Irgun Zvai Leumi
aka Etzel, IZL
The main Jewish underground militant group during Israel's formation, the Irgun Zvai Leumi is famous for blowing up the British administration headquarters in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people.
Formed in 1931, the Irgun revolted against British rule over Palestine, demanding that the British leave the country and calling for the establishment of a Jewish state.
The Irgun and other militant Zionist factions began a fierce armed struggle against Britain in British-ruled Palestine as it became clear that the Balfour Declaration of 1916, which promised the Jewish people a national home in Palestine, was being ignored. In 1939, the British signed what is known as the “White [Page 181]Paper,” which limited Jewish immigration into the territory to 75,000 through 1944.
In 1943, former Polish soldier and Zionist youth movement leader Menachem Begin became leader of the Irgun. Later prime ...