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Pre-State Israel: Solel Boneh

A Histadrut enterprise for construction, public works, and industry, Solel Boneh (Paving - Building) evolved from pioneering groups of the Third Aliya, who had built the Tiberias-Zemah road for the Mandatory government in 1920. In 1921 they formed the Histadrut-affiliated Office for Public Works and Construction, which became Solel Boneh in 1924. The company carried out a variety of projects throughout Palestine, but its financial resources were slim and it collapsed during the 1927 economic crisis. Only in 1935 did Solel Boneh resume activities.

During the disturbances of 1936-39, Solel Boneh built several stockade and watchtower settlements, as well as police stations, fortifications and security roads. It also organized Jewish labor for the ports of Haifa and Tel Aviv.

During World War II, as part of the war effort, Solel Boneh built airports, roads, bridges and army camps for the British in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Iran and Bahrain.

During the War of Independence, Solel Boneh built fortifications and defense lines, laid water pipes and transported essential commodities and supplies. After the establishment of the state, it built thousands of homes for immigrants, schools, hospitals, industrial plants, roads and airports.

Sources: Israeli Foreign Ministry