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TimeLine of Israeli Intelligence and Covert Activities

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Chronology of Zionist intelligence gathering and covert activities before the creation of the State of Israel:


Israel Pre-State Intelligence Timeline | Israel Intelligence Timeline - 1948-1955 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1956-1960 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1961-1967 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1968-1973 |Israel Intelligence Timeline 1974-1982| Israel Intelligence Timeline 1983-1991 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1992-present 


Intelligence gathering and covert operations  are part of the normal function of any state. Israel has spied, and been spied against. A great deal of the success of Israel, a tiny and weak state for most of its existence, and of the Zionist movement before the creation of the state, was due to its renowned information gathering and covert operations activities, carried out by the Mossad, the IDF and the Shabak. The exploits of Israeli intelligence have been lauded by its friends, and naturally enough, condemned by its enemies. Israeli intelligence has also had a number of failures, and some of them were responsible for key setbacks, such as failure to predict the Yom Kippur War.


These timelines provide detailed accounts of Israeli and Zionist covert activities since 1915.


Further reading:


A Timeline of Zionist and Israeli history provides further context and background  

Additional links Zionism and Israel - historical sources, Photo Gallery of Zionist History  and the history of Zionism and Modern Israel  and  Zionism & its Impact will help round out the picture.

A detailed timeline of the Six Dar War 1967 Six Day War Timeline (chronology)  


 Additional information (off site) Brief History of Israel and Palestine and Labor Zionism  The article  - Anti-Semitism includes a Timeline of Anti-Semitism


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Chronology of Zionist Intelligence and Covert Activities before the creation of the State of Israel

Nov. 1915
Aaron Aaronsohn; Zionism Intelligence timeline
Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker (NILI), a clandestine pro- British group, is founded in Ottoman Turkish-ruled Palestine by zoologist Aaron Aaronsohn,  his brother Alexander Aaronsohn, his sister Sarah Aaronsohn, Avshalom Feinberg,  and the Belkind brothers. NILI is opposed by leaders of the Jewish Yishuv, who fear Turkish reprisals.
Feb. 1917  The first contact is made between the Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker (NILI) center at Atlit and British intelligence in Cairo. The connection is maintained by sea for several months. The British receive useful information, especially data about location of water sources in the Negev, supplied by Aharon Aaronsohn from Cairo. This aids General Allenby in making a surprise attack on Beersheba by marching through the desert, bypassing strong Turkish resistance in Gaza.  
Sept. The Ottoman government intercepts a carrier pigeon sent from Atlit to Egypt, furnishing clear proof of espionage within the Jewish population. One of the group, Na'aman Belkind, is captured by the Turks.
1 Oct. NILI is uncovered by the Turkish authorities, who arrest members in Zikhron Yaakov including Sarah Aaronsohn. Aaronsohn is tortured and is afraid she will give away incriminating evidence. During interrogation she excuses herself to go to the toilet and retrieves a pistol, shooting herself Oct. 5. She dies of her wounds on Oct. 9.y
May, 1919 Aharon Aaronsohn is killed in an air accident; Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker (NILI) finally breaks up.
1920 The Haganah underground militia is officially established.
1936 Ezra Danin, together with Ephraim Dekel and Emmanuel Wilensky, lays the foundations of the Arab Department in the Haganah.
The Mossad Le'Aliya Bet is created to organize illegal Jewish immigration to Palestine.
June 1940 Shaul Avigur, in a memorandum to the Haganah command, proposes establishing a joint countrywide information service.
Sept. Avigur's proposal goes into effect, and the Information Service (Sheruth Yedioth, or Shai), the Haganah's intelligence arm, is officially established.
1941 The Palmach underground militia creates the Syrian Platoon, commanded by Yisrael Ben-Yehuda and Yehoshua (Josh) Palmon, who made a major specialist contribution to Shai; members of the platoon speak Arabic and operate in Syria.
1942 Mossad Le'Aliya Bet activities are wholly suspended since there is no possibility of smuggling Jews out of Europe, and Aliya Bet is suspended to allow cooperation with the British.
1943 The Palmach sets up the Arab Platoon, a unit of combat and intelligence officers disguised as Arabs for covert missions. It is known by its codename Shahar.
1944 The Palmach sets up the German Platoon, consisting of German speaking Palestinian Jews, commanded by Shimon Avidan. They are parachuted into Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe to encourage resistance and collect intelligence. Mossad Le'Aliya Bet activities are resumed when Palestinian Jews learn the full extent of the "Final Solution."
1945 Yolande Harmer is recruited in Egypt to the Political Department of the Jewish Agency during a visit to Egypt by the department's head, Moshe Sharett; posing as a journalist, she is considered one of the best spies in Egypt.
July Bricha (Escape), an organization for the illegal immigration movement of Jews to Palestine from postwar Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe, begins activities.
1946 In Hadera, Palmach's Arab Platoon organizes courses on intelligence, as a result of cooperation between Zerubaval Vermal (Arbel), nicknamed Chifab, later a founder of combat intelligence in Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and Yehoshua Flomin. Participants are taught Arabic and hear lectures to gain an acquaintance with the Arabs.

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 Timeline of Israeli Intelligence & Covert Ops