> The War of Independence

The Palmachs Induction Center

In mid April 1948, Palmach headquarters established an Induction unit that included instructors and Hebrew teachers.

In the first months of the war, several issues related to personnel became apparent:
The units suffered heavy losses and urgently needed reinforcement in order to continue their tasks.
The need to recruit every man - local resident or new immigrant - and turn him into a fighter in short order, and post them all in combat units and integrate them into the units - increased.
It became clear that the combat units could not complete the process of recruitment and basic training themselves, therefore an induction and training facility was required.

In mid April 1948, Palmach headquarters established an Induction unit that included instructors and Hebrew teachers. The unit included three companies and one division:
In Gan Efraim: a company of recruits, both local and new immigrants: courses in signal operation, medics and stretcher-bearers.
In Tel Mond: recruits from Hamachanot Haolims recruiting hachsharot.
In Givat Olga: recruits of the first Gachal company.
In Givat Chaim: a division of Maccabi Hatzairs recruits.

In the beginning of May 1948, it was decided to concentrate all the induction activities in one camp. For this purpose, a deserted British encampment near Kefar Yona was selected. (Today it is known as Bet Lid, or camp 21). On the 12th of May, the command staff was sent to Kefar Yona and found it demolished and neglected.
Even before the construction and renovation were completed, 450 illegal immigrants had arrived. They came with no personal gear, in a state of exhaustion as a result of their sea journeys. There were no adequate facilities and accommodations, and no time for medical examinations, since the primary assignment was to give recruits basic training and transfer them to Harel Brigade.
The following day, the camp was bombed from Tul Karem. The bombs that landed in the center of the camp caused panic. There were no basic protection arrangements, and the instructors had no weapons for defending the base had it been attacked. People began running and it was difficult control them. The following morning, the camp was bombed once again, but this time people were calmer. Training was stopped while the camp was bombed, and was renewed immediately after the bombing stopped. The next day, recruits underwent medical examinations and sorting, and those who were found fit for battle were equipped in Palmach headquarters, and sent to the front in Jerusalem that very day. Those who were not fit for battle were sent to Safed, for guard duty.
The units that were trained in Giv'at Olga, Tel Mond and Giv'at Hayyim, were also sent to Harel and Yiftach brigades.
On the 20th of May, a company of 150 Gachal arrived, and it was decided that they would undergo a one month training period which included weapons training, field training, physical training, and Hebrew studies.


Gachal (Overseas Recruitment) in the Palmach Regiments

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The Beginning of the Palmach
Struggle against the British
The War of Independence
Dismantling of the Palmach
Palmach and the Settlements
The Palmach's Military Thinking
Units and Organizational Structure
Female Palmach Members
Culture and Folklore
Palmach Contribution and Legacy