Palmah (Acronym for Plugot Mahatz; Hebrew for "Striking Forces")

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PALMAH (acronym for Plugot Mahatz; Hebrew for "striking forces")

Special elite "combat units" of the Haganah. Founded in May 1941, this militia, composed of volunteers working in the kibbutzim, was headed by Yitzhak Sadeh and Yigal Allon. Most of its members were from "special night squads" or "midnight commandos" created by a British officer, Orde Wingate, and dissolved in 1938. After participating with the Haganah in combat against the Arab forces, the Palmah units were dissolved in May 1948, following the creation of the State of Israel.

SEE ALSO Haganah.