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Moshe Carmel, 92; Commander of Israel's Northern Front in 1948

August 16, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Moshe Carmel, 92, who led the fledgling Israeli army's capture of Haifa and the northern Galilee region during Israel's 1948 War of Independence, died Thursday in Tel Aviv. The cause of death was not reported.

Carmel was born in Minsk in what was then Poland. He moved to British Mandatory Palestine at the age of 13. He was later educated at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Paris.

He was active in Jewish military activities against Palestinian Arabs from the mid-1930s, and was imprisoned by British authorities from 1939 to 1941 for his activities for the Haganah, the military force that predated Israel's creation in 1948.

As commander of the northern front during the 1948-49 Mideast war, Carmel was responsible for Israel's capture of the cities of Haifa and Acre and the Galilee region. In 1958, he retired from the Israeli army with the rank of general.

After his retirement, he twice served in Israel's parliament, and was twice the country's minister of transport and communications.

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