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The King David Hotel


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Another tactic chosen by Zionist leaders was terrorism. On 22 July 1946 Menachem Begin, then head of the Irgun (see 294), ordered the blowing up of the south wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, which housed the central offices of the civilian administration. Ninety-one civil servants and civilian visitors were killed, of whom forty-one were Arab, twenty-eight British, and seventeen Jewish. The frequent use of powerful explosives against civilian targets was first introduced into the Palestine conflict by the Irgun in 1937; it was perfected by the Irgun (to include car bombs) in 1947-48 under Begin.