Operation Dekel

Operation Dekel

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Operation Dekel was the largest offensive in the north of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 after the first truce of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
1948 Arab-Israeli War
The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

. It was carried out by the 7th Armoured Brigade, a battalion from the Carmeli Brigade along with some elements from the Golani Brigade
Golani Brigade
The Golani Brigade is an Israeli infantry brigade that is subordinated to the 36th Division and traditionally associated with the Northern Command. Its symbol is a green tree on a yellow background, and its soldiers wear a brown beret. It is one of the most highly decorated infantry units in the...

 between 8–18 July. Its objective was to capture Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

 and the Lower Galilee. The operation was led by Ben Dunkelman
Ben Dunkelman
Benjamin Dunkelman was a Canadian Jewish officer who served in the Canadian Army in World War II and the Israel Defense Forces in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In Israel, he was called Benjamin Ben-David....

, a Canadian
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 volunteer who was the commander of the 7th Brigade.

On 15 July Israeli aircraft bombed the village Saffuriya and caused panic among the population. Most of the villagers fled northwards toward Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

. Only about 100 elderly remained.

On the evening of 16 July, Nazareth surrendered to the Israelis after a light fight which only involved one Israeli dead and one wounded. The Arab Liberation Army
Arab Liberation Army
The Arab Liberation Army , also translated as Arab Salvation Army, was an army of volunteers from Arab countries led by Fawzi al-Qawuqji...

 forces in the village under the command of Fawzi al-Qawuqji
Fawzi Al-Qawuqji
Fawzi al-Qawuqji was the field commander of the Arab Liberation Army during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War in Palestine, and a rival of the principal Palestinian Arab leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.-Biography:...

 retreated to the mountains in the north. In sharp contrast to the surrounding towns, the inhabitants in Nazareth were never forced to evacuate. Dunkelman
Ben Dunkelman
Benjamin Dunkelman was a Canadian Jewish officer who served in the Canadian Army in World War II and the Israel Defense Forces in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In Israel, he was called Benjamin Ben-David....

 refused to obey orders from Chaim Laskov
Chaim Laskov
Haim Laskov was an Israeli public figure and the fifth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.-Early life:...

 to evacuate the civilian population of Nazareth.

Arab communities captured in Operation Dekel

Name Date Brigade Population
Kuwaykat
Kuwaykat
Kuwaykat was a Druze Palestinian village 9 km northeast of Acre in the British mandate of Palestine District of Acre, depopulated in 1948.-History:...

10 July 7th Armoured Brigade and Carmeli Brigade n/a
Jiddin, Khirbat
Jiddin, Khirbat
Khirbat Jiddin is a former Palestinian village in the Galilee located 16 km northeast from city of Acre. According to a 1945 census the village had a population of approximately 1,500 Arabs...

10–11 July 1,500
Ma'lul
Ma'lul
Ma'alul was a Palestinian village, made up primarily of Palestinian Christians, that was depopulated and destroyed by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Located six kilometers west of the city of Nazareth, many of its inhabitants became internally displaced refugees, after taking refuge in...

14 July 690
Saffuriyya 15 July Sheva' (7th) Brigade with
two Battalions from Carmeli Brigade
4,330
Amqa
Amqa
Amka or Amqa is a moshav in the Matte Asher Regional Council of Israel's North District, near Acre. The name Amka is thought to preserve that of Beth Ha-Emek, a city mentioned in . The location of the Jewish village roughly corresponds the former Palestinian Arab village, depopulated during the...

15–16 July 7th Armoured Brigade and Carmeli Brigade 1,240
al-Damun
Al-Damun
Al-Damun was a Palestinian Arab village located from the city of Acre that was depopulated during 1948 Arab-Israeli war. In 1945, the village had 1,310 inhabitants, most of whom were Muslim, while the remainder were Christians...

15–16 July 7th Armoured Brigade 1,310
Mi'ar
Mi'ar
Mi'ar was a Palestinian village located 17.5 kilometers east of Acre, depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.-History:...

15–18 July 7th Armoured Brigade 770
Nahf
Nahf
Nahf is an Arab town in the North District Israel. It is located in the between the Lower and Upper Galilee, about east of Acre. In 2011, the population was 7,800.-History:...

15–18 July 7th Armoured Brigade n/a
Sakhnin
Sakhnin
Sakhnin is a city in Israel's North District. It is located in the Lower Galilee, about east of Acre. Sakhnin was declared a city in 1995. Its population of 25,100 is Arab, mostly Muslim with a sizable Christian minority. It is located on the site of the ancient Jewish town Sikhnin, which...

15–18 July 7th Armoured Brigade n/a
Nazareth
Nazareth
Nazareth is the largest city in the North District of Israel. Known as "the Arab capital of Israel," the population is made up predominantly of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel...

16 July 14,200
Lubya
Lubya
Lubya was a Palestinian Arab town located ten kilometers west of Tiberias that was captured and destroyed by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War...

16 July 2,350
Hittin
Hittin
Hittin was a Palestinian village, located approximately west of Tiberias. The site of the Battle of Hattin in 1187, in which Saladin conquered most of interior Palestine from the Crusaders, Hittin is a nationalist symbol for Arabs and Palestinians...

16–17 July 7th Armoured Brigade 1,190
Nimrin
Nimrin
Nimrin was a Palestinian Arab town of 320 that was captured and depopulated by Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.-History:Nimrin stood on the site of Kfar Nimra when Palestine was ruled by the Roman Empire...

16–17 July 320
Sha'ab 18 July n/a
Al-Birwa
Al-Birwa
Al-Birwa was a Palestinian Arab village, located east of Acre . Mentioned by Arab geographers in the 11th century, it was known to the Crusaders as Broet. Al-Birwa was captured from the Mamluks by the Ottomans in the 16th century. In the 19th century, it had a mosque, a church, and an elementary...

18 July 260

See also


External links