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Hativat Harel (the Harel Brigade) (10)

The brigade was founded on the 16th of April 1948 in the Jerusalem Mountains following Operation Nachshon. It was assembled from Palmach battalions which had up until that time fought in the region. The brigade was supposed to function as a crushing force in Jerusalem and played a central role in all combat operations until the seizing, broadening and fortifying of the passageway to Jerusalem.

The brigade was founded on the 16th of April 1948 in the Jerusalem Mountains following Operation Nachshon. It was assembled from Palmach battalions which had up until that time fought in the region. The brigade was supposed to function as a crushing force in Jerusalem and played a central role in all combat operations until the seizing, broadening and fortifying of the passageway to Jerusalem.
The brigades battalions operated in Jerusalem and its surroundings from the outbreak of the War of Independence; the Fourth Battalion was an active fighting force in the center of Israel until the brigade was set up; the Fifth Battalion was set up towards the end of December 1947. Its units camped in settlements in the central and southern regions of the country, training and fighting there until the end of March 1948. Until the brigade was founded, it was engaged mainly in protecting public transportation to Jerusalem and escorting the convoys. In addition it operated as a conquering force whose mission was to take control of the road-side posts until the convoys passed safely, and served as a defense force [guarding, for example, the house of the Keren Kayemet (the National Fund) situated on the road leading from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, until it was replaced by a force from the Givati Brigade]. In April the battalion made its way to Jerusalem to take part in Operation Nachshon, and on the 16th it was annexed to the Harel Brigade alongside the Fourth Battalion. The Sixth Battalion was assembled during December 1947, basing itself in Jerusalem at the beginning of 1948 , while participating in the protection of the city, particularly of the transportation coming from the Shfela (lowland), and the roads connecting Jerusalem with Gush Etzion and the northern region of the Dead Sea.
From the middle of April the brigade participated in Operation Harel (from the 15th until the 20th of April) which was a continuation of Operation Nachshon, and in Operation Yevusi (during the last ten days of April) whose target was to take control of the ridges overlooking northern Jerusalem, and then its southern neighborhoods.
Later on the brigade participated in Operation Makabi (A, and B) which took place between the first and 16th of May, clearing the passageway from Jerusalem westwards along the mountain routes and its ridges until Shaar Hagai (the gate of the valley). Immediately following (from the 17th till the 19th of May), one of the brigades forces managed to take control of Mount Zion and break into the Jewish quarter of the Old City. Next, the brigade participated in Operation Dani, Hahar (the mountain) and Horev.
The brigades commanders were Yitzhak Rabin and Yosef Tabenkin.





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The Beginning of the Palmach
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