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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

When Italians bombed Tel-Aviv and Haifa

In 1940 and 1941 there were a number of air-raids on Haifa and Tel-Aviv by Italian planes, killing well over a hundred civilians.

It started on July 15, 1940, when an air raid on Haifa caused little damage and few casualties. But on July 24 a much more deadly air-raid killed over 50 Arabs and Jews:


Then, in September, a residential neighborhood in Tel Aviv was targeted, resulting in the deaths of over a hundred people:


Even so, as the article states:
Life was quickly resumed, cinemas opened as usual and within an hour of the raid cafes, including one which had its plate-glass windows blown out, again had their patrons.

The Italian bombers returned the following June for a series of raids again on Tel Aviv and Haifa betwen June 10-12, 1941, but with little effect. Both the residents and the British army were better prepared, and air raid shelters minimized casualties while the anti-aircraft fire downed at least one Italian bomber:

Haifa residents styled themselves to act as stoically as the Londoners under German attack, with people returning to work after sleepless nights in shelters and cinemas and cafes losing no business:


This is only a footnote in the history of World War II but it shows the resolve and pluck of the residents of Haifa and Tel Aviv in the line of fire.