On July 22, 1946, a bomb demolished the southern wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. This newsreel shows the aftermath of the explosion.
“The hotel housed the British army headquarters, and the Palestine government offices, and casualties were very heavy,” the British reporter announces, as workers on-screen sift the rubble for bodies. “The tragic scene is like a serious incident during the Blitz.”
The Zionist paramilitary group Irgun later claimed responsibility for the attack — the deadliest against the British during the Mandate period — an act of revenge on the British administration following the Black Sabbath arrests.
“Sixty-five deaths are reported, and there is little or no hope of survival for any of the 58 missing,” the narrator continues. The final count would reach 91 dead.
(The Associated Press and Movietone News recently released their vast video archives on YouTube, allowing the public to freely access a million minutes worth of historical news clips dating back to 1895 — including many iconic scenes from Israel’s history featured in this Times of Israel series.)