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The Background for the Birya Affair
תקציר

On March 5th, the British removed the Jewish Watch guard stationed in Birya instead of the Palmach platoon, and announced that their soldiers would be stationed at the post until further notice. It was a dangerous precedent the removal of a Jewish settlement point by the Mandatory rule.

The religious platoon of the Palmach established the Birya settlement on January 8th, 1945, about 1km north of Safad. The considerations that determined the location of the settlement were: Politically, it was significant to settle in a remote area in which Jewish presence was forbidden according to "The White Paper;" strategically, it was a high point that dominated the area and served as a connecting link between Safad and the Western and Upper Galilees.
On February 5th 1946, A Palmach unit from the 3rd Battalion tried to free the 11 Palmach members that were arrested in the Har Kena'an Police Station. The break through failed from the start. The operation included additional Palmach platoons in charge of blockage and security, as well as the Birya Platoon and a platoon from Ashdot-Ya'aqov. After the operation, the platoons' weapons were hidden in cashes near Birya. In late February, the British conducted searches for Palmach squads from Birya, who patrolled near Har Kena'an Police Station. During the searches, two cashes were discovered between Birya and En-Hzeitim, where weapons and Hagana documents were hidden after the break through attempt at Har Kena'an Police.
Based on the emergency regulations published a month earlier, as part of the British effort to oppress the 'Resistance Movement,' all twenty four platoon members from Byria were arrested and sent to the Acre prison. Some of them were hurt by British torture during their interrogation in May. In response, the Hagana sentenced Bruce, the British officer in charged of the investigation, to death. The sentence was executed on Jerusalem Street in Jerusalem, on October 1946.
On March 5th, the British removed the Jewish Watch guard stationed in Birya instead of the Palmach platoon, and announced that their soldiers would be stationed at the post until further notice. It was a dangerous precedent the removal of a Jewish settlement point by the Mandatory rule. The following day, the Anglo-American committee arrived in Israel in order to come up with solutions for Israel's political problem. The HQ of the 'Resistance Movement' announced a cessation of the military activity during the committee's visit. Therefore, the movement had to find a way to thwart the British intention to liquidate the Birya settlement, without running into an armed confrontation while doing so.

נושאי משנה

Arresting the Religious Platoon Members in Birya
Founding Birya B
The British Takeover of Birya B and Founding Birya C

Information Archive
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