EXTRACTS FROM THE TEXT OF PLAN DALET (“PLAN D”) 10 MARCH 1948
This is the introduction to the strategic plan prepared by the Haganah, the “Defence” force of the Jewish Agency. At the time the Arab Liberation Army and the Trans-Jordanian Arab Legion were operating in British Palestine together with local irregular forces, and Jerusalem was under Arab blockade. The British army had not yet left and an invasion by the regular armies of the Arab League was expected.
According to some historians, Plan D was the basis for the subsequent expulsion of the Palestinians by Israeli forces. However this interpretation of the Plan does not follow from the text.
(a) The objective of this plan is to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders [of the Hebrew state] against regular, semi-regular, and small forces operating from bases outside or inside the state…
2. Basic Assumptions
This plan is based on the following basic assumptions:
(a) The Enemy
Expected composition of forces:
The semi-regular forces of the Liberation Army affiliated with the Arab League, which operate from already occupied bases or bases to be occupied in the future.
The regular forces of neighbouring countries, which will launch an invasion across the borders, or will operate from bases inside the country (the Arab Legion ).
Small local forces which operate, or will operate, from bases inside the country and within the borders of the Hebrew state.
(d) Operational Objectives
1. Self-defense against invasion by regular or semi-regular forces. This will be achieved by the following:
A fixed defensive system to preserve our settlements, vital economic projects, and property, which will enable us to provide governmental services within the borders of the state (based on defending the regions of the state on the one hand. and on blocking the main access routes from enemy territory to the territory of the state. on the other).
Launching pre-planned counter-attacks on enemy bases and supply lines in the heart of his territory. whether within the borders of the country [Palestine] or in neighbouring countries
5. Restricting the capability of the enemy by carrying out limited operations: occupation and control of certain of his bases in rural and urban areas within the borders of the state
3. Assignment of Duties
(b) Consolidation of Defence Systems and Fortifications
The following operations must be carried out if the fixed defensive system is to be effective and if the rear of this system is to be protected:
1. Occupation of police stations
4. Mounting operations against enemy population centres located inside or near our defensive system in order to prevent them from being used as bases by an active armed force. These operations can be divided into the following categories:
Mounting search and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the village and conducting a search inside it. In the event of resistance, the armed force must be destroyed and the population must be expelled outside the borders of the state…
Translation by Walid Khalidi – as appearing in Journal of Palestine Studies. XVIII Number 1, 1988.