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The glossary is comprised of nearly 250 terms related to the Israeli-Palestinian context. Given the rapidly shifting landscape, these terms cannot capture the full range of nuances, narratives and historical events. This tool is meant as a starting point and we encourage you to continue your exploration of this topic through further research. Last update and review: September 2015.


(A Hebrew acronym for "Plugot Ma_atz" or "strike force") Founded in 1941, the Palmach was an elite operational force of the Haganah (a Jewish paramilitary group and the precursor to the Israeli army.) The Palmach primarily viewed their force as protection against potential occupation of British Mandate Palestine by the Axis power, and as protection against Arab attacks on Jewish communities. Later, the organization went underground and practiced guerilla combat against the British. In the 1948 War, the Palmach formed the backbone of the Jewish forces, with its three brigades and ancillary intelligence, air and naval forces. Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion insisted on Palmach's integration into the Israeli Army in 1948. Some of the commanders of the Palmach, such as Yigal Alon, Moshe Dayan and Yitzhak Rabin, became prominent military and political leaders. In recent years, Palmach veterans have been interviewed about war crimes that they participated in during the 1948 War. See "Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001," Benny Morris, Vintage Books, 2001. See also "Breaking the Silence-Palmach Version," Zochrot, Dec 31, 2011.