Cairo–Haifa train bombings 1948

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During the 1948 Palestine war, on February 29 and again on March 31, the military coaches of the Cairo-Haifa train were mined by the Jewish militant group Lehi.

On February 29, Lehi mined the train north of Rehovot, killing 28 British soldiers and wounding 35. No civilians were hurt. One or more bombs laid on the track were detonated from a nearby orange grove. Lehi took credit for the bombing of the British train as revenge for the Ben Yehuda Street Bombing in Jerusalem. The train was the normal daily passenger express to which four military coaches had been attached.[1][2]

On March 31, the train was mined again near Binyamina, a Jewish town near Caesarea, killing 40 persons and wounding 60. The casualties were all civilians, mostly Arabs. Although there were some soldiers on the train, none were injured. The Palestine Post and the New York Times attributed the attack to Lehi.[3][4]

The attacks on the train line had begun in 1947. On April 22, 1947 the train was mined outside Rehovot, the bombing killed five British officers, two Arab adults and a 3-year old, Gilbert Balladi.[5]

On May 15, 1947, the train track was bombed seven times south of Lydda. Two British army lieutenants were killed, two others seriously wounded and five other hurt in one bombing between Acre and Haifa. One commuter was injured when the engine and two cars were derailed by another bomb earlier in the day. Three crew-men were injured when their freight train was derailed in another bombing. Three railroad bridges were damaged in the attacks. Lehi reportedly called in warnings.[6]

On August 9, 1947, Irgun bombed a British troop train north of Lydda, killing the Jewish engineer.[7][8]

On September 29, 1947, the train was bombed by Irgun twenty miles south of Haifa. The engine, coal car and two cabin cars were derailed, one person was hospitalized.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Times, 1 March 1948.
  2. ^ Zev Golan (2011). Stern The Man and his Gang. Yair Publishing. p. 249. 
  3. ^ The Palestine Post, 1 April 1948
  4. ^ New York Times, 1 April 1948
  5. ^ Palestine Terrorists Kill 8 In Bombing of Troop Train NY Times, April 23, 1947
  6. ^ Two Britons Killed in Palestine Mine NY Times, May 16, 1947
  7. ^ Terrorists Wreck Haifa Troop Train NY Times, August 10, 1947
  8. ^ Trial of Two Jews Begin NY Times, November 18, 1947
  9. ^ Terrorists Strike in Palestine Again NY Times, September 30, 1947

References[edit]

  • 'Cairo-To-Haifa Train Mined 28 British Soldiers Killed And 35 Wounded, Stern Gang Claims Responsibility For Attack', The Times, Monday, March 1, 1948; pg. 4; Issue 51008; col A.
  • 'Cairo-Haifa Train Mined Again 40 Killed And 60 Wounded, Problem Of Preserving Sanctity Of Jerusalem', The Times, Thursday, April 1, 1948; pg. 4; Issue 51034; col A.
  • Dana Adams Schmidt, '40 Arabs Are Slain In Mining of Train: 60 More Are Injured In Blast Near Haifa - Derailment is Laid to Stern Group', New York Times, 1 April 1948.
  • '40 Arabs Killed, 60 Injured, In Train Blast', Palestine Post, April 1, 1948; page 1.
  • Unknown Soldiers The Operation Book of Lehi, Yaakov Banai, 1987.