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Pietro Aliyah Immigration

The Haapala ship "Aliyah" sailed from Bandol port in France on November 5th 1947, with 182 immigrants on board.

The Haapala ship "Aliyah" sailed from Bandol port in France on November 5th 1947, with 182 immigrants on board.
According to the original plan, this ship was not scheduled to arrive in Israel, nor was it given a Hebrew name to begin with. Its mission was to meet the "Kadima" Haapala ship that left from Italy that same day; transfer over the 182 immigrants at sea, and return under the name "Albertina," as it has done numerous times before. The ship commander was Yair Berker and the 'Gidonim' Batya and Meir Reiness.
Due to the ship's small measurements and the lack of proper navigation equipment for winter time, the ship crew decided to take a long and winding route. On November 15th, the ship neared a Lebanese shore. Only the, were the 'Gidonim' able to overcome the communication problems and report their whereabouts to 'Hamossad for Aliyah Bet.' At that point, a few tens of miles separated between "Kadima" and "Aliyah." The "Aliyah" commander wanted to stick to the original plan and transfer the immigrants as determined, but "Kadima" was intercepted by the British even before the meeting was coordinated. Reconnaissance aircrafts and British destroyers circled the area, but apparently did not identify "Aliyah" as an immigrant ship. 'Hamossad for Aliyah Bet' HQ instructed "Aliyah" to move as fast as possible and with lights out towards Nahariya shore. On November 16th at dawn, "Aliyah" landed on Nahariya shore and quickly unloaded its immigrants. They were put on buses and were safely dispersed in the western Galilee settlements. The ship, which ran aground, was left in place.
The next morning, British security forces arrived at the disembarkation point, but all of the immigrants and aid forces had already cleared from the area.
Today, the "Aliyah" Haapala ship is located on the promenade beach in Nahariya.



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