||Review of the Altalena disaster. On June 20, during the first Arab-Israel cease fire, an Ezel ship, Altalena, clandestinely reached the shores of Israel, carrying a huge quantity of weapons and ammunition and about eight hundred young people, some of whom had received military training. During negotiations with the newly established provisional government of Israel, Ezel demanded 20% of the arms for the use of its units in Jerusalem. Ezel rejected a government ultimatum to hand over the ship, and when it appeared off the shore of Tel Aviv it was blown up by Israel artillery, killing all 800 people aboard.
Irgun Zeva'i Le'ummi (Heb. "National Military Organization" - I.Z.L., Ezel, or the Irgun], a Jewish underground armed organization founded in Jerusalem in the spring of 1931 by a group of Haganah commanders, headed by Avraham Tehomi, who had left the Haganah in protest against its defensive character. Joining forces with a clandestine armed group of Betar members from Tel Aviv, they formed a parallel, more activist defense organization. Until they declaration of a Jewish state they were responsible for the sabotage and slaughter of the Arabs and British occupiers.