Dec 1947-April 1948
Pages in Section 9
Resurgence of the LEHI
i. Reformation of the Irgun
ii. Resurgence of LEHI
iii. Creation of the Palestine Police Mobile Force
iv. The Hunting Season
v. Reason for the Anglo-American Committee of enquiry
vi. Jewish United Resistance Movement
On 31stOctober 1943 nineteen Lehi leaders escaped from Latrun detention camp via a 73 metre tunnel.
With their leadership restored, LEHI re-emerged stronger than they had had been before Stern's death and proved another another huge problem for both the police and the army. Instead of fresh attempts to negotiate with the Nazis, they now officially declared their support for National Bolshevism and received funds from both the Soviet Union and from the Free French, who were furious with the British for their support of an Arab Federation.
Eliyahu Bet-Zuri and Eliyahu Hakim were two members of LEHI who, in 1940 at he age of 14, had vowed to wage war on Britain after, watching rescue operations on the capsized SS Patria and,mistakenly, assuming that the British had sabotaged the boat.
The resuscitated Lehi's first major act was to send these two young men to Egypt to assasinate the resident minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa,Lord Moyne, a close friend of the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Lord Moyne's main responsibility was to ensure the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa, but he also monitored the influence on Arab opinion of the Grand Mufti.
On 6thNovember 1944, Bet-Zuri and Hakim lurked near Lord Moyne's home in Cairo. When Lord Moyne's car drew up, they shot dead not only Lord Moyne but also his driver.
An Egyptian police motor cyclist killed Hakim but Bet-Zuri escaped. Later, however, he was captured and executed in Egypt.*
After the assassination, Winston Churchill, who had previously described himself as a Zionist, stated:
He also added:
Chaim Weizmann gave it as his opinion that the assassination of Moyle was the greatest catastrophe that could have occurred to Zionism.
Next- The Police Mobile Force*In 1975, Egypt returned the bodies of Eliyahu Ben Zuri and Eliyahu Hakim to Israel in exchange for 20 prisoners from Gaza and Sinai. They were laid in state in the Jerusalem Hall of Heroism, where they were attended by many dignitaries including Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and President Ephraim Katzir. They were re-buried in the military section of Mount Herzl in a state funeral with full military honors. Like Avraham Stern, they too have had postage stamps issued in their honour.
Text - Copyright British Palestine Police Association