Jewish National Fund
The Jewish National Fund was founded in 1901 to buy and develop land in Ottoman Palestine for Jewish settlement. The JNF is a non-profit organization, by 2007, it owned 13% of the total land in Israel. Since its inception, the JNF says it has planted over 240 million trees in Israel and it has built 180 dams and reservoirs, developed 250,000 acres of land and established more than 1,000 parks. In 2002, the JNF was awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement and special contribution to society, the JNF was founded at the Fifth Zionist Congress in Basel in 1901 with Theodor Herzls support based on the proposal of a German Jewish mathematician, Zvi Hermann Schapira. Early land purchases were completed in Judea and the Lower Galilee, in 1909, the JNF played a central role in the founding of Tel Aviv. The establishment of the “Olive Tree Fund” marked the beginning of Diaspora support of afforestation efforts, the Blue Box has been part of the JNF since its inception, symbolizing the partnership between Israel and the Diaspora.
In the period between the two wars, about one million of these blue and white tin collection boxes could be found in Jewish homes throughout the world. From 1902 until the late 1940s, the JNF sold JNF stamps to raise money, for a brief period in May 1948, JNF stamps were used as postage stamps during the transition from Palestine to Israel. The first parcel of land,200 dunams east of Hadera, was received as a gift from the Russian Zionist leader Isaac Leib Goldberg of Vilnius, in 1904 and 1905, the JNF purchased land plots near the Sea of Galilee and at Ben Shemen. In 1921, JNF land holdings reached 25,000 acres, at the end of 1935, JNF held 89,500 acres of land housing 108 Jewish communities. In 1939, 10% of the Jewish population of the British Mandate of Palestine lived on JNF land, JNF holdings by the end of the British Mandate period amounted to 936 km². By 1948, the JNF owned 54% of the held by Jews in the region. By the eve of statehood, the JNF had acquired a total of 936,000 dunums of land, most of the JNFs activities during the Mandatory period were closely associated with Yossef Weitz, the head of its settlement department.
From the beginning, JNFs policy was to lease land long-term rather than sell it, after Israels establishment in 1948, the government began to sell absentee lands to the JNF. On January 27,1949,1,000 km² of land was sold to the JNF for the price of I£11 million, another 1,000 km² of land was sold to the JNF in October 1950. Over the years questions about the legitimacy of these transactions have been raised, in 1953, the JNF was dissolved and re-organized as an Israeli company under the name Keren Kayemet LeYisrael. In 1960, administration of the held by the JNF-KKL, apart from forested areas, was transferred to a newly formed government agency. The ILA was responsible for managing some 93% of the land of Israel, all the land managed by the ILA was defined as Israeli lands, it included both land owned by the government and land owned by the JNF-KKL
Tzur Hadassah is a communal settlement in central Israel. It is located in the Judean Hills around 30 kilometres west of Jerusalem, in 2015 it had a population of 7,392. Tzur Hadassah was established in 1960 as a centre for nearby moshavim such as. It was named for the Hadassah organization, the town has three neighborhoods, Old Tzur Hadassah, New Tzur Hadassah, and Har Kitron, which forms the second half of the horseshoe topography of Tzur Hadassah. The Harei Yehuda riding stable is located in Tzur Hadassah, at the edge of the Sansan nature reserve and it was established in 1991 in the old part of Tzur Hadassah and moved to new facilities in 2004. The Israel National Trail, marked with orange, blue, in 2014, construction workers discovered a large stalactite cave near Tzur Hadassah
Ein Karem is an ancient village of the Jerusalem District and now a neighbourhood in southwest Jerusalem and the site of the Hadassah Medical Center. It was depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on July 16,1948, according to Christian tradition, John the Baptist was born in Ein Karem, leading to the establishment of many churches and monasteries. In 2010 the neighborhood had a population of 2,000 and it attracts three million visitors a year, one-third of them pilgrims from around the world. A spring that water to the village of Ein Karem stimulated settlement there from an early time. Pottery has been found dating to the Middle Bronze Age. For the Israelite age it could be identified as the location of Beth HaKerem, a reservoir here was mentioned in the copper scroll. It was recorded during the Islamic conquest and again, under the name St. Jeehan de Bois, Ottoman tax registers from 1596 showed a population of 29 Muslim families. During excavations in Ein Karem, a statue of Aphrodite was found.
It is believed to date from the Roman era and was toppled in Byzantine times. Today, the statue is at the Rockefeller Museum, according to the Bible, Mary went into the hill country, to a city of Judah when she visited her cousin Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah. Theodosius says that the distance is five miles from Jerusalem to the place where Elizabeth lived, the mother of John the Baptist. The English writer Saewulf, on pilgrimage to Palestine in 1102-1103, wrote of a monastery in the area of Ein Karim dedicated to St. Sabas, the site of the crusader church was purchased by Father Thomas of Novara in 1621. In 1672 the Franciscan order received a firman from the Ottoman sultan, in 1693 the monastery was renovated and walls added. The population of Ain Karim in 1922 was 1,735, in 1931 it was 2,637, in 555 houses and in 1944/45 it was 3,180, in each case including the smaller localities of Ayn al-Rawwas and Ayn al-Khandaq. The 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine placed Ayn Karim in the Jerusalem enclave intended for international control, on March 19, the villagers joined their foreign guests in attacking a Jewish convoy on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road.
Immediately after the April 1948 massacre at the village of Deir Yassin. It was attacked by Israeli forces during the campaign of July 1948. The remaining civilian inhabitants fled on July 10–11, during its last days, Ayn Karim suffered from severe food shortages
Latrun is located at a strategic hilltop in the Latrun salient in the Ayalon Valley. It overlooks the road between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem,25 kilometers west of Jerusalem and 14 kilometers southeast of Ramla and it was the site of fierce fighting during the 1948 war. During the 1948–1967 period, it was occupied by Jordan at the edge of a no mans land between the lines known as the Latrun salient. In the 1967 war, it was captured by Israel along with the salient and the West Bank. Neve Shalom is a joint Jewish-Arab community on a hilltop south of Latrun, Canada Park is nearby to the east. The name Latrun is ultimately derived from the ruins of a medieval castle, there are two theories regarding the origin of the name. One is that it is a corruption of the French, Le toron des chevaliers, the other is that it is from the Latin, Domus boni Latronis, a name given by 14th century Christian pilgrims after the penitent thief who was crucified by the Romans alongside Jesus. In the Hebrew Bible, the Ayalon Valley was the site of a battle in which the Israelites, led by Joshua, according to the Book of Maccabees, Judah Maccabee learned that the Greeks were planning to march on his position, and successfully ambushed the invaders.
The Jewish victory in what was called the Battle of Emmaus led to greater Jewish autonomy under Hasmonean rule over the next century. Little remains of the castle, which was held by the Templars by 1187, the main tower was surrounded with a rectangular enclosure with vaulted chambers. This in turn was enclosed by a court, of which one tower survives. In 1883, the Palestine Exploration Funds Survey of Western Palestine described Latrun as a few adobe huts among the ruins of a medieval fortress, the monastery is dedicated to Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. In 1909 it was given the status of a Priory and that of an Abbey in 1937, the monks established a vineyard using knowledge gained in France and advice from an expert in the employ of Baron Edmond James de Rothschild from the Carmel-Mizrahi Winery. Today they produce a variety of wines that are sold in the Abbey shop. The community was expelled by the Ottoman Turks between 1914–1918 and the buildings pillaged, walid Khalidi in his book All That Remains describes al-Latrun as a small village established in the late 19th century by villagers from nearby Emmaus.
In the 1922 census of Palestine, conducted by the British Mandate authorities, Latrun had a population of 59, in addition, Dair Latrun had a population of 37 Christian males. In the 1931 census they were counted together, and Latrun had a population 120,76 Muslims and 44 Christians, the Latrun monastery was rebuilt in 1926. The crypt was completed in 1933 and the church in 1954, the monastery was designed by the communitys first abbot, Dom Paul Couvreur, and is an example of Cistercian architecture
Battles of Latrun (1948)
Latrun takes its name from the monastery close to the junction of two major highways, Jerusalem to Jaffa/Tel Aviv and Gaza to Ramallah. During the British Mandate it became a Palestine Police base with a Tegart fort, the United Nations Resolution 181 placed this area within the proposed Arab state. In May 1948, it was under the control of the Arab Legion and it commanded the only road linking the Yishuv-controlled area of Jerusalem to Israel, giving Latrun strategic importance in the battle for Jerusalem. Despite assaulting Latrun on five separate occasions Israel was ultimately unable to capture Latrun, the battles were so decisive that the Israelis decided to construct a bypass surrounding Latrun so as to allow vehicular movement between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, thus avoiding the main road. Regardless, during the Battle for Jerusalem, the Jewish population of Jerusalem could still be supplied by a new road, named the Burma Road, the Battle of Latrun left its imprint on the Israeli collective imagination and constitutes part of the founding myth of the Jewish State.
The attacks cost the lives of 168 Israeli soldiers, but some accounts inflated this number to as many as 2,000, the combat at Latrun carries a symbolic significance because of the participation of Holocaust survivors. Today, the site has an Israeli military museum dedicated to the Israeli Armored Corps. After the adoption of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in November 1947, the Jews living in Jerusalem constituted one of the weak points of the Yishuv and a main cause for concern to its leaders. With nearly 100,000 inhabitants, a sixth of the total Jewish population in the Mandate, the city was isolated in the heart of territory under Arab control. In January, in the context of the War of the Roads, by the end of March, the tactic proved its worth and the city was cut off. The Haganah launched Operation Nachshon, 4–20 April, and managed to force through a number of large convoys. In the middle of May, the situation for the 50,000 Arab inhabitants of the city, on 15 May, the situation in the newly declared State of Israel and the remnants of Palestine was chaotic with the British leaving.
The Jewish forces gained advantage over the Arab forces, but they feared the intervention of the Arab armies that had announced for that day. Latrun is located at the crossroads between the Tel Aviv–Ramla–Jerusalem and Ramallah–Isdud roads in the allocated to the Arab state by the United Nations Partition Plan. At that point, the Jerusalem road enters the foothills of Judea at Bab al-Wad, the fort dominated the Valley of Ayalon, and the force that occupied it commanded the road to Jerusalem. In 1948, Latrun comprised a detention camp and a police station occupied by the British, a Trappist monastery. They regularly attacked supply convoys heading for Jerusalem, at that time, neither the Israeli nor Jordanian military staffs had prepared for the strategic importance of the place. The Givati Brigade and Harel Brigade were engaged in fighting, notably in the Latrun area, between 9–11 May, a battalion of the Harel brigade attacked and took the village of Bayt Mahsir, used by Palestinians as a base for the control of Bab al-Wad
Operation Ha-Har, or Operation El Ha-Har, was an Israeli Defence Forces campaign against villages southwest of Jerusalem launched at the end of October 1948. The Operation lasted from 18 to 24 October and was carried out by troops from the Harel, the villages were defended by units from the Egyptian army. By the end of the campaign over a dozen villages had been captured and it coincided with Operation Yoav which attacked Egyptian positions further south. These schemes will be eradicated on the battlefield, up until that time, the Brigade had been active in capturing infiltrators who sought to carry-out attacks against Jews and their property, as in securing the public transportation to Jerusalem. The Regimental Operations Department initiated patrols south of the Jerusalem Corridor and they assumed that when fighting resumed, the task of the Brigade would be to expand the corridor southward. In a written dispatch, Raanana had informed Palmach-Harel headquarters responsible for the front, In all these last few days.
There has been an exchange of unrelenting gun-fire, the strategic location itself is not easy to hold-on to, since it is much lower than the other positions. Raanana waited impatiently for an answer, but his request to occupy other positions was denied him. Hostilities began on 15 October 1948, when Israeli troops assigned to Operation Yoav took the offensive to the south, if that were to happen, the Brigade would have lost its opportunity to expand the Jerusalem Corridor by ridding it of hostile elements. The Jordanian Arab Legion had decided to concentrate its forces in Bethlehem and in Hebron in order to save that district for its Arab inhabitants, and to prevent territorial gains for Israel. Egyptian forces that were operating in the region, while simultaneously making an effort not to inadvertently draw the Arab Legion into armed conflict with Israeli forces. Egyptian forces lay to the east, while Israeli forces to the west, the attack was spearheaded by a company of men conscripted from abroad, accompanied with artillery fire and Davidka mortars.
The sudden onslaught and bombardment caused a retreat of all Egyptian forces from the Arab village, during this battle, Israeli forces suffered only one casualty, the commander of operations belonging to the Fifth Battalion. This was done with the intent of making it a springboard for military operations while advancing toward the mountains overlooking al-Khader, Bethlehem. The plan was to cross-over the railroad line that connected Jerusalem with Hartuv, scouts succeeded in crossing over the railway without being detected, and reached a position southwest of Dayr al-Hawa. When a second detail was sent out to ascertain whether or not the route could be traversed, they were ambushed by gunfire, a third detail sent out was fired upon, which actions taken together gave the Brigade a correct assessment of the enemys preparedness for battle. Given these circumstances, plans were drawn-up for the attack on Dayr al-Hawa, in addition to the massive firepower from their personal weapons, they were aided by a 120 mm. mortar battery.
When they had come within 200 meters of the village, the firing of weapons used to assist them in the initial onslaught was brought to a halt
Battle for Jerusalem
The Battle for Jerusalem occurred from December 1947 to 18 July 1948, during the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. The Jewish and Arab populations of Mandatory Palestine and the Israeli, under the UN Partition Plan, Jerusalem was to be placed under international rule in a corpus separatum. Fighting nevertheless immediately broke out in the city between Jewish and Arab militias, with bombings and attacks by both sides, starting in February 1948, Arab militia under Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni blockaded the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, preventing the supply of the Jewish population. This blockade was broken in mid-April by Operation Nachshon and Operation Maccabee, on 14 May and the following days and Harel brigades supported by Irgun troops launched several operations aiming to take over the Arab side of the city. Israeli victories against the Arab militias in the city pushed Abdallah of Jordan to order the Arab Legion to intervene and it deployed in East Jerusalem, fought the Israelis and took the Jewish quarter of the Old City.
The population was expelled and the fighters taken prisoners to Jordan, the Israeli forces launched three assaults on Latrun to free the road to the city but without success. Israeli forces built a road to Jerusalem before the truce imposed by UN on 11 June. During the period called the First Truce the Jewish city was supplied with food, weapons, fighting didnt resume during the remaining months of the 1948 war. The city was split between Israel and Jordan after the war, Israel ruling West Jerusalem and Jordan ruling East Jerusalem with the Old City, following the outbreak of disturbances at the end of 1947 the road between Tel Aviv and Jewish Jerusalem became increasingly difficult for Jewish vehicles. Ambushes by Palestinian Arab irregulars became more frequent and more sophisticated, aside from the large Jewish population, Jerusalem held special importance to the Yishuv for religious and nationalist reasons. In particular, the Arab forces tried to cut off the road to Jerusalem from the coastal plain, the Arabs blocked access to Jerusalem at Latrun and Bab al-Wad, a narrow valley surrounded by Arab villages on hills on both sides.
The breaking of the siege of Jerusalem and the annexation of the areas to the Jewish state became primary goals for the Israelis in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In December 1947 the Jewish Agency set up the Jerusalem Emergency Committee, headed by Dov Yosef, in January the Committee estimated 4,500 tons a month was needed. They were given 50,000 Palestine pounds credit with the Histadruts wholesalers, in January 1948 the number of trucks supplying Jewish Jerusalem had fallen to thirty per day. By March the daily number of trucks reaching Jerusalem was six. By the end of March it was clear that food supplies for civilians in Jewish Jerusalem would run out, on 1 April The Times estimated that the Jewish population of Jerusalem required a minimum of 50 truckloads per week. On 3 April, The Scotsman reported that a spokesman at a meeting of Arab military leaders in Damascus had announced that Jerusalem would be strangled by a blockade. One estimate of the size of the forces at the beginning of March 1948 gives the Arabs 5,300 men in Jerusalem and surrounding district
Ramat Raziel is a moshav in central Israel. Located in the centre of the Jerusalem corridor, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, in 2015 it had a population of 649. The village was established in 1948, and was named after David Raziel and it is located on land belonging to the depopulated Palestinian village of Kasla, Jerusalem
Burma Road (Israel)
Burma Road in Israel was a makeshift bypass road between Kibbutz Hulda and Jerusalem, built under the supervision of General Mickey Marcus during the 1948 Siege of Jerusalem. It was named for the Chinese Burma Road, vehicles attempting to use the road, Jerusalems only link to the coast, took heavy fire. Convoys carrying food and medical supplies sent by the Yishuv sustained heavy losses, on May 15,1948, British forces withdrew from the Latrun monastery and police fort that dominated the road and prevented supplies from reaching Jerusalem. Latrun was immediately occupied by the Palmachs Harel Brigade, however, on the night of May 18, British-officered Arab Legion forces from Transjordan seized Latrun, and subsequent Jewish attempts to gain a foothold in the region failed. The growing need for supplies among Jerusalems Jewish population weakened the Jewish foothold within the city considerably, a small amount of supplies, mostly munitions, were ferried by air, but the shortage of food, water and medicines was acute.
The Jewish leadership, under David Ben-Gurion, feared that the city would surrender to the Arab Legion, the road ran from just east of Dayr Muhaysin, by way of Bayt Jiz and Bayt Susin, and crossed the road that is now known as Highway 38. From there it ascended to Bayt Mahsir and connected with the old Jerusalem road, several Israeli attempts to take the Arab Legions position in Latrun failed, but surrounding parts of the road were cleared of snipers by the end of May. Jaques Bar saw that fire from the Latrun fort could be avoided by building another road screened from its Ordnance QF25 pounder guns, the major problem was a very steep section at the beginning of the ascent. After two weeks some supplies came through using mules and 200 men from the Home Guard to cover three miles which were impassable to vehicles and these men, mostly conscripts in their fifties, each carried a 45-pound load and made the trip twice a night. This effort lasted for five nights, on the night of May 30–31, an attempt failed when the lead jeep overturned.
A second attempt on the following night succeeded, on the night of June 1–2 the vehicles returned, and with them was a group from Jerusalem in three jeeps. The jeep party went on to Tel Aviv to organize a supply convoy for Jerusalem, the road was still practically impassable. Vehicles had to be pushed by hand through long sections and donkeys were used to bring supplies to Jerusalem while bulldozers and road workers moved critical parts of the road out of the line of sight of Jordanian artillery and widened it. The Arab Legion spotted the activity and Jordanian artillery shelled the road, Arab sharpshooters killed several road workers, and an attack on June 9 left eight Israelis dead. Three weeks later,10 June, the steepest section was opened to vehicles, the road allowed passage of a convoy without leaving the vehicles on June 10, in time for the UN-imposed cease fire, but it required repair as vehicular passage opened new pot holes. The road was completed on June 14, and water. Amos Horev, President of Technion, was an Operations Officer, by the end of June the usual nightly convoy delivered 100 tons of supplies a night.
Harry Levin, in his entry for 7 June, wrote that 12 tons a night were getting through
Bar Giora is a moshav in the Judean Mountains in Israel. Located between Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, in 2015 it had a population of 641. The village was founded on 18 October 1950 by immigrants from Yemen and was named after Simon Bar Giora, initially a work camp named Eitanim, it became a moshav in 1954. It was established on land belonging to the Arab village of Allar and it is situated northeast of the Allar village site
Jerusalem is a city located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is considered a city in the three major Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, the part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE. In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent, today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters. The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger, Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old Citys boundaries. These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, the sobriquet of holy city was probably attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times. The holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesuss crucifixion there, in Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.
As a result, despite having an area of only 0, outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, one of Israels Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the countrys undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the international community does not recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital, and the city hosts no foreign embassies. Jerusalem is home to some non-governmental Israeli institutions of importance, such as the Hebrew University. In 2011, Jerusalem had a population of 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, a city called Rušalim in the Execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is widely, but not universally, identified as Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba, the name Jerusalem is variously etymologized to mean foundation of the god Shalem, the god Shalem was thus the original tutelary deity of the Bronze Age city. The form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Bible, in the Book of Joshua, according to a Midrash, the name is a combination of Yhwh Yireh and the town Shalem. The earliest extra-biblical Hebrew writing of the word Jerusalem is dated to the sixth or seventh century BCE and was discovered in Khirbet Beit Lei near Beit Guvrin in 1961. The inscription states, I am Yahweh thy God, I will accept the cities of Judah and I will redeem Jerusalem, or as other scholars suggest, the mountains of Judah belong to him, to the God of Jerusalem