Thursday, September 27, 2018

Who Was Responsible for the Results of the King David Operation?

The words of Richard Crossman, MP for Coventry, East, House of Parliament, July 31, 1946:

I think it was 12 months ago that the Hagana came to the police authorities in Jerusalem and told them (*) that the Irgun had developed a new rocket weapon for shooting at the King David Hotel. The pipes, from which the rockets were to be shot, were placed in a field 400 to 500 yards from the King David Hotel in a position so deep in the earth that they could not be seen. It was thought that there were two bombs there. The British police, I believe, sent out mine detectors, but failed to find the bombs with mine detectors. They came back to the Hagana and asked for more accurate information. The Hagana thereon, with great risk to themselves, kidnapped a member of the Irgun and extracted from him—by means which I cannot indicate, as I do not know them—the precise location of one of these things. With the British, they discovered the thing, and took it to pieces. I am told that the British G.O.C. admired the mechanical ingenuity of the instrument. That particular outrage was in fact prevented owing to the assistance given to the British by the Hagana intelligence service. I am putting these things forward for check. I do not know whether they are wholly true.

I am also told that on no less than three occasions since the discovery of the V3, as the rockets were nicknamed, the Hagana intelligence have warned, and repeated their warning to the British security that the King David Hotel would, one day, have an assault from the inside, and that better security should be employed by the police and military there. All these warnings were disregarded at a moment when all the Hagana were locked up, and the terrorists of the Irgun were given a free hand. No further security was imposed on the King David Hotel, and the kitchens and night club were left inadequately guarded. In considering the responsibility for this terrible outrage, part of it, at least, must rest with those concerned with security. It is time one said this. A partial responsibility rests on anyone who knows the King David Hotel and left it, in this time of crisis, in this unguarded condition.


The information was communicated by Teddy Kollek.

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