Both sides received volunteers from outside the country. The Zionists had two organizations for the purpose of recruiting such volunteers: GAHAL and MAHAL. GAHAL trained some twenty thousand volunteers at various European bases and transported them to Palestine. MAHAL secured the services of professional personnel and military experts. In the period before 15 May 1948, the Arab League sponsored the formation of an irregular force of about three thousand volunteers known as the Arab Liberation Army (ALA); about 2,500 of these volunteers came from neighboring Arab countries, and the rest were Palestinians. ALA irregulars are pictured in 404 in central Palestine, March 1948.