Haifa History

1100 July 25, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Jewish residents joined with the Fatimids of Egypt in defending the city. Tancred, who unsuccessfully attacked
Haifa, was reprimanded for his lack of success and told that he made "a mockery of the God of the Christians."
Once the city fell, the remaining Jews were massacred by the crusading forces.

1109 TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)

Fell to the Crusaders. As a rule, once the military conquest ended the Jewish inhabitants were left alone. The
notable exceptions were Haifa and Jerusalem (see 1099).


This marked the greatest extent of Napoleon's conquest of Eretz Israel. The next day the French reached Acre. It
was sucessfully defended by both British warships and local towns people, including the Jewish inhabitants. By
June, Napoleon gave up and returned to Egypt.

1824 - 1904 KALONYMUS ZE'EV WISSOTZKY (Russia)

Merchant and philanthropist. Wissotzky was one of the earliest supporters of the Zionist movement. He
established a successful tea house which still bears his name. Upon his death, he left his share of the business
(one million Rubles) to charity, part of which went to found the Technion in Haifa.


Ten years after the first Zionist Congress there were approximately 80,000 Jewish inhabitants in Eretz Israel:
45,000 in Jerusalem, 8000 in Jaffa, 8000 in Safed, 2000 in Haifa, 2000 in Tiberias, and 1000 in Hebron. In
addition, there were 14,000 people living in over 30 villages and underdeveloped land.


Was established. Later known as the Israel Land Development Authority (ILDC), the authority was in charge of
purchasing and cultivating land for the Jewish National Fund and for private individuals. Its first Chairman was
Otto Warburg and its first director Arthur Ruppin. The company was instrumental in establishing settlements
such as Nahalal, Tel Yosef, Ein Harod, and the first kibbutz, Degania. Many of its purchases were in the Sharon
Plain, and the Hula valley. They also played a major role in developing Tel Aviv and the Hadar Carmel section of

1912 April 11, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

The Technikum, later to be known as the Technion, was founded. In 1913 the Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden
(Ezra), which established the Haifa Technion, was struck by both teachers and students when they tried to
institute German as the school's language instead of Hebrew. The American co-trustees agreed with the strikers
and the Society left Eretz Israel after the First World War. Due to both the strike and the approaching war the
school did not actually begin classes until 1924.

1915 April, ERETZ ISRAEL - NILI (Hebrew initials for Netzah Israel Lo Yeshaker)

Was organized by Avshalom Feinberg and Aaron Aaronsohn to spy against the Turks for the British. Based in
Zichron Yaakov and locally run by Aaronsohn's sister Sarah, they passed messages regarding Turkish troop
maneuvers around the Haifa area. In 1917 the Turks broke the spy ring. Sarah was arrested October 1, and after
being tortured for three days, managed to commit suicide. Most of the other members were captured and killed.


France and Britain (with the agreement of Russia) divided up the Ottoman Empire. France was assured of
Lebanon, Syria and Northern Iraq, and Britain was given control of Northern Arabia, Central Mesopotamia
(Iraq), and much of the Western Persian Gulf. Russia also received some Armenian and Kurdish territory. Eretz
Israel was divided, with France controlling the Galilee, Britain the Haifa area, and the rest of the country under
international control.

1918 September 23, Haifa was captured by the Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers, British and Commonwealth
Many soldiers are buried in Haifa cimetries

1920 January 4, METULLA (Eretz Israel)

Bedouin attacks on the north forced the French at a fort near Metulla to retreat. The 120 members of the
settlement were forced to flee to Sidon, where they boarded a ship to Haifa.

1925 February 10, THE TECHNION (The Israel Institute of Technology) (Eretz Israel)

Was opened in Haifa, making it the first institute of higher education to be opened in Eretz Israel. Its first head
was Shlomo Kaplansky whose goal was to train engineers to the highest of European standards. By 1952 the
Technion was offering Masters and Doctorates. Today the Technion remains Israel's main training center for its
high tech industries.

1940 November 25, SINKING OF THE PATRIA (Haifa, Eretz Israel)

In Haifa harbor. The French refugee ship, the Patria carried 1,771 "illegal" immigrants. The British decided to
add otherillegals and deport them all to Mauritius, a British colony east of Madagascar. To prevent this move,
members of the Haganah decided to disable the ship. Unfortunately, the explosive charge was too large or
the hull was too weak, and the ship sunk, drowning 257 people. The survivors were allowed to remain in Eretz
Israel and were interned for a while at the Athlit detention camp near Haifa.


A month later, the Italian air forces began bombing Haifa and Tel Aviv. Almost 200 people were killed with
hundreds wounded.


Twelve people were killed in a Tel Aviv old age home.

1944 February 1, IRGUN ZVAI LEUMI (Eretz-Israel)

Began its revolt against British rule. The two limitations it set for itself was not to attack military targets until the
end of the war and not to attack individuals. On February 12, they attacked the British immigration offices in
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa.

1945 November 1, NIGHT OF THE RAILWAYS (Eretz Israel)

In the first cooperative effort between the Haganah, Etzel, and Lehi, railroad tracks all over the country were
blown up. This unification was known as Tnuat HaMeri HaIvri (The Hebrew (Jewish) Resistance Movement.
The Haganah sabotaged railway tracks in 153 places throughout the country, as well as targets in Jaffa
and Haifa ports. The Irgun-Lehi unit, commanded by Eitan Livni, attacked the main railway station at Lydda
(Lod). The movement included two representatives of the Haganah (Yisrael Galili and Moshe Sneh), an Irgun
delegate (Menahem Begin) and a Lehi delegate (Nathan Yellin-Mor). All operations were authorized by the
Haganah command, which had the right of veto based on strategic, or political considerations.

1947 March 31, HAIFA OIL REFINERY (Eretz Israel)

Was severely damaged by Lehi fighters.

1947 July 18, EXODUS 1947 (Eretz Israel)

Was towed to Haifa. The refugees were forced off the boat into three other boats. The Exodus (originally the
President Warfield) carried 4,500 survivors and was stopped at sea by the British Navy. During the struggle, a
number of Jews were killed. The Exodus was destined to become the symbol for all Jews prevented from being
able to leave the slaughterhouse of Europe and immigrate to Israel.

1947 December 29, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Arabs attacked Jewish workers at the oil refinery in Haifa, 39 were killed. Two days later, the Haganah attacked
the village of Balad a Sheich in a retaliatory raid.

1948 April 23, HAIFA CAPTURED (Eretz Israel)

By the Haganah. Although loudspeakers called on the Arabs to stay, they fled in mass, urged to do so by leaders
of the Arab High Command. Many of these leaders believed that the upcoming war would be helped by masses of
Arab refugees whose presence would encourage them to join in the attack. The refugees were promised that they
would only be away for a short time and would be able to return when the attacking armies ג€�drive the Jews
into the sea". They were also promised compensation for their property.

1948 April 28, IRGUN ATTACKED HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

After its initial success at capturing the Menasiya quarter, the British prevented the Irgun from continuing. At the
same time the Haganah began Operation Chometz (unleavened bread) to take the areas around the city.