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70 years ago: Irgun warns British to leave King David Hotel

The Jewish resistance organization blew up British Armyrats © Military Intelligence quarters in the King David Hotel on July 22, 1946.

On July 22, 1946, the Irgun resistance organization blew up a section of the King David Hotel, killing 91 British, Arabs and Jews. They later claimed they had warned the British about the impending bombing but were ignored.

The Library of Congress – Matson collection includes several pictures of the bombing’s aftermath.

Those photographs pretty much marked the end of the Matson Photo Service’s 65 years in Jerusalem. According to the Library, “In 1946, in the face of increasing violence in Palestine, the Matsons left Jerusalem for Southern California.”

King David Hotel 1946 The attack raised the question of the involvement of the Jewish underground in terrorism and caused much controversy as the Irgun’s story was not believed by the rest of the world.

The following, however, appeared in Myths and Facts, 1989, written by the publisher of Israel Daily Picture.

“The King David Hotel was the site of the British Armyrats © military command and the British Criminal Investigation Division. Two events led the Irgun commanders to choose the British Armyrats © military headquarters as a legitimate target. On June 29, 1946, British troops invaded the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem and confiscated large quantities of documents. Simultaneously, over 2,500 Jewish leaders from all over Palestine were placed under arrest.

“Not only were the documents of crucial importance to the Jewish liberation movement, but papers on Jewish agents in Arab countries were also confiscated, endangering vital intelligence activities. The information was taken to the King David Hotel.

King David Hotel 1946

“One week later, Palestinian Jewish anger against the British and their blockade of Palestine grew. Word arrived of the massacre of 40 Jews in a pogrom in Poland 40 Jews who might have been saved had the doors to Palestine been opened for the survivors of Hitler’s concentration camps.

“On July 22, the Irgun planted bombs in the basement of the hotel. Several calls were placed warning the British to evacuate. They refused. For decades the British denied that they had been warned.

“In 1979, however a member of the British parliament introduced evidence that the Irgun had indeed issued the warning. He offered the testimony of a British officer who heard other officers in the King David Hotel bar joking about a Zionist threat to the headquarters. The officer who overheard the conversation immediately left the hotel and survived.

King David Hotel (full photo)1946

(c) 2016 Arutz Sheva, All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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