(1920–48) Zionist military organization. It was organized to combat the attacks of Palestinian Arabs on Jewish settlements, and it effectively defended them despite being outlawed by the British authorities and being poorly armed. Through World War II (1939–45) its activities were moderate by contrast with more extreme Zionist militias, but it turned to terrorism after the war when the British refused to permit unlimited Jewish immigration to Palestine. In 1947 it clashed openly with British forces and with the forces of the Palestinian Arabs and their allies. When Israel became a state in 1948, Haganah became the core of its national army. See also Irgun Zvai Leumi.
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