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Haganah, Irgun and Stern Veterans Mark Failure to Capture Old City in 1948 War

Veterans of three Jewish underground fighting organizations of the pre-Statehood era met here today to observe the 21st anniversary of their abortive attempt to capture the Old City of Jerusalem during Israel’s War for Independence in 1948. Menachem Beigin, leader of the Herut Party and Minister-Without-Portfolio in the present Government, told former colleagues of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, which he commanded, the Haganah and the Stern Group that the attempt to storm the gates of Old Jerusalem to keep it from falling into Jordanian hands taught valuable lessons even though it failed.

Those lessons, he said, were applied in June, 1967 when an Israeli paratroop brigade drove Jordanian forces out of the Old City in some of the bloodiest fighting of the Six-Day War. The one gate that was broken through in 1948 symbolizes all the gates of Jerusalem that are now wide open, Mr. Beigin said.