Menashiya

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Manshiyya neighborhood
Irgun Museum, Manshiyya

Menashiya or Manshiyya (Hebrew: מנשייה, Arabic: المنشية‎, al-Manshiyya), was a residential neighborhood of Jaffa, Israel.

Manshiyya was located on the border between Jaffa and Tel Aviv, on the seafront north of the harbor.[1] The neighborhood was demolished in order to build a central business district, but only some of the planned office buildings were constructed. Two buildings remain from the original neighborhood, the Hassan Bek Mosque, and the partially preserved structure housing the Irgun Museum of Tel Aviv.

History[edit]

Manshiyya was the site of a brief but important battle during the final days of the Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine. During Operation Hametz, the Irgun (a Jewish paramilitary group) captured several towns around Jaffa, including Manshiyya. This alarmed the British, who were in the middle of their military withdrawal from Mandatory Palestine; as they mostly withdrew through Arab-held territories, it was feared that Arabs - should the British let the Irgun offensive go - would retaliate by attacking British troops. Thus, the British deployed 4,500 troops to Jaffa in order to prevent a Jewish takeover. The Jewish paramilitaries temporarily called off the offensive towards Jaffa, but refused to withdraw from the towns they had captured.

As a show of force, Royal Navy destroyers flexed muscles off the coast, and Royal Air Force warplanes overflew southern Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The British also took direct military action, and shelled Irgun positions in Manshiyya with artillery and tanks. When the Irgun showed no sign of backing down, British armor invaded the town. However, the Irgun put up unexpectedly stiff resistance; a bazooka team destroyed one tank, the Irgun blew up buildings that collapsed into the street as the tanks pushed forward, and Irgun men simply climbed onto tanks and tossed dynamite sticks into them. The British withdrew, leaving Irgun in control of Menashiya. This was the only direct battle between the British and the Irgun.[2]

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Coordinates: 32°3′41.7″N 34°45′42.84″E / 32.061583°N 34.7619000°E / 32.061583; 34.7619000