An underground Zionist organization founded in 1931, supported largely by the non‐socialist elements among the Jewish settlers in Palestine. Originally aimed at Palestinian Arabs, from 1939 onwards Irgun targeted British Mandate forces as well. For much of World War II it declared a truce against the British forces, but it resumed its active terrorist campaign under its new leader, Begin, in early 1944. Despite occasional cooperation, its methods were generally opposed by the Haganah. Subsequently, its most spectacular action involved the bombing of the headquarters of the British army and the Palestinian administration in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946, causing ninety‐one casualties. It also carried out raids against Arabs, most notably on the town of Dir Yassin on 9 April 1948, when all 254 inhabitants were killed. It was incorporated into the Israeli army on 1 September 1948, despite strong resistance by its more radical members.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).