King David Hotel bombing

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The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out by the militant right-wing Zionist underground organisation, the Irgun,[1] on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946.[2] 91 people were killed and 46 were injured, with some of the deaths and injuries occurring in the road outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings.[3] The hotel was the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan.[3][4] The attack was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era (1920–1948) and more people were killed than by any bombing carried out in the subsequent Arab-Israeli conflict.[5] The event was desribed by British authorities,[6] major international publications including the New York Times,[7][8] and academics as a terrorist attack aimed at civilians. The New York Times linked the Haganah paramilitary group to the Irgun attacks.[9]

Irgunists planted a bomb in the basement of the main building of the hotel, under the wing which housed the Mandate Secretariat and part of the British military headquarters. Telephoned warnings were sent, but not, at least directly or through the route expected by the Irgun, to the British authorities.[3][4] No evacuation was carried out.[3] The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the western half of the southern wing of the hotel. Controversy has arisen over the timing and adequacy of these warnings and the reasons why the hotel was not evacuated.[4]


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