Plan Dalet

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Plan Dalet
תוכנית ד'
Tokhnit dalet
Part of the 1947–1948 civil war in Mandatory Palestine
DateApril–May 1948

Plan Dalet (Hebrew: תוכנית ד', Tokhnit dalet "Plan D") was a Zionist military plan executed in the civil war phase of the 1948 Palestine war for the conquest of territory in Mandatory Palestine in preparation for the establishment of a Jewish state.[1] The plan was requested by the Jewish Agency leader and later first prime minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion, and developed by the Haganah and finalized on March 10, 1948. Historians describe Plan Dalet, in which Zionist forces shifted to an offensive strategy, as the beginning of a new phase in the 1948 Palestine war.[2][3]

The plan was a set of guidelines to take control of Mandatory Palestine, declare a Jewish state, and defend its borders and people, including the Jewish population outside of the borders, "before, and in anticipation of" the invasion by regular Arab armies.[4][5][qt 1][6][7][8] Plan Dalet specifically included gaining control of areas wherever Yishuv populations existed, including those outside the borders of the Jewish state.[9]

This strategy is subject to controversy, with some historians characterizing it as defensive, while others assert that it was an integral part of a planned strategy for the expulsion, sometimes called an ethnic cleansing, of the area's native inhabitants.[10]


Its name comes from the letter Dalet (ד), the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, after plans named Aleph (א), Bet (ב), and Gimel (ג) were revised.


In the summer of 1937, according to the official history of the Haganah, the commander of their forces in the Tel Aviv area, Elimelech Slikowitz ("Avnir") received an order from Ben-Gurion. Ben-Gurion, anticipating an eventual British withdrawal from the country after the Peel Report, asked Slikowitz to prepare a plan for the military conquest of the whole of Palestine. According to the historians Walid Khalidi and Ahmad H. Sa'di, it was this Avnir Plan which provided a blueprint for future plans. The blueprint was refined in subsequent adjustments (A, B, C) before emerging in its final form over a decade later as Plan Dalet.[11][12]

From 1945 onward, the Haganah designed four general military plans, the implementation of the final version of which eventually led to the creation of Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinians:[13][unreliable source?][citation needed]

  • Plan Aleph (Plan A), drawn up in February 1945 to complement the political aim of a unilateral declaration of independence. It was designed to suppress Palestinian Arab resistance to the Zionist take-over of parts of Palestine.[14]
  • Plan Bet (Plan B), produced in September 1945,[15] emerged in May 1947 and was designed to replace Plan Aleph in the context of new developments such as Britain's submission of the problem of Palestine to the United Nations and growing opposition from surrounding Arab states to the Zionist partition plan.[citation needed]
  • Plan Gimel (Plan C), also known as "May Plan", produced in May 1946,[16] emerged in November/December 1947, in the wake of the UN Partition Plan. It was designed to enhance Zionist military and police mobilisation and enable action as needed.[dubious ][17][18][19]
  • Plan Dalet (Plan D), of March 1948, is the most noteworthy. Guided by a series of specific operational plans, the broad outlines of which were considered as early as 1944, Plan Dalet was drawn up to expand Jewish-held areas beyond those allocated to the proposed Jewish State in the UN Partition Plan. Its overall objective was to seize as much territory as possible[dubious ] in advance of the termination of the British Mandate—when the Zionist leaders planned to declare their state.[18][19]

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to approve the Partition Plan for Palestine for ending the British Mandate and recommending the establishment of an Arab state and a Jewish state. In the immediate aftermath of the UN's approval of the Partition plan, the Jewish community expressed joy, while the Arab community expressed discontent.[20][21][qt 2] On the day after the vote, a spate of Arab attacks left at least eight Jews dead, one in Tel Aviv by sniper fire, and seven in ambushes on civilian buses that were claimed to be retaliations for a Lehi raid ten days earlier.[22]

From January onward, operations became increasingly militarized, with the intervention of a number of regiments of the Arab Liberation Army (consisting of volunteers from Arab countries) inside Palestine, each active in a variety of distinct sectors around the different coastal towns. They consolidated their presence in Galilee and Samaria.[23] Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni came from Egypt with several hundred men of the Army of the Holy War. Having recruited a few thousand volunteers, al-Husayni organised the blockade of the 100,000 Jewish residents of Jerusalem.[24] To counter this, the Yishuv authorities tried to supply the Jews of the city with food by using convoys of up to 100 armoured vehicles, but the operation became more and more impractical as the number of casualties in the relief convoys surged. By March, Al-Hussayni's tactic, sometimes called "The War of the Roads",[25] had paid off. Almost all of Haganah's armoured vehicles had been destroyed, the blockade was in full operation, and the Haganah had lost more than 100 troops.[26] According to Benny Morris, the situation for those who dwelt in the Jewish settlements in the highly isolated Negev and North of Galilee was equally critical.[27] According to Ilan Pappé, in early March, the Yishuv's security leadership did not seem to regard the overall situation as particularly troubling, but instead was busy finalising a master plan.[28]

This situation caused the United States to withdraw their support for the Partition plan,[29] thus encouraging the Arab League to believe that the Palestinians, reinforced by the Arab Liberation Army, could put an end to partition. The British, meanwhile, decided on 7 February 1948, to support the annexation of the Arab part of Palestine by Transjordan.[30]


In 1947, David Ben-Gurion reorganised Haganah and made conscription obligatory. Every Jewish man and woman in the country had to receive military training.[31] Military equipment was procured from stockpiles from the Second World War and from Czechoslovakia and was brought in Operation Balak. There is some disagreement among historians about the precise authors of Plan Dalet. According to some,[25][32] it was the result of the analysis of Yigael Yadin, at that time the temporary head of the Haganah, after Ben-Gurion invested him with the responsibility to come up with a plan in preparation for the announced intervention of the Arab states. According to Ilan Pappé the plan was conceived by the "consultancy", a group of about a dozen military and security figures and specialists on Arab affairs, under the guidance of Ben-Gurion.[28] It was finalised and sent to Haganah units in early March 1948. The plan consisted of a general part and operational orders for the brigades, which specified which villages should be targeted and other specific missions.[33] The general section of the plan was also sent to the Yishuv's political leaders.[34]


In this plan, the Haganah also started the transformation from an underground organization into a regular army. The reorganization included the formation of brigades and front commands. The stated goals included in addition to the reorganization, gaining control of the areas of the planned Jewish state as well as areas of Jewish settlements outside its borders. The control would be attained by fortifying strongholds in the surrounding areas and roads, conquering Arab villages close to Jewish settlements and occupying British bases and police stations (from which the British were withdrawing).

The introduction of the plan states:[15]

(a) The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlements and concentrations which are located outside the borders (of the Hebrew state) against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.
(b) This plan is based on three previous plans:
  1. Plan B, September 1945.
  2. The May 1946 Plan [this is Plan Gimel[15]]
  3. Yehoshua Plan, 1948 [an earlier version of Plan Dalet named after Yehoshua Globerman [he], a Haganah commander killed December 1947[15]]
(c) Since these plans were designed to deal with the situation inside the country (the first two plans deal with the first phase of incidents, while the third plan deals with the possibility of invasion by regular armies from the neighboring countries), the aim of Plan D is to fill the gaps in the previous three plans and to make them more suitable for the situation expected to obtain at the end of British rule in the country.

Later on, the plan states:

f) Generally, the aim of this plan is not an operation of occupation outside the borders of the Hebrew state. However, concerning enemy bases lying directly close to the borders which may be used as springboards for infiltration into the territory of the state, these must be temporarily occupied and searched for hostiles according to the above guidelines, and they must then be incorporated into our defensive system until operations cease.

According to the Israeli chief of military intelligence Yehoshafat Harkabi, Plan Dalet called for the conquest of Arab towns and villages inside and along the borders of the area allocated to the proposed Jewish State in the UN Partition Plan.[35]

According to David Tal,

The strategy called for the fortification and stabilization of a continuous Jewish-controlled line within the areas of the designated Jewish State and along its putative borders, and for the harassment of, and interference with, the Arab forces as they moved in. The success of this strategy depended on three elements: {'}cleansing{'} the area along the Jewish States's borders of an Arab presence; fortifying the Jewish settlements along the line of advance of the Arab column; and {'}hit-and-run{'} raids against the Arab troops as they advanced.[36]


The plan section 3, under (b) Consolidation of Defense Systems and Fortifications calls for the occupation of police stations, the control of government installations, and the protection of secondary transportation arteries. Part 4 under this heading includes the following controversial paragraphs:

Mounting operations against enemy population centers located inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided into the following categories:
Destruction of villages (setting fire to, blowing up, and planting mines in the debris), especially those population centers which are difficult to control continuously.
Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state.
The villages which are emptied in the manner described above must be included in the fixed defensive system and must be fortified as necessary.
In the absence of resistance, garrison troops will enter the village and take up positions in it or in locations which enable complete tactical control. The officer in command of the unit will confiscate all weapons, wireless devices, and motor vehicles in the village. In addition, he will detain all politically suspect individuals. After consultation with the [Jewish] political authorities, bodies will be appointed consisting of people from the village to administer the internal affairs of the village. In every region, a [Jewish] person will be appointed to be responsible for arranging the political and administrative affairs of all [Arab] villages and population centers which are occupied within that region.

The paragraph (g) Counterattacks Inside and Outside the Borders of the State inter alia states:

Counterattacks will generally proceed as follows: a force the size of a battalion, on average, will carry out a deep infiltration and will launch concentrated attacks against population centers and enemy bases with the aim of destroying them along with the enemy force positioned there.


Plan Dalet was implemented from the start of April onward.[citation needed] This marked the beginning of the second stage of the war in which, according to Benny Morris, the Haganah passed from the defensive to the offensive.[2]


Zones controlled by Yishuv before and after the implementation of the Plan Dalet.

The first operation, named Nachshon,[qt 3] consisted of lifting the blockade on Jerusalem. 1500 men from Haganah's Givati brigade and Palmach's Harel brigade conducted sorties to free up the route to the city between 5 April and 20 April. The operation was successful, and enough foodstuffs to last 2 months were trucked into Jerusalem for distribution to the Jewish population.[37] [qt 3]

The success of the operation was assisted by the death of Al-Hussayni in combat. From April 4–14, the first large-scale operation of the Arab Liberation Army ended in a debacle, having been roundly defeated at Mishmar HaEmek,[38] coinciding with the loss of their Druze allies through defection.[39]

On April 9, paramilitary groups Irgun and Lehi, supported by the Haganah and Palmach,[40] perpetrated the Deir Yassin massacre, killing at least 107 Arab villagers, including women and children. The event was widely publicized and had a deep effect on the Arab population's morale, greatly contributing to the Palestinian expulsion and flight. Israeli historian Ilan Pappé wrote in his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006) that "The systematic nature of Plan Dalet is manifested in Deir Yassin, a pastoral and cordial village that had reached a non-aggression pact with the Hagana in Jerusalem, but was doomed to be wiped out because it was within the areas designated in Plan Dalet to be cleansed." According to historian Benny Morris, Walid Khalidi also emphasized "the connection between the Haganah’s “Plan Dalet” [...] and what happened in Deir Yassin, explicitly linking the expulsion of the inhabitants to the Haganah’s overall planning."[41][better source needed]

As part of Plan Dalet, the Haganah, Palmach and Irgun captured the urban centers of Tiberias, Haifa (See: Battle of Haifa), Safed, Beisan, Jaffa, and Acre, violently expelling more than 250,000 Palestinian Arabs.[42][qt 4]

The British had, at that time, essentially withdrawn their troops. The situation moved the leaders of the neighboring Arab states to intervene, but their preparations had not finalised, and they could not assemble sufficient forces to turn the tide of the war. Many Palestinian hopes lay with the Arab Legion of Transjordan's monarch, King Abdullah I, but he had no intention of creating a Palestinian-run state, since he hoped to annex as much of the territory of the British Mandate of Palestine as he could.

The Haganah successfully launched Operation Yiftah[43] and Operation Ben-Ami[44] to secure the Jewish settlements of Galilee and Operation Kilshon, which created a united front around Jerusalem.


Operation Start date Objective Location Result
*Operation Nachshon[15] 1 April Carve out a corridor connecting Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; divide the main part of the UN-proposed Arab state in two[15] Territories allocated to future Arab State Defeated
*Operation Harel[15] 15 April Continuation of Nachshon, focused on Arab villages near Latrun[15] Territories allocated to future Arab State Defeated
Operation Bi'ur Hametz or Operation Misparayim[15] 21 April Capture Haifa and defeat its Arab population[15] Territories allocated to future Jewish State Successful
*Operation Yevusi or Operation Jevussi[15] 27 April Destroy ring of Arab villages surrounding Jerusalem; control the roads from Jerusalem north to Ramallah, east to Jericho, and south to Bethlehem[15] Corpus separatum Defeated
*Operation Hametz[15] 27 April Destroy Arab villages surrounding Jaffa[15] Territories allocated to future Arab State Successful
Operation Yiftach[15] 28 April Remove Arabs and consolidate control of all the eastern Galilee[15] Territories allocated to future Jewish State Successful
Operation Matateh[15] 3 May Destroy Arab villages and clear out Arab forces between Tiberias and eastern Galilee[15] Territories allocated to future Jewish State Successful
*Operation Maccabi[15] 7 May Destroy Arab villages and clear out Arab forces near Latrun, penetrate Ramallah[15] Territories allocated to future Arab State Defeated
Operation Gideon[15] 11 May Drive out Arab forces and semi-sedentary Bedouin communities and occupy the Beisan valley area[15] Territories allocated to future Jewish State Successful
Operation Barak[15] 12 May Destroy Arab villages in Burayr on the way to the Negev[15] Territories allocated to future Jewish State Partially successful
*Operation Ben'Ami[15] 14 May Occupy Acre and remove Arabs from western Galilee[15] Territories allocated to future Arab State Successful
*Operation Kilshon or Operation Pitchfork[15] 14 May Clear out Arab forces and occupy Arab residential quarters in the New City of Jerusalem[15][45] Corpus separatum Successful
*Operation Shfifon[15] 14 May Break the siege on the Jewish Quarter and occupy the Old City of Jerusalem[15] Corpus separatum Defeated

The 8 of 13 operations marked with an asterisk (*) were executed outside territories allocated for a Jewish state according to the demarcations of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and before the entry of Arab regular armies into areas allotted for an Arab state.[15]


According to Benny Morris, the Plan's execution lasted about eight weeks[dubious ], beginning April 2.[46] In these weeks, the Yishuv's position changed dramatically. Many Arab leaders left the country and local leadership collapsed.[citation needed] On the Jewish side, the number of those killed during the execution of the plan was 1,253, of which 500 were civilians.[citation needed] On the Arab side, Jewish counter-attacks and offensives precipitated a mass exodus of 250,000–300,000 people.[47] According to Benny Morris, this "massive demographic upheaval ... propelled the Arab states closer to an invasion about which they were largely unenthusiastic".[48]


In his article "The Fall of Haifa" in the December 1959 issue of the Middle East Forum, the Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi placed the Battle of Haifa within a new Zionist offensive and discernible shift in strategy, without naming the offensive.[3] The scholarship of Khalidi and his colleagues at this time responded to the Israeli narrative that the Palestinian exodus was a result of evacuation orders from Arab leaders, then espoused in English most prominently by Jon Kimche and his younger brother David Kimche.[49]

On May 21, 1961, the Irish journalist Erskine Childers published his article "The Other Exodus" in The Spectator, to which Jon Kimche responded immediately, accusing Childers of being influenced by Khalidi. Childers, Kimche, and Khalidi then argued publicly in a traingular debate in the pages of The Spectator until August 4, 1961.[49] In November 1961, Khalidi published "Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine" with details about the plan in the journal of the Middle East Forum.[3]

Khalidi wrote in 1988 that as of then the exchanges in The Spectator had never published in full in the US, and that there had not been a detailed account of Plan Dalet or previous plans in Israeli and non-Israeli writings on 1948.[49]

Text of Plan Dalet

The Hebrew text of Plan Dalet was published in 1972 in volume 3, part 3 of Sefer Toldot Hahaganah (ספר תולדות ההגנה History of the Haganah), Appendix 48, pp. 1955-60.[50] An English translation of the text of Plan Dalet was published for the first time as an appendix to Khalidi's 1988 reprint of "Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine" in the Journal of Palestine Studies.[3]

Controversy about intent

The intent of Plan Dalet is subject to much controversy, with historians on the one extreme asserting that it was defensive, and historians on the other extreme asserting that the plan aimed at maximum conquest and expulsion.

  • According to the French historian Henry Laurens, the importance of the military dimension of plan Dalet becomes clear by comparing the operations of the Jordanian and the Egyptian armies. The ethnical homogeneity of the coastal area, obtained by the expulsions of the Palestinians eased the halt of the Egyptian advance, while Jewish Jerusalem, located in an Arab population area, was encircled by Jordanian forces.[51]

According to The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, whilst there may be controversy whether Plan Dalet was a centralized plan of ethnic cleansing, it could as well be a case of Haganah forces discovering that they could carry out ethnic cleansing at the local and regional level, as their offensive drove out large numbers of Arabs.[52]

Historians asserting that the plan aimed at maximum conquest and expulsion

As is witnessed by the Haganah's Plan Dalet, the Jewish leadership was determined to link the envisaged Jewish state with the Jerusalem corpus separatum. But the corpus separatum lay deep in Arab territory, in the middle of the envisaged Palestinian state, so this linking up could only be done militarily.

Khalidi calls Plan Dalet a "Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine". He points to the Zionist ideas of transfer and of a Jewish state in all of Palestine, and to the offensive character of the military operations of the Zionists as the main proof of his interpretation.[33]

... this ... blueprint spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go ... The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both rural and urban areas of Palestine.[53]

Pappé distinguishes between the general section of Plan Dalet and the operational orders given to the troops. According to Pappé the general section of the plan, which was distributed to politicians, was misguiding as to the real intentions of the Haganah. The real plan was handed down to the brigade commanders "not as vague guidelines, but as clear-cut operational orders for action". Along with the general section, "each brigade commander received a list of the villages or neighborhoods that had to be occupied, destroyed, and their inhabitants expelled".[54]

Historians asserting that the plan was defensive

  • In his book on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem Israeli historian Benny Morris discusses the relevance of the idea of "population transfer" in Zionist thinking. Morris concludes that there was Zionist support for transfer "in the 1930s and early 1940s", and that while this "transfer thinking" had conditioned the Yishuv's hearts and minds to accept it as natural and inevitable when it happened, it "was not tantamount to pre-planning, and did not issue in the production of a policy or master plan of expulsion; the Yishuv and its military forces did not enter the 1948 War, which was initiated by the Arab side, with a policy or plan for expulsion".[55]

On the intent of Plan Dalet Morris writes:

The essence of the plan was the clearing of hostile and potentially hostile forces out of the interior of the territory of the prospective Jewish State, establishing territorial continuity between the major concentrations of Jewish population and securing the future State's borders before, and in anticipation of, the invasion [by Arab states]. The Haganah regarded almost all the villages as actively or potentially hostile.[qt 4][56]
The plan was neither understood nor used by the senior field officers as a blanket instruction for the expulsion of 'the Arabs'. But, in providing for the expulsion or destruction of villages that had resisted or might threaten the Yishuv, it constituted a strategic-doctrinal and carte blanche for expulsions by front, brigade, district and battalion commanders (who in each case argued military necessity) and it gave commanders, post facto, formal, persuasive cover for their actions. However, during April–June, relatively few commanders faced the moral dilemma of having to carry out the expulsion clauses. Townspeople and villagers usually left their homes before or during battle, and Haganah rarely had to decide about, or issue, expulsion orders....".[qt 4][57]
Although it provided for counter-attacks, Plan Dalet was a defensive scheme and its goals were (1) protection of the borders of the upcoming Jewish state according to the partition line; (2) securing its territorial continuity in the face of invasion attempts; (3) safeguarding freedom of movement on the roads and (4) enabling continuation of essential daily routines.

Gelber rejects what he calls the "Palestinian-invented" version of Plan Dalet.[58] Gelber says: "The text clarified unequivocally that expulsion concerned only those villages that would fight against the Hagana and resist occupation, and not all Arab hamlets".[qt 1]

  • Military historian David Tal writes, "the plan did provide the conditions for the destruction of Palestinian villages and the deportation of the dwellers; this was not the reason for the plan's composition", and that "its aim was to ensure full control over the territory assigned to the Jews by the partition resolution, thus placing the Haganah in the best possible strategic position to face an Arab invasion".[59]

See also



  1. ^ a b c Yoav Gelber (1 January 2006). Palestine 1948: War, Escape And The Emergence Of The Palestinian Refugee Problem. Sussex Academic Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-1-84519-075-0. Retrieved 13 July 2013. Instructions called for demolition of villages that could not be held permanently. Another paragraph detailed the method for taking over an Arab village: Surround the village and search it (for weapons). In case of resistance — annihilate the armed force and expel the population beyond the border... If there is no resistance, a garrison should be stationed in the village. . . The garrison commander should expropriate all weapons, radio receivers and vehicles. All political suspects should be arrested. After consulting the appropriate political authorities, appoint local institutions for administering the village internal affairs. The text clarified unequivocally that expulsion concerned only those villages that would fight against the Hagana and resist occupation, and not all Arab hamlets. Similar guidelines related to the occupation of Arab neighborhoods in mixed towns. In his article written in 1961, Khalidi and those who followed in his footsteps presented the guideline instructing the Hagana units to expel the Arab villagers as the principal issue of Plan D. Furthermore, they have distorted its meaning by portraying it as a general order embracing all Arabs in all villages. The text, however, is clear enough: reading Plan D as it is, without deconstructing it to change its meaning, show that there is no correlation between the actual text, and the significance, background and outcomes that the Palestinian scholars and their Israeli colleagues assign it. These paragraphs of Plan D were of marginal significance, and their contribution to shaping a policy towards the Arab population was immaterial. Arab policies were decided either locally, by commanders in the field and their local advisors on Arab affairs, or by the Arabists within Ben- Gurion's inner circle of advisors who advised their superiors. Ber, Pasternak and even Yadin did not pretend to be authorities on Arab affairs or any other issues of high policy. Their concerns were just military, and the scheme's purpose was preparing for the Arab invasion, not expelling the Palestinians.
  2. ^ Benny Morris (2008). 1948: a history of the first Arab-Israeli war. Yale University Press. p. 50. ISBN 9780300126969. Retrieved 13 July 2013. "The Arab reaction was just as predictable: "The blood will flow like rivers in the Middle East," promised Jamal Husseini."
  3. ^ a b Benny Morris (2008). 1948: a history of the first Arab-Israeli war. Yale University Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780300126969. Retrieved 13 July 2013. "At the time, Ben-Gurion and the HGS believed that they had initiated a one-shot affair, albeit with the implication of a change of tactics and strategy on the Jerusalem front. In fact, they had set in motion a strategic transformation of Haganah policy. Nahshon heralded a shift from the defensive to the offensive and marked the beginning of the implementation of tochnit dalet (Plan D)—without Ben-Gurion or the HGS ever taking an in principle decision to embark on its implementation."
  4. ^ a b c Benny Morris (2008). 1948: a history of the first Arab-Israeli war. Yale University Press. p. 119. ISBN 9780300126969. Retrieved 13 July 2013. "Plan D itself was never launched, in an orchestrated fashion, by a formal leadership decision. Indeed, the various battalion and brigade commanders in the first half of April, and perhaps even later, seemed unaware that they were implementing Plan D. In retrospect it is clear that the Haganah offensives of April and early May were piecemeal implementations of Plan D. But at the time, the dispersed units felt they were simply embarking on unconcerted operations geared to putting out fires in each locality and to meeting particular local challenges (the siege of Jerusalem, the cutoff of the Galilee Panhandle from the Jezreel Valley, and so on). The massive Haganah documentation from the first half of April contains no reference to an implementation of Plan D, and only rarely do such references appear in the Haganah's paperwork during the following weeks. Plan D called for securing the areas earmarked by the United Nations for Jewish statehood and several concentrations of Jewish population outside those areas (West Jerusalem and Western Galilee). The roads between the core Jewish areas and the border areas where the invading Arab armies were expected to attack were to be secured. The plan consisted of two parts: general guidelines, distributed to all brigade OCs, and specific orders to each of the six territorial brigades (gEtzioni [Jerusalem], Kiryati [(Tel Aviv], Givgati [Rehovot-Rishon Lezion], Alexandroni [the Coastal Plain], Carmeli [Haifa], and Golani [Jezreel Valley]). The preamble stated: the aim "of this plan is to take control of the territory of the Jewish State and to defend its borders, as well as [defend] the blocs of settlement and the Jewish population outside these borders against a regular enemy, semi-regular[s] [that is, the ALA], and irregulars." Previous Haganah master plans had referred either to the British or the Palestinian Arab militias or a combination of the two, possibly aided by Arab volunteers from outside, as the possible enemy. Plan D was geared to an invasion by regular Arab armies. It was to be activated when "the forces of the [British] government in the country will no longer be in existence"—meaning that it was to be activated somewhere in the hiatus between the British withdrawal and the Arab invasion. When it emerged that no such hiatus would exist, the HGS prepared to activate the plan during the last week or two of (by then largely nominal) British rule."


  1. ^ Khalidi, Walid (1 October 1988). "Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine". Journal of Palestine Studies. 18 (1): 4–19. doi:10.2307/2537591. ISSN 0377-919X. JSTOR 2537591. 'Plan Dalet' or 'Plan D' was the name given by the Zionist High Command to the general plan for military operations within the framework of which the Zionists launched successive offensives in April and early May 1948 in various parts of Palestine. These offensives, which entailed the destruction of the Palestinian Arab community and the expulsion and pauperization of the bulk of the Palestine Arabs, were calculated to achieve the military fait accompli upon which the state of Israel was to be based.
  2. ^ a b Morris, 2008, p. 116
  3. ^ a b c d Khalidi, Walid (2008). "The Fall of Haifa Revisited". Journal of Palestine Studies. 37 (3): 30–58. doi:10.1525/jps.2008.37.3.30. ISSN 0377-919X. JSTOR 10.1525/jps.2008.37.3.30.
  4. ^ David Tal (2004). War in Palestine, 1948: strategy and diplomacy. Psychology Press. pp. 165–. ISBN 9780203499542.
  5. ^ Benny Morris. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, Benny Morris, Cambridge University Press, pg 155.
  6. ^ MidEast Web, Plan Daleth (Plan D)
  7. ^ Yoav Gelber (January 2006). Palestine, 1948: war, escape and the emergence of the Palestinian refugee problem. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 98–. ISBN 978-1-84519-075-0. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  8. ^ Ten years of research into the 1947-49 war - The expulsion of the Palestinians re-examined. By Dominique Vidal. Le Monde diplomatique. December 1997.
  9. ^ Robbie Sabel, [’ International Law and the Arab-Israeli Conflict,] Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-1-108-80798-2 2022 p.131:'The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders (of the Jewish state in the Partition Plan) against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state.’ .'
  10. ^ Morris 2008 "The essence of the plan was the clearing of hostile and potentially hostile forces out of the interior of the territory of the prospective Jewish State, establishing territorial continuity between the major concentrations of Jewish population and securing the future State's borders before, and in anticipation of, the invasion [by Arab states]."
  11. ^ Walid Khalidi, Revisiting the UNGA Partition Resolution, in Journal of Palestine Studies, Autumn, 1997, vol. 27, No. 1 (Autumn, 1997), pp.5-21, p.7
  12. ^ Ahmad H. Sa'di, 'Reflections on Representations, History and Moral Accountability,' in Ahmad H. Sa'di, Lila Abu-Lughod (eds.),Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory,Columbia University Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0-231-13579-5 pp285-314. p.295
  13. ^ Ruling Palestine: A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine[permanent dead link]. The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions - COHRE / Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights, 2005. ISBN 92-95004-29-9, p. 27.
  14. ^ Safty, Adel. Might Over Right: How The Zionists Took Over Palestine. Garnet Publishing, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Khalidi, Walid (1 October 1988). "Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine". Journal of Palestine Studies. 18 (1): 4–19. doi:10.2307/2537591. ISSN 0377-919X. JSTOR 2537591.
  16. ^ "APPENDIX A: Text of Plan Gimmel (Plan C), May 1946: Section on Countermeasures". Journal of Palestine Studies. 18 (1): 20–23. 1 October 1988. doi:10.1080/0377919X.1988.12105196. ISSN 0377-919X.
  17. ^ The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, by Ilan Pappé. Oneworld Publications, 2006.
  18. ^ a b Davidson, Lawrence Cultural Genocide. "Israel's 'War of Independence' - Ethnic Cleansing in Practice", p.74-75. Rutgers University Press, 2012.
  19. ^ a b Khalidi, W. "Plan Dalet: master plan for the conquest of Palestine", J. Palestine Studies 18 (1), 1988, p. 4-33 (published earlier in Middle East Forum, November 1961)
  20. ^ "Palestine Arabs Loot, Kill, Burn; Jews Retaliating". Windsor Daily Star. Windsor, Ontario, Canada. United Press. 2 December 1947. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Burning Jewish shops sent smoke billowing over the Holy City shortly after the start of the Arab strike which was billed as a peaceful demonstration against the United Nations decision to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.
  21. ^ "Urges Arabs to be Ready". Windsor Daily Star. Associated Press. 2 December 1947. p. 1. Retrieved 2 July 2012. Azzam urged demonstrators to organize and work quietly and refrain from violence against Christians. He said they should prepare for a long struggle to achieve Arab aims.
  22. ^ Morris 2008, p. 76
  23. ^ Yoav Gelber (2006), pp. 51–56
  24. ^ Dominique Lapierre et Larry Collins (1971), chap. 7, pp. 131–153
  25. ^ a b Selwyn Ilan Troen; Noah Lucas (1995). Israel: the first decade of independence. SUNY Press. pp. 405–. ISBN 978-0-7914-2259-5. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  26. ^ Benny Morris (2003), p. 163
  27. ^ Morris 2004, p. 163
  28. ^ a b Pappé 2006, p. 81
  29. ^ Devorah Hakohen (2003). Immigrants in turmoil: mass immigration to Israel and its repercussions in the 1950s and after. Syracuse University Press. pp. 13–. ISBN 978-0-8156-2969-6. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  30. ^ Henry Laurens (2005), p. 83
  31. ^ Pappé, Ilan (2000). La guerre de 1948 en Palestine. La fabrique éditions. p. 80. ISBN 9782264040367.
  32. ^ Larry Collins; Dominique Lapierre (4 September 2007). O Jerusalem!. Simon and Schuster. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-1-4165-5627-5. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  33. ^ a b Khalidi, 1988
  34. ^ Pappé 2006, p. 83
  35. ^ Yehoshafat Harkabi (June 1974). Arab Attitudes to Israel. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 366–. ISBN 978-0-470-35203-8. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  36. ^ Tal, 2004, p. 165
  37. ^ Dominique Lapierre et Larry Collins (1971), pp. 369–381
  38. ^ Benny Morris (2003), pp. 242–243
  39. ^ Benny Morris (2003), p. 242
  40. ^ Benny Morris "The Historiography of Deir Yassin" (2005), The Journal of Israeli History. "Haganah squads also provided covering fire and fired on the refugees fleeing southward, towards “Ein Karim. Two squads of the Palmah (the elite strike force of the Haganah) also arrived on the scene and helped evacuate the wounded and take some of the houses."
  41. ^ Morris 2005
  42. ^ Henry Laurens (2005), pp.85-86
  43. ^ Benny Morris (2003), pp. 248–252
  44. ^ Benny Morris (2003), pp. 252–254
  45. ^ Krystall, Nathan (2002). "4: The Fall of the New City". Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War. pp. 104–111.
  46. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 165
  47. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 262–263
  48. ^ Morris, 2004, p. 263
  49. ^ a b c Khalidi, Walid (1988). "Plan Dalet: Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine". Journal of Palestine Studies. 18 (1): 4–33. doi:10.2307/2537591. ISSN 0377-919X. JSTOR 2537591.
  50. ^ "Vol. 3, pt. 3". Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  51. ^ Henry Laurens, Paix et guerre au Moyen-Orient, Armand Colin, 2005, p. 92.
  52. ^ Bloxham, Donald; Dirk Moses, A. (15 April 2010). The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies. OUP Oxford. ISBN 9780191613616.
  53. ^ Pappé, 2006, pp. 86–126, xii
  54. ^ Pappé, 2006, pp. 82–83
  55. ^ Morris, 2004, pp. 5–6, 60
  56. ^ Morris, 2004, 'The Birth ... Revisited', p. 164
  57. ^ Morris, 2004, 'The Birth ... Revisited', p. 165
  58. ^ Gelber 2006, pp. 303–306
  59. ^ Tal, 2004, p. 87


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