Fatah the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a Palestinian nationalist political party and the largest faction of the confederated multi-party Palestine Liberation Organization and the second-largest party in the Palestinian Legislative Council. The President of the Palestinian Authority is a member of Fatah. Fatah is considered to have had a strong involvement in revolutionary struggle in the past and has maintained a number of militant groups. Fatah had been identified with the leadership of its founder and Chairman Yasser Arafat, until his death in 2004, when Farouk Kaddoumi constitutionally succeeded him to the position of Fatah Chairman, continued in the position until 2009, when Mahmoud Abbas was elected Chairman. Since Arafat's death, factionalism within the ideologically diverse movement has become more apparent. In the 2006 election for the PLC, the party lost its majority in the PLC to Hamas. However, the Hamas legislative victory led to a conflict between Fatah and Hamas, with Fatah retaining control of the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank through its President.
The full name of the movement is حركة التحرير الوطني الفلسطيني ḥarakat al-taḥrīr al-waṭanī al-Filasṭīnī, meaning the "Palestinian National Liberation Movement". From this was crafted the reverse acronym فتح Fatḥ meaning "opening", "conquering", or "victory"; the word "fatḥ" or "fatah" is used in religious discourse to signify the Islamic expansion in the first centuries of Islamic history –as in Fatḥ al-Sham, the "conquering of the Levant". "Fatah" has religious significance in that it is the name of the 48th sura of the Quran which, according to major Muslim commentators, details the story of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah. (During the peaceful two years after the Hudaybiyyah treaty, many converted to Islam, increasing the strength of the Muslim side. It was the breach of this treaty by the Quraysh; this Islamic precedent was cited by Yasser Arafat as justification for his signing the Oslo Accords with Israel. The Fatah movement, which espoused a Palestinian nationalist ideology in which Palestinian Arabs would be liberated by their own actions, was founded in 1959 by members of the Palestinian diaspora – more principally by professionals working in the Persian Gulf States who had studied in Cairo or Beirut and had been refugees in Gaza.
The founders included Yasser Arafat head of the General Union of Palestinian Students at Cairo University. Fatah became the dominant force in Palestinian politics after the Six-Day War in 1967. Fatah joined the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1967, it was allocated 33 of 105 seats in the PLO Executive Committee. Founder Yasser Arafat became Chairman of the PLO in 1969, after the position was ceded to him by Yahya Hammuda. According to the BBC, "Mr Arafat took over as chairman of the executive committee of the PLO in 1969, a year that Fatah is recorded to have carried out 2,432 guerrilla attacks on Israel." Throughout 1968, Fatah and other Palestinian armed groups were the target of a major Israeli Defense Forces operation in the Jordanian village of Karameh, where the Fatah headquarters – as well as a mid-sized Palestinian refugee camp – were located. The town's name is the Arabic word for "dignity", which elevated its symbolism to the Arab people after the Arab defeat in 1967; the operation was in response to attacks against Israel, including rockets strikes from Fatah and other Palestinian militias into the occupied West Bank.
Knowledge of the operation was available well ahead of time, the government of Jordan informed Arafat of Israel's large-scale military preparations. Upon hearing the news, many guerrilla groups in the area, including George Habash's newly formed group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Nayef Hawatmeh's breakaway organization the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, withdrew their forces from the town. Fatah leaders were advised by a pro-Fatah Jordanian divisional commander to withdraw their men and headquarters to nearby hills, but on Arafat's orders, Fatah remained, the Jordanian Army agreed to back them if heavy fighting ensued. On the night of 21 March, the IDF attacked Karameh with heavy weaponry, armored vehicles and fighter jets. Fatah held its ground; as Israel's forces intensified their campaign, the Jordanian Army became involved, causing the Israelis to retreat in order to avoid a full-scale war. By the end of the battle, nearly 150 Fatah militants had been killed, as well as twenty Jordanian soldiers and twenty-eight Israeli soldiers.
Despite the higher Arab death toll, Fatah considered themselves victorious because of the Israeli army's rapid withdrawal. In the late 1960s, tensions between Palestinians and the Jordanian government increased greatly. After their victory in the Battle of Karameh and other Palestinian militias began taking control of civil life in Jordan, they set up roadblocks, publicly humiliated Jordanian police forces, molested women and levied illegal taxes – all of which Arafat either condoned or ignored. In 1970, the Jordanian government moved to regain control over its territory, the next day, King Hussein declared martial law. By 25 September, the Jordanian army achieved dominance in the fighting, two days Arafat and Hussein agreed to a series of ceasefires; the Jordanian army inflicted heavy casualtie
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine foresees it as its seat of power. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times and recaptured 44 times, attacked 52 times; the part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period. During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE, in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.
In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, 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, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, Christians 14,000 and 9,000 were not classified by religion. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city was 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 Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran; as a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is 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". Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived; the name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace", alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sat on two hills; the form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" and "Shalem" the two names were un
Yitzhak Rabin was an Israeli politician and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77 and 1992 until his assassination in 1995. Rabin was born in Jerusalem to Ukrainian-Jewish immigrants and was raised in a Labor Zionist household, he excelled as a student. He led a 27-year career as a soldier; as a teenager he joined the commando force of the Yishuv. He rose through its ranks to become its chief of operations during Israel's War of Independence, he joined the newly formed Israel Defense Forces in late 1948 and continued to rise as a promising officer. He helped shape the training doctrine of the IDF in the early 1950s, led the IDF's Operations Directorate from 1959 to 1963, he was appointed Chief of the General Staff in 1964 and oversaw Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. Rabin served as Israel's ambassador to the United States from 1968 to 1973, during a period of deepening U. S.–Israel ties. He was appointed Prime Minister of Israel after the resignation of Golda Meir.
In his first term, Rabin ordered the Entebbe raid. He resigned in 1977 in the wake of a financial scandal. Rabin was Israel's minister of defense for much of the 1980s, including during the outbreak of the First Intifada. In 1992, Rabin was re-elected as prime minister on a platform embracing the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, he signed several historic agreements with the Palestinian leadership as part of the Oslo Accords. In 1994, Rabin won the Nobel Peace Prize together with long-time political rival Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Rabin signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994. In November 1995, he was assassinated by an extremist named Yigal Amir, who opposed the terms of the Oslo Accords. Amir was convicted of Rabin's murder. Rabin was the first native-born prime minister of Israel, the only prime minister to be assassinated and the second to die in office after Levi Eshkol. Rabin has become a symbol of the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Rabin was born at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem on 1 March 1922, Mandatory Palestine, to Nehemiah and Rosa Rabin, immigrants of the Third Aliyah, the third wave of Jewish immigration to Palestine from Europe.
Nehemiah was born Nehemiah Rubitzov in the shtetl Sydorovychi near Ivankiv in the southern Pale of Settlement. His father Menachem died when he was a boy, Nehemiah worked to support his family from an early age. At the age of 18, he emigrated to the United States, where he joined the Poale Zion party and changed his surname to Rabin. In 1917, Nehemiah Rabin went to Mandatory Palestine with a group of volunteers from the Jewish Legion. Yitzhak's mother, Rosa Cohen, was born in 1890 in Mogilev in Belarus, her father, a rabbi, opposed the Zionist movement and sent Rosa to a Christian high school for girls in Gomel, which gave her a broad general education. Early on, Rosa took an interest in social causes. In 1919, she traveled to Palestine on the steamship Ruslan. After working on a kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, she moved to Jerusalem. Rabin's parents met in Jerusalem during the 1920 Nebi Musa riots, they moved to Tel Aviv's Chlenov Street near Jaffa in 1923. Nehemiah became a worker for the Palestine Electric Corporation and Rosa was an accountant and local activist.
She became a member of the Tel Aviv City Council. The family moved again in 1931 to a two-room apartment on Hamagid Street in Tel Aviv. Rabin grew up in Tel Aviv, he enrolled in the Tel Aviv Beit Hinuch Leyaldei Ovdim in 1928 and completed his studies there in 1935. The school taught the children agriculture as well as Zionism. Rabin received good marks in school, but he was so shy that few people knew he was intelligent. In 1935, Rabin enrolled at an agricultural school on kibbutz Givat Hashlosha that his mother founded, it was here in 1936 at the age of 14 that Rabin joined the Haganah and received his first military training, learning how to use a pistol and stand guard. He joined HaNoar HaOved. In 1937, he enrolled at the two-year Kadoorie Agricultural High School, he excelled in a number of agriculture-related subjects but disliked studying English language—the language of the British "enemy." He aspired to be an irrigation engineer, but his interest in military affairs intensified in 1938, when the ongoing Arab revolt worsened.
A young Haganah sergeant named Yigal Allon a general in the IDF and prominent politician, trained Rabin and others at Kadoorie. Rabin finished at Kadoorie in August 1940. For part of 1939, the British closed Kadoorie, Rabin joined Allon as a military policeman at Kibbutz Ginosar until the school re-opened; when he finished school, Rabin considered studying irrigation engineering on scholarship at the University of California, although he decided to stay and fight in Palestine. Rabin married Leah Schlossberg during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Leah Rabin was working at the time as a reporter for a Palmach newspaper, they had two children and Yuval. Rabin was non-religious. In 1941, during his practical training at kibbutz Ramat Yohanan, Rabin joined the newly formed Palmach section of the Haganah, under the influence of Yigal Allon. Rabin could not yet operate a machine gun, drive a ca
The Israel Security Agency, better known by the acronym Shabak or the Shin Bet, is Israel's internal security service. Its motto is "Magen veLo Yera'e", it is one of three principal organizations of the Israeli intelligence community, alongside Aman and the Mossad. Shabak is believed to have three operational wings: The Arab Affairs Department: responsible for Arab-related counterterrorism activities in Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip; the Non-Arab Affairs Department: responsible for non-Arab security issues and cooperation with foreign security agencies concerned with the Communist Bloc. The Protective Security Department: responsible for protecting high-value individuals and locations in the country such as government officials, embassies and research facilities; the counter-terrorist unit Yamas is directly subordinate to Shin Bet. Although a security agency, it is not a part of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, its chief answers directly to the Prime Minister of Israel. Shabak's duties are safeguarding state security, exposing terrorist rings, interrogating terror suspects, providing intelligence for counter-terrorism operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, counter-espionage, personal protection of senior public officials, securing important infrastructure and government buildings, safeguarding Israeli airlines and overseas embassies.
With the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, the Shabak was founded as a branch of the Israel Defense Forces and was headed by Isser Harel. Responsibility for Shabak activity was moved from the IDF to the office of the prime minister. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli war, Shabak's responsibilities included only internal security affairs. In February 1949, its responsibilities were extended to counter-espionage. One of the Shabak's leading successes was obtaining a copy of the secret speech made by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956, in which he denounced Stalin. A Polish edition of the speech was provided to the Israeli embassy in Warsaw by the boyfriend of the secretary of a Polish communist official; the Shabak's Polish liaison officer conveyed the copy to Israel. The Israeli government decided to share the information with the United States, which published it with Israeli approval. On the other hand, a study published in 2013 by Matitiahu Mayzel casts doubt on the story, arguing that the speech was not secret and that it was conveyed to the West by multiple sources, including Soviet political and intelligence agencies.
A notable achievement in counter-espionage was the 1961 capture of Israel Beer, revealed to be a Soviet spy. Beer was a Lieutenant Colonel in the reserves, a senior security commentator and close friend of Ben-Gurion and reached high Israeli circles. Beer was sentenced to ten years in prison, where he died. A year before, Kurt Sitte, a Christian German from the Sudetenland and a professor in the Technion, was revealed as a Czechoslovakian spy. In 1967, an Egyptian-Israeli double agent, Rif'at al Gamal/Jacques Bitton, gave Egypt false information about Israel's battle plans, claiming it would begin with ground operations; the Egyptians thus left their aircraft on open runways, which enabled the Israel Air Force to knock out Egypt's air force within three hours of the outbreak of the Six-Day War. Operation Yated, as it was known, is considered one of the most successful deceptions in Israeli intelligence history, on a par with Britain's Operation Mincemeat during World War II. After the war, monitoring terrorist activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip become a major part of Shabak's mission.
During 1984–1986, Shabak experienced a major crisis following the Kav 300 affair in which four Palestinian militants hijacked a bus. Two of the hijackers were killed in an ensuing standoff, the other two were killed shortly after being taken into custody by Shabak officers, who covered up the event and conspired to frame a senior IDF officer. Following the affair, Shabak head Avraham Shalom was forced to resign; the 1987 Landau Commission, set up to investigate Shabak interrogation methods, criticized the organization and established guidelines to regulate what forms of physical pressure could be used on prisoners. Among the practices authorised were "keeping prisoners in excruciatingly uncomfortable postures, covering their heads with filthy and malodorous sacks and depriving them of sleep." Human rights groups in Israel maintained. A 1995 official report by Miriam Ben-Porat, made public in 2000, showed that Shin Bet "routinely" went beyond the "moderate physical pressure" authorised by the Landau Commission.
In the report, Israel admitted for the first time that Palestinian detainees were tortured during the First Intifada, between 1988 and 1992. In 1995, the Shin Bet failed to protect the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by right-wing Israeli radical Yigal Amir. Shin Bet had discovered Amir's plans, a Shin Bet agent was sent to monitor Amir, reported that Amir was not a threat. Following the assassination, the Shabak director, Carmi Gillon, resigned preemptively; the Shamgar Commission pointed to serious flaws in the personal security unit. Another source of embarrassment and criticism was the violent and inciting behavior of Avish
Military Intelligence Directorate (Israel)
The Directorate of Military Intelligence abbreviated to Aman, is the central, overarching military intelligence body of the Israel Defense Forces. Aman was created in 1950, when the Intelligence Department was spun off from the IDF's General Staff. Aman is an independent service, not part of the ground forces, Navy or the Air Force, it is one of the main entities of the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Mossad and Shin Bet. It is headed by Major General Tamir Heiman, it includes the training course Havatzalot Program. Its special forces unit is Sayeret Matkal; the IDF's Intelligence Corps, abbreviated as Haman and headed by a brigadier general, has been detached from Aman since the Yom Kippur War, but remains under its jurisdiction. In April 2000, the newest IDF corps was founded, the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, abbreviated as Modash, it was designed to fulfill some of Aman's former combat intelligence functions, is headed by a Brigadier General. Although it falls under the operational jurisdiction of the GOC Army Headquarters it falls under Aman's professional jurisdiction.
In 1976, according to the Lexicon of National Security, some of Aman's principal roles consisted of: Intelligence evaluation for security policy, military planning and "fluid security policy," and the dissemination of intelligence to IDF and governmental bodies. Field security at the level of the General Staff, the training and operation of field security in general; the operation of military censorship. Direction and operation of the'Collection Agencies'. Drawing maps; the development of'special measures' for intelligence work. The development of intelligence doctrine in the realms of research and field security. Staff responsibility for military attachés overseas. Aman consists of the following subordinate and professionally subordinate units: Intelligence Corps Camp 1391Unit 8200 Visual Intelligence Branch Sayeret Matkal Research Department Information Security Department Military Censor Supervision Department External Relations Department Ro'im Rachok Unit 81 Havatzalot Program Air Intelligence Group: the intelligence unit of the Israeli Air Force Naval Intelligence Division: the intelligence unit of the Israeli Sea Corps The intelligence units of the Regional Commands: Central, Northern and Home Front Commands Center for Consciousness Operations: a psychological warfare unit of the Operations Directorate The head of Aman is the senior intelligence officer in the IDF and engages in intelligence decision and policy-making at the same level as the heads of the Shabak and the Mossad: together, they form the three highest-ranking, co-equal heads of the Israeli Intelligence Community, focusing on the military and foreign intelligence fronts respectively.
On June 10, 2005, then-IDF's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, in a move viewed as surprising, announced that Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash would be replaced by Major General Amos Yadlin. Yadlin, serving as the IDF's military attaché in Washington, D. C. was a combat pilot, former head of the air force's Air Intelligence Directorate, Halutz's deputy. Yadlin was appointed as Aman Director on January 5, 2006, with Zeevi-Farkash having served an extended term. In November 2010 Yadlin was replaced by Major General Aviv Kochavi. 1948–1949: Isser Be'eri 1949–1950: Colonel Chaim Herzog 1950–1955: Colonel Binyamin Gibli 1955–1959: Major General Yehoshafat Harkabi 1959–1962: Major General Chaim Herzog 1962–1963: Major General Meir Amit 1964–1972: Major General Aharon Yariv 1972–1974: Major General Eli Zeira 1974–1978: Major General Shlomo Gazit 1979–1983: Major General Yehoshua Saguy 1983–1985: Major General Ehud Barak 1986–1991: Major General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak 1991–1995: Major General Uri Sagi 1995–1998: Major General Moshe Ya'alon 1998–2001: Major General Amos Malka 2001–2006: Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash 2006–2010: Major General Amos Yadlin 2010–2014: Major General Aviv Kokhavi 2014–present: Major General Herzi Halevi Israeli Security Forces Israeli Intelligence Community GlobalSecurity.org on Aman "Israeli Intelligence in the 1967 War," By Doron Geller, JUICE, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Education Dept.
"Israeli Intelligence and the Yom Kippur War of 1973," By Doron Geller, JUICE, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Education Dept. The "Yom Kippur War: the IDF version," by Amir Oren, for Haaretz "Intelligence service under scrutiny," by Dan Baron, for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Simon bar Kokhba
Simon bar Kokhba, born Simon ben Kosevah, was the leader of what is known as the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire in 132 CE, establishing an independent Jewish state which he ruled for three years as Nasi. His state was conquered by the Romans in 135 following half-year war. Documents discovered in the 20th century in the Cave of Letters give his original name, with variations: Simeon bar Kosevah, Bar Koseva or Ben Koseva, it is probable. The name may indicate that his father or his place of origin was named Koseva, but might as well be a general family name; the Jewish sage Rabbi Akiva indulged the possibility that Simon could be the Jewish messiah, gave him the surname "Bar Kokhba" meaning "Son of the Star" in Aramaic, from the Star Prophecy verse from Numbers 24:17: "There shall come a star out of Jacob". The name Bar Kokhba does not appear in ecclesiastical sources. Rabbinical writers subsequent to Rabbi Akiva did not share Rabbi Akiva's estimation of ben Kosiva. Akiva's disciple, Yose ben Halaphta, in the Seder'Olam called him "bar Koziba", meaning, "son of the lie".
The judgment of Bar Koseba, implied by this change of name was carried on by rabbinic scholarship at least to the time of the codification of the Talmud, where the name is always rendered "Simon bar Koziba" or Bar Kozevah. Despite the devastation wrought by the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War, which left the population and countryside in ruins, a series of laws passed by Roman Emperors provided the incentive for the second rebellion. Based on the delineation of years in Eusebius' Chronicon, it was only in the 16th year of Hadrian's reign, or what was equivalent to the 4th year of the 227th Olympiad, that the Jewish revolt began, under the Roman governor Tineius Rufus, whereas Hadrian sent an army to crush the resistance. Bar Kokhba, the leader of this resistance at the time, punished any Jew who refused to join his ranks. Two and a half years the war had ended; the Roman Emperor Hadrian at this time barred Jews from entering Jerusalem. The second Jewish rebellion took place 60 years after the first and established an independent state lasting three years.
For many Jews of the time, this turn of events was heralded as the long hoped for Messianic Age. The excitement was short-lived and after a brief span of glory, the revolt was crushed by the Roman legions; the Romans fared poorly during the initial revolt facing a unified Jewish force, in contrast to First Jewish-Roman War, where Flavius Josephus records three separate Jewish armies fighting each other for control of the Temple Mount during the three weeks after the Romans had breached Jerusalem's walls and were fighting their way to the center. Being outnumbered and taking heavy casualties, the Romans adopted a scorched earth policy which reduced and demoralized the Judean populace grinding away at the will of the Judeans to sustain the war. Bar Kokhba took up refuge in the fortress of Betar; the Romans captured it after laying siege to the city for three and a half years, they killed all the defenders except for one Jewish youth whose life was spared, viz. Simeon ben Gamliel. Rabbi Yohanan has related the following account of the massacre: “The brains of three-hundred children were found upon one stone, along with three-hundred baskets of what remained of phylacteries were found in Betar and every one of which had the capacity to hold three measures.
If you should come to take into account, you would find that they amounted to three-hundred measures.” Rabban Gamliel said: “Five-hundred schools were in Betar, while the smallest of them wasn't less than three-hundred children. They used to say, ‘If the enemy should come upon us, with these metal pointers we'll go forth and stab them.’ But since iniquities had caused, the enemy came in and wrapped up each and every child in his own book and burnt them together, no one remained except me.” According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews were killed in overall war operations across the country, some 50 fortified towns and 985 villages razed to the ground, while those who perished by famine and fire was past finding out. So costly was the Roman victory that the Emperor Hadrian, when reporting to the Roman Senate, did not see fit to begin with the customary greeting “If you and your children are healthy, it is well. Over the past few decades, new information about the revolt has come to light, from the discovery of several collections of letters, some by Bar Kokhba himself, in the Cave of Letters overlooking the Dead Sea.
These letters can now be seen at the Israel Museum. According to Israeli archaeologist Yigael Yadin, Bar Kokhba tried to revive Hebrew and make Hebrew the official language of the Jews as part of his messianic ideology. In A Roadmap to the Heavens: An Anthropological Study of Hegemony among Priests and Laymen by Sigalit Ben-Zion, Yadin remarked: "it seems that this change came as a result of the order, given by Bar Kokhba, who wanted to revive the Hebrew language and make it the official language of the state." Simon bar Kokhba is por
Shlomo Gazit is a retired Israeli military officer and academic. A former Major General in the Israel Defense Forces, he headed Israel's military intelligence service, he served as President of Ben-Gurion University and head of the Jewish Agency. Gazit was born Shlomo Weinstein in 1926 in Istanbul, Turkey, to a Ukrainian Jewish family which moved to Palestine, his older brother was Mordechai Gazit. In 1942, while still in high school, he joined the Haganah, the Palmach in 1944, he was assigned to Company H. He was based in Kiryat Anavim, he passed a commander's course and was appointed a platoon leader, serving in the Ramat HaKovesh and Givat HaShlosha areas. He participated in the Night of the Trains. During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Gazit served in the Harel Brigade, took part in fighting the Arab Legion, participating in the Battles of Latrun, he took part in Operation Yoav. He served as the head of the assessment department in IDF intelligence before the Six-Day War, but took leave to study for a master's degree in history.
Gazit's studies were interrupted in the summer of 1967, when he was appointed by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to be in charge of a committee tasked with running the political and economic affairs in the newly captured territories. This group would be renamed "The Unit for the Coordination of Operations in the Territories". After seven years, Gazit was promoted to head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, a position he held from 1974 to 1978. Upon his retirement from the IDF, he served as President of the Ben Gurion University in Beersheba for two four-year terms. Since 1988 he is a member of the staff of Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at the Tel Aviv University; the Middle East Military Balance, 1988-1989: A Comprehensive Data Base & In-Depth Analysis of Regional Strategic Issues, Westview Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8133-0961-1 The Middle East Military Balance, 1990-91, Westview Press, 1992. ISBN 0-8133-1413-5 The Middle East Military Balance 1992-1993, Westview Press, 1994. ISBN 0-8133-2218-9 The Middle East Military Balance 1993-1994, Westview Press, 1995.
ISBN 0-8133-2658-3 The Palestinian refugee problem, Tel Aviv University, 1995. ISBN 965-459-016-6 The Carrot and the Stick: Israel's Policy in Judaea and Samaria, 1967-68, B'nai B'rith Book Service, 1995. ISBN 0-910250-29-4 Trapped Fools. ISBN 0-7146-8390-6 The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East, Vintage, 2005. ISBN 1-4000-7963-2 Gazit, Shlomo. Trapped Fools. Frank Cass, 2003. ISBN 0-7146-8390-6