The Opening Note of the 1948 War 

Modern History of Israel

What was the Opening Note of the 1948 War? So The Arab decides to attack for the very first time a day after the United Nations decides to part the country to an Arab state and a Jewish State on November 29th, 1947. Consequently on the following day, early morning the attack takes place 3 km away from the Palestinian village named Fajja. Actually, the village was destroyed during and after the war and today, there is no record of it. While today where the attack took place there is a little monument; located just next to a gas station in Petach Tikva just next to Moshav Nehalim

The Opening Note of the 1948 War: The Description Of The Events

So the opening note of the 1948 War took place at 07:30 in the morning, 30th of November 1947, just a day after the vote. While it is tense all over the country an Egged Bus with the license plate number 2094 is on route to Jerusalem from Netanya carrying 21 passengers and a driver. Suddenly at 08:12, Arie Heller, the driver is noticing An Arab Palestinian waving at him to stop. And the Palestinian is dressed in a heavy European raincoat, underneath a machine gun. So Arie does not stop. Immediately the Arab opens fire and hand-grenades are thrown. Sadly one of them made it inside the bus and blew up.

A passenger named Yosef Stern that is sitting next to the driver is able to take control of the steering wheel and turn the bus to the side of the road. As a result of the shooting five passengers died and nine others were wounded. The attackers went inside the bus and also took the bag of the driver with 19 Palestine Pound. When the attacker saw that one of the passengers is helping his wounded wife, he shot him dead. And then the attackers fled. This is the very first organized attack on the Yishuv after the Decision of Partition which launched the 1947-1949 Palestine War.

The Opening Note of the 1948 War: No Assistance From Bystanders

Actually, the Jordanian Legion reached the scene with a British commander. They refused to help the wounded that had to run to the fields to get picked up by Jews. Even though this is considered the very first attack. We do know about another one that actually took place 25 minutes earlier. It was actually the same gang that attacked a different bus en route to Jerusalem from Hadera. And their driver was a former Shomer member, Tovia Horowitz the brother of Nachum Horowitz. In this case, two passengers were killed one of them was Nechama (Netka) Zoltowski Hacohen.

The Opening Note of the 1948 War: What Were The Motives Behind The Attack?

The motives of the gang According to information from the Shai Unit, the organizer of the attack was an Arab resident of Jaffa city named Abu Kishak, who was responsible for thirty-five murder and robbery operations in the Gush Dan area. The motives for the attack on the two unidentified Egged buses, the majority in the Shai Unit, which relied on a proclamation posted in Jaffa, stated that it was a revenge attack, following a terror attack carried out by the Lehi organization ten days earlier, during which five men from the tribe Abu Kishak were killed. Another thought it was a robbery attack and meant to stop the buses and rob the passengers.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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