• Meyer Grunberg

Operation Agatha / "Black Sabbath", 1946

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: June 29th, 1946

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Operation Agatha is conducted today by British Colonial forces in Mandatory Palestine where thousands of British troops are sent to the Land seizing arms, raiding towns, buildings, harrasing and arresting key Jewish leaders from the Yishuv and the Jewish Agency.

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More infamously known as "Black Sabbath" since the operation happened purposefully on Shabbat - about 2,700 individuals would be arrested including Moshe Sharett, David Remez, and Isser Harel. Ben Gurion evaded arrest by being in Paris at the time. .

The given "purpose" of the operation was to "end the state of anarchy" in the region, but in reality it was conducted to undermine the growing power of the Jews in pre-state Israel and as a response to the coordinated Jewish attack against the British on bridges throughout Mandatory Palestine and Transjordan earlier that month. The British were also attempting to find proof of the Jewish Agency's backing of the Palmach and the more extreme Begin-led Lechi/Irgun

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Agatha ran from June 29th through July 1st, leaving the Land in disarray and major Jewish cities with a lackluster defense without the Haganah at full power and an antagonist British side.

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Eventually, most of the leaders were released and the Haganah tamped down their anti-British operations. Lechi, on the other hand, actually intensified their attacks on the British - culminating with the bombing of the King David Hotel on July 22nd, 1946. .

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Image Source:

http://www.etzel.org.il/english/ac09.htm

Text Source:

http://www.zionistarchives.org.il/en/datelist/Pages/BlackSaturday.aspx


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