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Yossi Harel
Birth: 1917
Death: Apr. 26, 2008

Israeli Folk Hero. Born Yosef Hamburger in Jerusalem. At 20 he joined the Special Night Squads counterinsurgency units set up by Captain Orde Wingate to fight Arab marauders. In 1941 he joined the Palmach and worked with Mossad Lealiya Bet in assisting Jews to enter British held Palestine. In 1946 he obtained a 15-ton trawler with a crew of four and christened her Exodus. Between June 29 and July 6, 1947 4,553 Jews from displaced persons camps in Germany were transported to France, on July 11, they boarded Exodus. Under Harel's command Exodus set sail for Palestine on July 12, 1947. On Friday July 18, when Exodus was 22 miles off the coast of Palestine, Exodus was ordered to surrender. Five British destroyers closed on the refugee vessel and Harel headed straight for Haifa harbor. British commandos boarded Exodus and took the ship's wheel. The ship was towed into Haifa. Refugees were transferred to three British transports which were to return the Jews to Europe. The Exodus affair greatly affected the UN decision to recommend an end to British Mandate in Palestine and the creation of a Jewish state. The Exodus affair was fictionalized in Leon Uris' novel, "Exodus" and revisited in the 1960 film of the same name. Harel commanded four other refugee ships and smuggled some 25,000 immigrants in to Palestine during the time of the British Mandate. During Israel's War of Independence, he acted as the adviser on naval reorganization to Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. In February 1959 he took command of Unit 131, a division of military intelligence for the Israeli Defense Force. He retired from the IDF in 1960. In 2007 he received the Exodus prize, awarded by the Italian government to those who promote peace and humanitarianism. He succumbed to a heart attack in Tel Aviv at age 90 and was buried at Kibbutz Sdot Yam, his memorial attended by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and President Shimon Peres. (bio by: Iola) 
 
Burial:
Kibbutz Sdot Yam
Haifa
Heifa (Haifa District), Israel
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Iola
Record added: Apr 30, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26504854
Yossi Harel
Added by: Anonymous
 
Yossi Harel
Added by: julia&keld
 
Yossi Harel
Added by: julia&keld
 
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- Bunny
 Added: Apr. 26, 2014
Glorified and sanctified be G-d's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say...(Read more)
- Bob Hufford
 Added: Apr. 26, 2013
Thinking of you today. May the light shine upon you!
- Osiris
 Added: Aug. 2, 2011
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