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Irgun is shorthand for Irgun Tsvai-Leumi (also spelled Irgun Zvai-Leumi), Hebrew for "Military-National Organization". Widely regarded by the British, amongst others, as a terrorist organization and by many Israelis as freedom fighters, it is also known by its Hebrew acronym Etzel. Its most well known activity was the bombing of King David Hotel in Jersualem in 1946, killing close to a hundred people.

It branched off Haganah in Jerusalem under Avraham Tehomi in 1931. The reasons for their withdrawal was discontent with Haganah's policy of restraint when faced with Arab and British pressure. After a short independent period, Irgun re-joined the Haganah, but never integrated with it and quit once more in 1937 because of Arab riots. Irgun adopted the revisionist views of Zeev Jabotinsky.

Irgun was secretly supported from 1936 by the Polish government, who hoped that establishing a Jewish state would help emigration of Jews from Poland, who by that time constituted one of the poorer segments of Polish society. Irgun received guns from Poles as well as military training. In 1943 Menachem Begin, who later became Prime Minister of Israel, became its leader. Later, the Irgun was merged into the Israeli Defence Force.

One famous ex-member of the Irgun is Uri Avneri, who became famous for his fighting as a part of the Samson Foxes jeep unit during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and then for his turn into radical pacifism as the leader of the Gush Shalom movement.

Irgun actions:

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