Operation Ben-Ami

Operation Ben-Ami

Military Operation
Operation Ben-Ami
Start Date
13 May 1948
End Date
21 May 1948
Zionist Unit(s)
Carmeli Brigade
Arab Unit(s)

Operation Ben-Ami, which began on 13-14 May 1948, was the last major Haganah offensive before the end of the British Mandate in Palestine. It was designed to capture all the coastal villages from Acre northwards to the Lebanese border. In the words of Israeli historian Benny Morris, this was "in line with Plan D[alet]'s provision for securing blocks of Jewish settlement even outside the Partition plan borders…."

The Carmeli Brigade, which carried out the operation, was given the order on 19 May 1948, "to attack in order to conquer, to kill among the men, to destroy and burn the villages of Al Kabri, Umm al Faraj and An Nahr." Morris adds that al-Kabri was occupied the following night, on 20-21 May, as part of the second stage of Operation Ben-Ami. Along with a series of villages in western Galilee, north of Acre, al-Nahr was captured on 20-21 May 1948, during this second phase of the operation. Units of the Carmeli Brigade attacked al-Ghabisiyya, the last village taken during Operation Ben-Ami, on 20-21 May 1948. Morris states that the village surrendered formally and that some of its population were expelled "sometime during the following days or weeks."


Selected bibliography

The New York Times. 15 May 1948.

al-Aref, Aref. Al-Nakba [The Catastrophe]. 6 Volumes. Beirut and Sidon: al-Maktaba al-'Asriyya, 1956-1960, p. 423, 426.

Dinur, Ben-Zion, Yehuda Slutski, Sha'ul Avigur, Yitzchaq Ben-Tzvi, and Yisra'el Galili. Sefer Toldot ha-Haganah [The History of the Haganah]. Tel Aviv: 'Am 'Oved, 1972, p. 1585.

Israeli Ministry of Defense. cToldot Milchemet ha-Qomemiyyut [The History of the War of Independence]. Tel Aviv: Marakhot, 1959, p. 248.

Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-1949. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 124-25.

Nazzal, Nafez. The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee, 1948. Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978, pp. 55-57.