chapter  8
14 Pages

The Haganah

When they arrived in Iraq, the emissaries disbanded the local Jewish defence organization, Shabab al-Inkaz, ostensibly due to structural flaws and faulty methods of operation,1 and they founded a new organization-a branch of the Palestine-based Haganah-in its place. The Haganah activity took place in a house rented by the movement in the centre of the Jewish quarter; drills in hand-to-hand combat and later in the use of firearms were conducted in the basement. When a detailed map of Baghdad was obtained, the main Jewish residential areas were marked on it, locations chosen for weapons caches and defence-squad stations, and defence plans prepared. In October 1942, it was reported that there were seven trios of men aged 18-24 years and three younger trios, as well as a ‘liaison group’ of teenagers formed to handle communications between the defence squads in an emergency.2 Grenades, training grenades, bullets, and the first four pistols arrived that month, and Kadoorie purchased another two pistols.3 In early 1943 grenades, pistols and ammunition were brought in by Egged bus drivers.4 From now on, the members could train with firearms.