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The War of Independence: Operation Danny

(July 9-18, 1948)

The IDF's greatest offensive effort during the ten days of fighting [in between the first and second truce] was directed against the Arab Legion on the central front, the area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The aim of this operation was to relieve Jerusalem and remove the threat to Tel Aviv. The first phase was to occupy the areas of Lod and Ramle; while the second phase called for the capture of Latrun and Ramallah with the intention of raising the siege on Jerusalem. The operation was to be carried out under Palmach command, utilizing a task force comprised of the Yiftach Brigade, the new 8th Armored Brigade ( made up of a tank battalion, a commando battalion of jeeps and half-tracks), and two battalions from the Kiryati and Alexandroni Brigades, as well as additional artillery and engineering units.

Two forces struck in a pincer movement, one advancing towards Lod and Ramle from the northwest, the other from the southwest. During this advance, a small force detached itself to capture al-Safiriyya and then pushed on to capture the Lod (Lydda) airport. Thus, within a day and a half, the largest airport in the Middle East and a dozen key villages had fallen to the IDF. On July 12, Kiryati units took Ramle, which surrendered after a brief engagement. North of this sector, Rosh ha-Ayin, which had been seized by the Iraqis in June, was recaptured.

Source: Israel Defense Forces