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Objects – Judaica and Israeliana

Lot no: 
8
Special Jubilee Anniversary Auction - Gemarot with Handwritten Glosses by The Vilan Gaon and other rare and unique items

Collection of Photographs from Israel's War of Independence – The “Haganah”'s Spy Photographer Amidst Arab Gangs

Forty-three photographs taken by Israel Netach, a Jewish photographer who operated under disguise amidst Arab gangs during Israel's War of Independence, 1948.
Israel Netach (Ben-Yitach) was born in Acre in 1918 and died in Ramat Gan in 2008. When he was two years old his family moved to Damascus. At the age of 13, he joined his cousin and the two collaborated on the smuggling of Syrian Jews from Damascus to Eretz Israel on behalf of the Jewish Agency. In 1953, he was recruited into the “Haganah.” During the course of the Independence War, with the assistance of an Arab friend, a resident of Jaffa who was closely associated with senior members of the “Haganah,” he disguised himself as an Arab photojournalist using a forged photographer's certificate and a forged identity card in the name of “Ibrahim Ibn Ibrahim Siyad.” Together with his colleague, who was a cousin of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini, leader of the Arab gangs and authorities in the Jerusalem region during the War of Independence, he documented the activity of the gangs and transferred photographs as well as extremely valuable intelligence information to the “Haganah” regarding the deployment of the Arab forces within Jerusalem and its surroundings – the Castel, Gush Etzion and area of Mt. Hebron.
Netach's photographs depict the War of Independence from an unconventional perspective and serve as evidence of one of the most intriguing espionage affairs of the State of Israel. Some are rare photographs, which are not included in the standard photographic evidence of the War of Independence.
The lot includes photographs showing the following events: An armored truck going up in flames after being attacked by Arab forces on its way from Atarot to Jerusalem (apparently, one of the two armored vehicles of the “Atarot Convoy,” which was attacked on March 24, 1948 resulting in the death of 14 Jewish soldiers) (two photographs); a street in Jaffa, blockaded with barrels and stones; the funeral procession of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini; a demonstration parade of members of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini's gang in the Castel village (leading the marchers is Al-Husseini himself, wearing high boots); Al-Husseini and his fighters in an army base north of Ramallah, prior to the ascent to Gush Etzion (January 1948); Al-Husseini and his commanders studying maps (including his assistant Kasm Rimavi), escorted by bodyguards and warriors (this photograph was taken on the Castel on April 7, 1948 and is the last known photograph of Al-Husseini, who was killed on the Castel that same night); volunteer fighters of Al-Husseini in the area of Beit She’an on their way to conquer the Castel, April 1948; Fawzi Al-Qawuqji, commander of the Arab Liberation Army (a joint Arab, Iraqi, Syrian and Druze volunteer force established in Syria in order to aid the Arabs of Israel in their battles against the Jewish settlement during War of Independence) briefing his warriors in Al-Mansi village prior to the attack on Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’Emek, April 1948; corpses of soldiers of the famed Lamed Hey Convoy lying on the battlefield between the Arab villages of Jaba and Tzurif, January 1948; dead bodies of soldiers killed in the Gush Etzion battles; Arab volunteer forces training in Jerusalem area (some of these photographs were staged); the explosion of the Palestine Post building in Jerusalem, February, 1948; a car bomb explosion on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, February 1948 (this terrorist attack, planned by Al-Husseini, caused the demolition of three buildings on Ben Yehuda Street and the death of 58 people); additional photographs. Many of the photographs are dated in handwriting on the reverse.
Total of forty-three photographs, thirty-two of which depict various aspect of Arab gangs (in training, leaders, and significant events), all taken from an Arab perspective, and eleven photographs showing the training of “Haganah” forces.
The collection includes also dozens of family and group photographs, newspaper excerpts, articles on Netach and personal letters from various periods, including many letters he received from various Knesset members, ministers and public figures to whom he had sent a copy of his book “Israel Netach – Israeli Patriot” (Ramat Gan, 2005). These items include a handwritten letter from David Ben Gurion, photographs with Golda Meir, and more. The documents teach us also that Netach was a talented cyclist in the HaPo’el sports organization.
From the articles and letters included in this lot it is apparent that for many years Netach kept his story secret, for fear of the life of his father, who continued to reside in Syria. After his father immigrated to Israel, Netach made his story public, via family members, in the press, and to his many clients, customers of his falafel stand in Jaffa.
Size: 8X6.5 cm. to 10X7.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Most are torn, creased and stained. Remnants of glue and black cardboard on the reverse (evidence of the photographs having been removed from an album).
Forty-three photographs taken by Israel Netach, a Jewish photographer who operated under disguise amidst Arab gangs during Israel's War of Independence, 1948.
Israel Netach (Ben-Yitach) was born in Acre in 1918 and died in Ramat Gan in 2008. When he was two years old his family moved to Damascus. At the age of 13, he joined his cousin and the two collaborated on the smuggling of Syrian Jews from Damascus to Eretz Israel on behalf of the Jewish Agency. In 1953, he was recruited into the “Haganah.” During the course of the Independence War, with the assistance of an Arab friend, a resident of Jaffa who was closely associated with senior members of the “Haganah,” he disguised himself as an Arab photojournalist using a forged photographer's certificate and a forged identity card in the name of “Ibrahim Ibn Ibrahim Siyad.” Together with his colleague, who was a cousin of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini, leader of the Arab gangs and authorities in the Jerusalem region during the War of Independence, he documented the activity of the gangs and transferred photographs as well as extremely valuable intelligence information to the “Haganah” regarding the deployment of the Arab forces within Jerusalem and its surroundings – the Castel, Gush Etzion and area of Mt. Hebron.
Netach's photographs depict the War of Independence from an unconventional perspective and serve as evidence of one of the most intriguing espionage affairs of the State of Israel. Some are rare photographs, which are not included in the standard photographic evidence of the War of Independence.
The lot includes photographs showing the following events: An armored truck going up in flames after being attacked by Arab forces on its way from Atarot to Jerusalem (apparently, one of the two armored vehicles of the “Atarot Convoy,” which was attacked on March 24, 1948 resulting in the death of 14 Jewish soldiers) (two photographs); a street in Jaffa, blockaded with barrels and stones; the funeral procession of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini; a demonstration parade of members of Abd Al Qader Al-Husseini's gang in the Castel village (leading the marchers is Al-Husseini himself, wearing high boots); Al-Husseini and his fighters in an army base north of Ramallah, prior to the ascent to Gush Etzion (January 1948); Al-Husseini and his commanders studying maps (including his assistant Kasm Rimavi), escorted by bodyguards and warriors (this photograph was taken on the Castel on April 7, 1948 and is the last known photograph of Al-Husseini, who was killed on the Castel that same night); volunteer fighters of Al-Husseini in the area of Beit She’an on their way to conquer the Castel, April 1948; Fawzi Al-Qawuqji, commander of the Arab Liberation Army (a joint Arab, Iraqi, Syrian and Druze volunteer force established in Syria in order to aid the Arabs of Israel in their battles against the Jewish settlement during War of Independence) briefing his warriors in Al-Mansi village prior to the attack on Kibbutz Mishmar Ha’Emek, April 1948; corpses of soldiers of the famed Lamed Hey Convoy lying on the battlefield between the Arab villages of Jaba and Tzurif, January 1948; dead bodies of soldiers killed in the Gush Etzion battles; Arab volunteer forces training in Jerusalem area (some of these photographs were staged); the explosion of the Palestine Post building in Jerusalem, February, 1948; a car bomb explosion on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem, February 1948 (this terrorist attack, planned by Al-Husseini, caused the demolition of three buildings on Ben Yehuda Street and the death of 58 people); additional photographs. Many of the photographs are dated in handwriting on the reverse.
Total of forty-three photographs, thirty-two of which depict various aspect of Arab gangs (in training, leaders, and significant events), all taken from an Arab perspective, and eleven photographs showing the training of “Haganah” forces.
The collection includes also dozens of family and group photographs, newspaper excerpts, articles on Netach and personal letters from various periods, including many letters he received from various Knesset members, ministers and public figures to whom he had sent a copy of his book “Israel Netach – Israeli Patriot” (Ramat Gan, 2005). These items include a handwritten letter from David Ben Gurion, photographs with Golda Meir, and more. The documents teach us also that Netach was a talented cyclist in the HaPo’el sports organization.
From the articles and letters included in this lot it is apparent that for many years Netach kept his story secret, for fear of the life of his father, who continued to reside in Syria. After his father immigrated to Israel, Netach made his story public, via family members, in the press, and to his many clients, customers of his falafel stand in Jaffa.
Size: 8X6.5 cm. to 10X7.5 cm. Fair-good condition. Most are torn, creased and stained. Remnants of glue and black cardboard on the reverse (evidence of the photographs having been removed from an album).

Auction has finished
5,000 $
6,150 $
Including buyers premium

Sale Info

Special Jubilee Anniversary Auction - Gemarot with Handwritten Glosses by The Vilan Gaon and other rare and unique items
Objects – Judaica & Israeliana