February 22, 1948: Three military vehicles bombed in Jerusalem

On this day in 1948 three bombs detonated in a shopping district in Jerusalem, killing as many as 58 Jewish civilians and wounding 140 to 200 others

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL/PALESTINE – Israel may be at the top of many people’s minds when it comes to terrorism today but things were once much, much worse.

The state of Israel has always been a contentious one, as far back as we have records for. The self-styled ‘home of the Jews’ has been at war, occupied, emptied, made to disappear, reborn and yet still faces violence at levels that are worrisome. Most of this violence is the direct result of Israel’s enemies, many of whom subscribe to alarming levels of anti-Semitism, although some is also linked to Israeli policies (especially in the West Bank).

The period that surrounded the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 was also a very extreme one. Actors on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian debate carried out acts of terrorism against each other and against the then ‘mandate’ power, Great Britain.

We look happy, but we ain’t (Photo: Public Domain)

One such attack occurred on February 22, 1948.

On this day in 1948

Arab militants disguised as British troops, joined by a pair of British deserters, detonated bombs in three British military trucks and an armoured car along the shopping district of Ben Yahuda Street in downtown Jerusalem, killing as many as 58 Jewish civilians and wounding 140 to 200 others.

Attacks of this nature escalated in the weeks before the United Nations approval of a partition plan for Palestine and the emergence of the modern state of Israel. Abd al-Qadir, founder of the Organization for Holy Struggle, took credit for the attack the following day and claimed that it was in response to a bombing by the Irgun, a Jewish terrorist group, three days earlier in Ramle.

I could not forget that our thugs and murderers had opened the way.

David Ben Gurion, noting that some of the blame lay with the Irgun

Whatever the cause, it was a huge terrorist attack. Israel has had to bury far too many people over the decades. It is well past time for the violence to end.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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