In studies of the 1948 war, little attention has been paid to the swift fall of one of Palestine's most storied cities, the walled and fortified seaport of Acre. This article, based on archival sources, focuses on the six months leading up to the city's conquest on 17 May 1948. Describing in detail the preparations of the city's defense, the various military and political forces involved, and the dissensions and rivalries among them, the article goes on to trace the tightening siege and mounting harassment of the city and the growing despair of its residents, the city's place in Haganah strategy, and the actual battle. Of particular interest is the role of the Druze Regiment stationed nearby. Most important, the author provides a clear understanding of why events unfolded as they did.
Tiberias was unique among Palestinian mixed cities for its unusually harmonious Arab-Jewish relations, even during periods of extreme tension like the 1936--39 Arab Revolt. Yet within hours of a brief battle in mid-April 1948, the town's entire Arab population was removed, mostly across the Transjordanian border, making Tiberias a wholly Jewish town overnight. In exploring how this took place, this article focuses on the Arab community's rigid social structure; the leadership's policy of safeguarding intercommunal relations at all costs, heightening local unpreparedness and isolating the town from the rest of Arab Palestine; the growing involvement of the local Jewish community with the Haganah's plans; and the British authorities' virtual abdication of responsibility as they began withdrawing their troops in the last month of the Mandate and as Plan Dalet was launched, engulfing the country in all-out war.