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Operation Lot

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Operation Lot  (November 23-25, 1948) was a military operation of the IDF in the 1948-49 Israel War of Independence which reestablished the land link with Sodom, the Dead Sea and the Potash works there. The operation was the responsibility of the Negev Brigade, led by the Negev Beasts commandos. A major part of the operation was preparing a road through the Maale Akrabim pass that could be traveled by jeep.

The map shows the major highlights of the operation:

The operation took place following the capture of Beersheva in the previous month in Operation Yoav, which allowed Beersheba to be used as a forward base of operations.  Kurnub (Mamsheet)  was captured without a fight on November 23, as it had been abandoned by its defenders.

Trucks overturned in the Ma'aleh Akrabim (Scorpions rise) pass, followed by jeeps. This shows how Negev beasts first worked on the road before making the descent. The road twists and turns all the way down. It's a drop of between 400 and 500 meters to the valley of the Dead Sea.

A second convoy passed through Maaleh Akrabim to the Arava, capturing Ein Husub (Hatzeva) police station without resistance and likewise so was Tel Elmilkh. The convoy then proceeded through Nachal Amazia to Sodom and opened the land link, relieving the workers and garrison of the Dead Sea Potash works, who had been isolated for months and had to receive supplies by airlift.

Dead Sea Potash Works, 1948

However, the road was so poor at the time that the Dead Sea Potash works continued to be supplied by air. Israeli presence in the Dead Sea area was used to monitor communications and hamper operations of the Jordan Legion.  At Ein Husub, Palmach 7th battalion set up a "deterrent" to the watching Jordanian forces, in the form of a large number of cardboard buildings and cardboard trucks being pulled by jeeps.


References: Teperson, David, "Eyes of the Beholder," 2008.  See  Negev Beasts. All photos from the book.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:  See also  Operation Lot


Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.


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Copyright

This work is copyright 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. This entry is copyright 2008. Quoted materials may be copyright by their authors and must not be used in commercial publications without permission.  Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel

 

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