King David Hotel Bombing (1946)

Incident: Kind David Hotel Bombing
Supect: Zionist Terrorist Organization Irgun
Location: Jerusalem, Israel
Date: July 22, 1946
Source: Wikipedia

The King David Hotel bombing was an attack carried out by the militant right-wing Zionist underground organization Irgun on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on 22 July 1946. 91 people of various nationalities were killed and 46 were injured.

The hotel was the site of the central offices of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, principally the Secretariat of the Government of Palestine and the Headquarters of the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan. The attack, which initially had the approval of the Haganah (the principal Jewish paramilitary group in Palestine) and was conceived of as a response to Operation Agatha (in which widespread raids, including one on the Jewish Agency, had been carried out), was the deadliest directed at the British during the Mandate era (1920–1948).[3][4] More people were killed than by any bombing carried out in the subsequent Arab-Israeli conflict.[5]

Irgunists planted a bomb in the basement of the main building of the hotel, under the wing which housed the Mandate Secretariat and a few offices of the British military headquarters. Warnings were sent by telephone, including one to the hotel's own switchboard, which the hotel staff decided to ignore, but none directly to the British authorities. A possible reason why the warning was ignored was that hoax bomb warnings were rife at the time

From the fact that a bomb search had already been carried out, it appears that a hoax call or tip-off had been received at the hotel earlier that day. Subsequent telephone calls from a concerned Palestine Post staff member and the police caused increasing alarm and the hotel manager was notified.

In the closing minutes before the explosion, he called an unknown British officer, but, for whatever reason, no evacuation was ordered. The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the western half of the southern wing of the hotel.

Some of the inflicted deaths and injuries occurred in the road outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings. Controversy has arisen over the timing and adequacy of the warnings and the reasons why the hotel was not evacuated (Wikipedia, 2011)