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By Prof. Yehuda Lapidot
Born on December 19, 1910, in Vilna district in the Russian Empire. When he was three, his family immigrated to Eretz Israel and his father became a Hebrew teacher at a Tel Aviv elementary school. When the 1929 Arab riots broke out, he joined the Haganah in Jerusalem, where he was studying philosophy and mathematics at the Hebrew University. When the Irgun was established, he was one of its first members, and displayed outstanding military skills.
In 1937, Raziel he was appointed Commander of Jerusalem District and a year later Commander in Chief of the Irgun.
According to former Irugnist, Prof. Yaere Yadede, Raziel agreed to an armistice during the Allied war against the Axis. This decision caused a split with his friend Avraham Stern, who started his own organization, the Freedom Fighters for Israel (LEHI).
On May 17, 1941 he was sent, with three of his comrades, to Iraq on behalf of the British army. According to Yadede, Raziel, â€œhad volunteered to help the British in putting out of commission the Kirkuk oil fields and capturing the Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, who had found refuge under the Iraqi Nazi collaborator's protection.â€? The next day a bomb from a German aircraft killed Raziel.
Source: The Irgun Site ; Letter from Prof. Yaere Yadede to the Jerusalem Report, (April 19, 2004).