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These para-military organizations were the called the Haganah, which was
formed before the British Mandate, when the Jewish colonizers (settlers) had
formed a group of mounted armed watchmen called "Hashomar", and with the
advent of the British Mandate, it became the Haganah (Defense). With a
membership of 60,000 Zionist Jews, the Haganah had a field army of 16,000
trained men and a unit called Palmach, which was full-time force, numbering
about 6,000. The Irgun Zvai Leumi grew out of the Haganah and its Palmach
branch in 1933, since it was not ready to obey the Jewish Agency, which
sought to dilute the terror of the Haganah in order not to lose its
respectability. The Irgun included between 3,000 and 5,000 armed terrorists,
and. In 1939, one of Irgun's commanding officers, Abraham Stern, left the
parent organization and formed the Stern Gang, numbering some 200 to 300
17 May 1939: The British government issued the White Book in which they divided Palestine into three regions: Jewish, Arabic and International or Neutral.
Upon the publication of the White Paper in May of 1939, Irgun concentrated all its efforts against the British, whose restrictions on Jewish settlements, they felt, were leading to avoidable deaths by the hands of the Nazis
restrictions on Jewish settlements, they felt, were leading to avoidable deaths by the hands of the Nazis