“We must do everything to ensure they (Palestinian refugees) never do return.”
Ben-Gurion, who was born and grew up in Poland, was the mastermind of Plan Dalet. He developed the military plans and defined which Palestinian population points to target and forcibly expel. He later became Israel’s first prime minister.
Yadin was Ben-Gurion’s right-hand man who signed off on Plan Dalet and managed most of its operations.
He became the second chief of staff of the Israeli army in November 1949. The Haganah High Command became the central component of the Israeli army.
Before his appointment as chief commander, Sadeh was a commander of the Palmach (the Haganah’s elite military forces of volunteers) where he ordered attacks on British troops. From December 1948 to January 1949, he played a role in Operation Horev, an offensive against the Egyptian army in the western Negev.
He established the first armoured brigade in the Israeli army, which was responsible for the capture of al-Lydd (now known as Lod) Airport.
Allon was in charge of the 1st and 3rd Palmach brigades in the north of the country, mainly in the northwestern Galilee area.
He headed Operation Yiftah to take control of the strategic town of Safad in the Galilee. The campaign was launched on April 20, 1948, destroying and taking control of posts abandoned by the British. Safad fell on May 11.
“There is not one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
Dayan was appointed to head the Haganah’s Arab Affairs department in 1947, where he was tasked with recruiting agents to gather information about the disorganised Arab forces in Palestine.
As a commander in the Haganah, he oversaw the ethnic cleansing of al-Lydd in June 1948. That same month, he became military commander of the Jewish-controlled areas in Jerusalem.
“There is no way besides transferring the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries, and to transfer all of them….Not one village must be left, not one (Bedouin) tribe.”
Weitz, according to Pappe, was “heavily involved” in the practicalities of ethnic cleansing. He kept exhaustive records about the location and details of every Palestinian village, known as the “village files”. He lobbied other Zionist leaders to endorse and formalise his plans for transferring the Palestinian population out of areas the Jewish people wanted to occupy.
Danin was a Syrian-born citrus grove businessman who was described by Pappe as playing “a leading role in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”
Fluent in Arabic, he was invited into the intelligence corps, where he oversaw the work of Arab Jews and local Arab collaborators who spied for the Haganah.
He was also responsible for the village files, which included information such as the average amount of land per family, political affiliation of clans, details about cultivated land, etc.
Palmon directed the implementation of the procedures that followed the occupation of a Palestinian village or town. These included the separation of all males who were of military age (between 10 and 50), interrogation of villagers, and executions.
He later became Ben-Gurion’s adviser on Arab affairs from 1949 to 1955.
Sasson, a Syrian Jew, was head of the Arab department of the Jewish Agency between 1933 and 1948. He was also a member of the Transfer Committees, which were set up to facilitate the removal of Palestinians from their towns and villages.
Machnes was closely involved with the Israeli government’s regularisation of the systematic appropriation of Abandoned Arab Property and Transfer policy.
Ratner was both an architect and a member of the Haganah High Command.