IDF honors pre-state fighters on Israel's 72nd Independence Day

Before the creation of the IDF, the Jewish community was defended by Palmach and other Jewish self-defense groups.

Palmach fighter Tzipi Dagan in her home (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Palmach fighter Tzipi Dagan in her home
Marking a century since the creation of the first Jewish defense unit in 1920 pre-state Israel, the Haganah, the IDF marked Independence Day on Wednesday by visiting those who served in it and other units under the heading "We stand guard over what you built."
The IDF Education Corp arranged for commanding officers to visit the homes of the veterans, give them flowers and a special certificate of appreciation, and learn from their life experience.  
The visits were held in accordance with the Health Ministry’s public health orders and visitors wore a mask and kept a two-meter distance to ensure the health of the veterans would not be in danger.  
Col. Udi Amira, who met with former Palmach fighter Tzipi Dagan, spoke about her personal bravery by escaping the British officers who placed her under arrest and her deep commitment to the creation of the state, living under an alias in the Galilee and producing ammunition underground for the fighting units.   
Col. Sagiv Dahan spoke over the phone with 92-year-old Yehuda Shamir, a former Palmach fighter who took part in the 1948 Battle of Notre Dame. The battle was the final blow to the Jordanian forces attempts to take over western Jerusalem. “It was very simple,” Shamir told Dahan. “we received out mission order and it was clear we had to do it.”  
The Haganah, Palmach and Lehi were all disbanded with the establishment of the State of Israel and the formation of the IDF.  
While they were historically important in the formation of the Jewish state, the veterans were not the first Jewish fighters in the history of the nation.  
Jewish fighters had taken part in various important wars and conflicts in the long history of the Jewish people.  
The first modern Jewish army veterans group was created in the US after the Civil War by Jewish veterans who wanted to dispel the antisemitic myth that Jewish-Americans sat the war out.