at Sodom
Operation David November 29–30, 1948 Sinking of the Lebanese navy ship Igris, formerly German auxiliary ship Grille, Adolf Hitler's private yacht
Operation Assaf December 5–7, 1948 Israeli attack against Egyptian thrust into the Negev on the GazaBeersheba road
Operation Horev
(December 22, 1948 – January 7, 1949)
Removal by Israel of Egyptian presence in the Negev (except the Gaza Strip), and operations in the Sinai peninsula
Battle of Hill 86 December 22–23, 1948 Israeli failure to capture the strategic Hill 86 in the Gaza Strip
Battle of Bir Thamila December 25–26, 1948 Israeli capture of Bir Thamila and its surroundings, on its way to the Sinai
Battle of al-Auja December 25–27, 1948 Israeli capture of Auja al-Hafir, a village bordering Egypt
Battles of the Sinai December 28, 1948 – January 2, 1949 Israeli encirclement of the Egyptian forces in the Gaza Strip by entering the Sinai Peninsula. The forces were withdrawn following international pressure.
Battle of Rafah January 3–8, 1949 Failed Israeli attack on numerous positions south of Rafah
 
Operation Hisul lit. Liquidation December 27–28 Failed Israeli attack on Iraq al-Manshiyya
Operation Uvda lit. Fact (named for objective of creating facts on the ground) March 5–10, 1949 Establishing Israeli sovereignty in the Negev
Operation Yitzuv lit. Stabilization March 7–9, 1949 Part of Operation Uvda; Israeli capture of parts of the Dead Sea's western shores and linking up with Ein Gedi

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Walid Khalidi (1992). All that remains: the Palestinian villages occupied and depopulated by Israel in 1948. Institute for Palestine Studies. p. 398. ISBN 0-88728-224-5. 
  2. ^ Bennî Môrîs (1987). The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem: 1947-1949. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University Press. p. 113. ISBN 0-521-33028-9. 
  3. ^ Morris, page 100. 'All That Remains' lists 8 villages/towns captured. e.g., al-'Abbasiyya (pop 5,650 including 150 Jews), Bayt Dajan (pop 3,840), Kafr 'Ana (pop. 3,020 inc 220 Jews), Salama (pop. 6,730), Yazur (pop. 4,030) etc..
  4. ^ Morris, page 113. 'aimed ... at wresting from Arab control further areas in and around Jerusalem'
  5. ^ Morris, page 102. 'The conquest of Arab Safad, the areas main town, was the linchpin of the campaign.'
  6. ^ Morris, page 121. 'a sub-operation designed to clear out the Arab population from the Jordan Valley area south of Rosh Pinna between the north-south road and the Jordan River.'
  7. ^ Morris, page 113. All That Remains. Page 276. Bayt Mahsir (pop. 2,400), 'the newly formed Har'el Brigade of the Palmach. The History of the Haganah states that "this village was not occupied easily; but was attacked by Palmach troops for three nights, and it was not occupied until the morning of 11 May."
  8. ^ 'All That Remains' list 11 villages captured by the Golani Brigade during this operation.
  9. ^ Morris, pages 126–127. 'The objective of the operation was: "To deny the enemy a base... creating general panic and breaking his morale... It can be assumed that delivering a blow to one or more of these centers [i.e., Majdal, Isdud or Yivna will cause the wandering [i.e.,exodus] of the inhabitants of the smaller settlements of the area. This outcome is possible especially in view of the wave of panic that recently swept over [the Arabs of] the country."' 'Mortaring almost invariably preceded each ground assault.'
  10. ^ 'All That Remains' lists 20 towns and villages e.g. pages 83/82. Al-Batani al-Gharbi (pop. 980) 'By the end of May the two brigades had succeeded in occupying over thirty villages and "clearing" the area of tens of thousands of people.'. It mentions the Givati Brigade, the Negev Brigade and one attack involving the IZL. Commander of Operation: Shimon Avidan.
  11. ^ All That Remains. Page 335. 'a number of villages in the vicinity of Jinin'.
  12. ^ Morris, page 213. Alexandroni, Carmeli, Golani Brigades.
  13. ^ The "little triangle" refers to the villages Jaba', Ijzim, and 'Ayn Ghazal.
  14. ^ Daṿid Ṭal (2004). War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy. Routledge. p. 407. ISBN 978-0-7146-5275-7. 

Bibliography[edit]