Acre Prison

The Acre Prison also known as Akko Prison is a former prison and current museum in Acre, Israel.

The citadel was built during the Ottoman period over the ruins of a 12th-century Crusader fortress. The Ottomans used it at various times as a government building, prison, army barracks, and arms warehouse.[1]

In the time of the British Mandate the citadel in the old city of Acre was used as a prison in which many Arabs were imprisoned as criminals or for participating in the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine. Around 140 prisoners were executed during the Palestinian general strike alone.

On June 17, 1930, Fuad Hijazi, ‘Ata Al-Zeer, and Mohammad Khaleel Jamjoum who participated in the incidents of 1929 were executed (hanged) by the British Mandate for Palestine authorities.[2][3]

On April 19, 1947 Dov Gruner and the three men (Yechiel Dresner, Mordechai Alkahi and Eliezer Kashani) captured by the British 6th Airborne Division were hanged in Acre Prison to become the first post war ‘martyrs’ of the Irgun. Dov Gruner in a broadcast declared the British Army and Administration to be ‘criminal organizations’.

Two weeks later, 4 May, the Irgun attacked the prison in the Acre Prison break, blowing a hole in the wall through which 27 Irgun prisoners escaped. 214 Arab prisoners also escaped. Three Irgun men who took part in that attack (Avshalom Haviv, Meir Nakar, and Yaakov Weiss) were captured during that attack and imprisoned and executed there.

The prison also contained Jewish prisoners, members of the Hagana, Lehi, and Irgun. One of those prisoners was Eitan Livni (father of Tzipi Livni), the Irgun operations officer.[4] In total, the prison contained 700 Arab prisoners and 90 Jewish prisoners.

A room in the prison was occupied for some months by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, and members of his family, who were exiled to Ottoman Syria in 1868. The cell is now a site of pilgrimage for Bahá'is making a wider pilgrimage to the Bahá'i shrines in Haifa and Bahji, outside Akko.

Acre Prison today

See also


  1. ^ Old Acre - The Underground Prisoners' Museum
  2. ^
  3. ^ Tamari, Salim & Nassar, Issam (2014) The Storyteller of Jerualem. The life and Times of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, 1904-1948. Olive Branch Press. ISBN 978-1-56656-925-5. pp.202,291.
  4. ^ Lapidot, Yehuda. "The Acre Prison Break". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2008-01-15.

Coordinates: 32°55′25.48″N 35°4′9.77″E / 32.9237444°N 35.0693806°E

1930 in Mandatory Palestine

Events in the year 1930 in the British Mandate of Palestine.

1947 in Mandatory Palestine

Events in the year 1947 in the British Mandate of Palestine.

Abba Ahimeir

Abba Ahimeir (Hebrew: אב"א אחימאיר‬, Russian: Аба Шойл Гайсинович; 2 November 1897 – 6 June 1962) was a Russian-born Jewish journalist, historian and political activist. One of the ideologues of Revisionist Zionism, he was the founder of the Revisionist Maximalist faction of the Zionist Revisionist Movement (ZRM) and of the clandestine Brit HaBirionim.

Acre Prison break

The Acre Prison break was an operation undertaken by the Irgun on May 4, 1947, in the British Mandate of Palestine, in which its men broke through the walls of Acre prison and freed 27 incarcerated Irgun and Lehi members.

Avshalom Haviv

Avshalom Haviv (Hebrew: אבשלום חביב‬; June 18, 1926–July 29, 1947) was a member of the Irgun underground organization in Mandatory Palestine, and one of the Olei Hagardom executed by the British authorities during the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. His hanging, along with that of two other Irgun members, triggered the Irgun's retaliatory hangings of two British sergeants.

East Talpiot

East Talpiot or Armon HaNetziv is a Jewish neighborhood in southern East Jerusalem, established by Israel in 1973 on land captured in the Six-Day War and occupied since. The international community considers East Talpiot to be an Israeli settlement that is illegal under international law. East Talpiot is one of Jerusalem's Ring Neighborhoods.

Eliezer Kashani

Eliezer Kashani (Hebrew: אליעזר קשאני‬; 1923–1947) was an Irgun member in Mandatory Palestine and one of the 12 Olei Hagardom.


The Irgun (Hebrew: ארגון‬; full title: הארגון הצבאי הלאומי בארץ ישראל‬ Hā-ʾIrgun Ha-Tzvaʾī Ha-Leūmī b-Ērētz Yiśrāʾel, lit. "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel") was a Zionist paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the older and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah (Hebrew: הגנה‬, Defence). When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet (Hebrew: literally "Defense 'B' " or "Second Defense", הגנה ב‬), or alternatively as haHaganah haLeumit (ההגנה הלאומית) or Hama'amad (המעמד‬). Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defense Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. The Irgun is also referred to as Etzel (אצ"ל‬), an acronym of the Hebrew initials, or by the abbreviation IZL.

The Irgun policy was based on what was then called Revisionist Zionism founded by Ze'ev Jabotinsky. According to Howard Sachar, "The policy of the new organization was based squarely on Jabotinsky's teachings: every Jew had the right to enter Palestine; only active retaliation would deter the Arabs; only Jewish armed force would ensure the Jewish state".Two of the operations for which the Irgun is best known are the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946 and the Deir Yassin massacre, carried out together with Lehi on 9 April 1948.

The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts. Specifically the organization "committed acts of terrorism and assassination against the British, whom it regarded as illegal occupiers, and it was also violently anti-Arab" according to the Encyclopædia Britannica. In particular the Irgun was described as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, British, and United States governments; in media such as The New York Times newspaper; as well as by the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, the 1946 Zionist Congress and the Jewish Agency. However, academics such as Bruce Hoffman and Max Abrahms have written that the Irgun went to considerable lengths to avoid harming civilians, such as issuing pre-attack warnings; according to Hoffman, Irgun leadership urged "targeting the physical manifestations of British rule while avoiding the deliberate infliction of bloodshed." Irgun's tactics appealed to many Jews who believed that any action taken in the cause of the creation of a Jewish state was justified, including terrorism.The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel's right-wing Herut (or "Freedom") party, which led to today's Likud party. Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977.

List of Irgun members

This is a list of notable members of the Irgun, either having been listed by the Irgun's website or by reputable independent sources.

Former Irgun members have held positions of highest influence in the Israeli political and security establishments since independence, and the lasting effect of the ideology espoused by groups such as the Irgun and the Lehi continues to be a source of active research and debate among responsible historians and political observers to this day.

Meir Nakar

Meir Nakar (Hebrew: מאיר נקר‬; 1926–1947) was an Irgun member in pre-state Mandatory Palestine and one of 12 Olei Hagardom.

Olei Hagardom

Olei Hagardom (Hebrew: "Those hanged in the gallows", עולי הגרדום) refers to members of the two Jewish Revisionist pre-state underground organisations Irgun and Lehi, who were tried in British Mandate courts and sentenced to death by hanging, most of them in Acre prison. There were 12 Olei Hagardom.The term does not include members of the Nili organisation hanged by the Ottoman government during World War I.

Pelican Bay State Prison

Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) is the only supermax state prison in California. The 275 acre prison is located in Del Norte County, California. The prison takes its name from a shallow bay on the Pacific coast, about 2 miles (3 km) to the west. The prison lies in a detached section of Crescent City, several miles north of the main urban area and just south of the Oregon border. PBSP's primary purpose is to house the "worst of the worst" violent male prisoners from the California state prison system; 40% of Pelican State's inmates are serving life sentences and nearly all have histories of violence at other California prisons which resulted in their transfer to Pelican Bay. The sole exception are the institution's minimum security inmates who work as part of the prison's outside maintenance and firefighter programs.

Cellblocks C and D at Pelican Bay are the dedicated long-term Security Housing Units (SHU), designed to control the most intractably violent prisoners by keeping them in rigorously-monitored solitary confinement 22.5 hours a day, 7 days a week (often for years or decades at a time). In addition to the supermax population, Pelican Bay also houses two maximum security units: Block A is a traditional semi-open general population (GP) unit with 2-man cells while Block B a is smaller, closed/single cell block that serves as a transitional unit for inmates transferring out of the SHU blocks due to good behavior. There is also a collocated 400-bed minimum security unit (outside of the secure perimeter) which provides inmate orderlies for general service tasks at and around the main prison.

Shavei Tzion

This article is about the moshav. For the Jewish return to the Land of Israel, see The Return to Zion.Shavei Tzion (Hebrew: שָׁבֵי צִיּוֹן‬, lit. Returnees to Zion) is a moshav shitufi in northern Israel. Located between Acre and Nahariya and covering 2,000 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Mateh Asher Regional Council. In 2017 it had a population of 1,083.

Shlomo Ben-Yosef

Shlomo Ben-Yosef (Hebrew: שלמה בן-יוסף‬; May 7, 1913 - June 29, 1938) was a member of the Revisionist Zionist underground group Irgun. He is most noted for his participation in an April 21, 1938 attack on a bus carrying Arab civilians, intended as a retaliation for an earlier attack by Arabs against Jews, and emblematic as a rejection of the establishment policy of Havlagah, or restraint. For this reason, and especially for having been the first Jew executed by the British authorities during the mandate period, Ben-Yosef is revered in the highest terms by right-wing Zionist groups such as Betar, Irgun, Jewish Defense League and the Kach movement (an organisation outlawed in Israel), and is memorialized by those groups as one of 12 Olei Hagardom.

The Sergeants affair

The Sergeants affair (Hebrew: פרשת הסרג'נטים‎) was an incident that took place in Mandate Palestine in July 1947 during Jewish insurgency in Palestine, in which the Jewish underground group Irgun kidnapped two British Army Intelligence Corps NCOs, Sergeant Clifford Martin and Sergeant Mervyn Paice and threatened to hang them if the death sentences passed on three Irgun militants: Avshalom Haviv, Meir Nakar, and Yaakov Weiss, were carried out. The three had been captured by the British during the Acre Prison break, tried, and convicted on charges of illegal possession of arms, and with 'intent to kill or cause other harm to a large number of people'. When the three men were executed by hanging, the Irgun killed the two sergeants and hanged their booby-trapped bodies in a eucalyptus grove near Netanya. When the bodies were found, the booby trap injured a British officer as they were cut down. This act was widely condemned in both Palestine and the UK. After hearing of the deaths some British troops and policemen attacked Jews in Tel Aviv, killing five and injuring others. The killings also sparked off rioting in some British cities.

Yaakov Weiss

Yaakov Weiss (Hebrew: יעקב וייס‬; 1924–1947) was a Hungarian Jew born in Czechoslovakia and member of the Irgun Jewish guerrilla organization in Mandatory Palestine. After saving hundreds of Jews during Holocaust, he illegally immigrated to Palestine, joined the Irgun, and fought the British during the Jewish insurgency in Palestine. He was one of three Irgun members executed for their part in the Acre Prison break, which triggered the Irgun's retaliatory hanging of two British soldiers. He is memorialized today as one of 12 Olei Hagardom.

Yehiel Dresner

Yehiel Dov Dresner (Hebrew: יחיאל דב דרזנר‬; 1922–1947) was an Irgun member in pre-state Mandatory Palestine and one of 12 Olei Hagardom.

Yehoshua Zettler

Yehoshua Zettler (July 15, 1917 – May 20, 2009; last name also spelled as Zeitler) was an Israeli who served as the Jerusalem commander of the Jewish paramilitary group Lehi, often called the Stern Gang. He conceived and planned the September 17, 1948, assassination of Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte, who was representing the United Nations Security Council as a mediator in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

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