The Fall of Haifa


It fell 76 years ago today. Haifa fell; Haifa was annexed. Haifa was abandoned.
On this day, terrorist gangs took over what was fondly nicknamed the Bride of Carmel shortly after the British handed over dozens
of strategic positions to the Jewish European immigrants, and closed off the entrances to the city to prevent the arrival of Arab supplies.
This paved the way for the 5,000-strong Haganah forces — better armed and well trained — to occupy the prosperous city.
Determined to respond, a few hundred of its citizens and other volunteers fought battles in the al-Halisa neighborhood, Beit al-Khoury,
Wadi al-Nisnaas, Yaffa Street, and al-Hanateer Square. Alas, with European Jewish power superiority and British Mandate support,
it wasn’t long before the gangs committed one of the most horrific ethnic cleansing campaigns. No more than 3,000 Palestinian Arabs remained
in Haifa as 75,000 were expelled aboard ships from its port to Akka and then off to Lebanon and diaspora, and others to Jenin, Nablus, Syria, and Jordan.
Barely two weeks had passed since the occupation of Haifa for the overwhelming majority of their homes to be emptied and looted.
Those who remained there were not spared; they were ghettoed in Wadi Al-Nisnaas and a handful of other Arab neighborhoods,
while the city was subjected to systematic looting operations.
Photo: Wadi al-Saleeb neighborhood, an elderly Palestinian being expelled from Haifa at gunpoint.