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 First incidents

Initial preparation

The military equipment in Gush Etzion was deficient, both in quantity and quality. Against thousands of Arabs organized into gangs and armed with firearms and unlimited ammunition, stood a small group of defenders – the settlers and reinforcements from the Haganah, men of the Palmach, HISH (Field Army), students, and others – armed with a small number of firearms with almost no ammunition. The communities were home to women and children, agriculture that included livestock, orchards and fields, convalescent homes and the first buds of industrial development. The kibbutzim were unfortified and not entrenched, and ill prepared for battle.

As soon as knowledge of the Partition Plan reached them, the high command sent in reinforcements - a unit of the Palmach, under one of its best commanders, Danny Mas, appointed as commander for all of Gush Etzion. He began organizing the defenses for the coming battle; fortifying positions, capturing posts, preparing economically and consolidating the entire region into a well-unified and organized defensive zone.

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