Meridor, Yaacov (1913–1995)

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MERIDOR, YAACOV (1913–1995)

Irgun commander, member of Knesset. Yaacov Meridor was born in Poland in 1913. He immigrated to Mandatory Palestine in 1932. In 1933 he joined the Irgun, later serving as chief commander. In 1943 Meridor relinquished command of the Irgun to Menachem Begin, but he continued to hold senior positions in the Irgun until his capture by the British. He was held in various detention camps until 1948, when he escaped, arriving in Israel on the day statehood was declared. At Begin's request, Meridor assumed responsibility for the integration of the Irgun into the Israel Defense Force. Meridor was elected to the Knesset, serving in the First to the Sixth, and the Tenth Knesset. In 1981 he was appointed minister of economics and planning.