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The Stern gang was a British name for Lehi (Hebrew Lehi, Lohamei Herut Israel, "Fighters for the Freedom of Israel"). It was a Jewish nationalist group, widely considered to be terrorist. It was active during the British Mandate of Palestine prior to the founding of the State of Israel and during the first part of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The Stern gang was founded by Avraham Stern[?] in 1940 as an offshoot from Irgun. Following Stern's death in 1942, the group was led by a triumvirate of Israel Eldad[?], Natan Yellin-Mor[?], and Yitzhak Shamir, who became the Prime Minister of Israel forty years later.

Among many other terrorist activities, Lehi assassinated UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte. Bernadotte's insistence on the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes was the cause for his murder. The assassination was directed by Yehoshua Zetler and carried out by a four-man team lead by Meshulam Markover. The fatal shots were fired by Yehoshua Cohen. Lehi leaders Nathan Yellin-Moor and Matitiahu Schmulevitz were arrested two months after the murder. Most of the suspects involved were released immediately and all of them were granted general amnesty on the 14th of February, 1949.

After the state of Israel was created, Lehi was mostly disbanded and integrated into the Israel Defence Forces. Members of the Lehi founded a political party known as 'Fighters," but it had little electoral success and disbanded.

Noted Lehi attacks:

  • November, 1944 - Lehi assassinates Lord Moyne in Cairo, a British government representative blamed for the White Paper immigration policy.
  • April 9, 1948 - Lehi and Irgun attacks Deir Yassin (see Deir Yassin massacre.
  • September 17, 1948 - Lehi asssasinates Count Folke Bernadotte, appointed by the UN to mediate between the Arabs and Jews, believed to have been damaging Zionist interests.

In 1980 Israel instituted the Lehi ribbon, red, black, grey, pale blue and white which is awarded to former members of the Lehi underground.

See also

External links

Proposal by the Stern Gang to participate in WWII on the side of Germany (http://www.marxists.de/middleast/brenner/irgunazi.htm)

Lehi's homepage (hebrew) (It looks cool but i dont really know what it is) (http://www.lehi.org.il/)

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