The 1948 War of Independence – General
The concept known as the 'Negev', relates to the area of Eretz Israel south of the Bet Jubrin – Majdal road. This area was mostly uninhabited apart from a sparse population of Bedouin and a small number of Arab villages. The fighting in the Negev area began in the autumn of 1947. The Palmach took responsibility for the security of the Negev in September 1947.
There were very few Jewish settlements in the Negev region. A few of them were established at the beginning of the 2nd World War but the majority settled the land a few years later. In October 1946 at the end of Yom Kippur, a big operation took place in which eleven settlements were established in the Negev. At a certain stage after the beginning of hostilities in Eretz Israel, the 'Negev Committee was formed that dealt with all the logistic and organizational issues for the Negev settlements and their inhabitants. The Palmach took responsibility for the security of the Negev in September 1947. Its forces dealt mainly with guarding the pipeline and in reinforcing the smaller settlements that were widely spread out in the area. Only in the autumn of 1948, a Southern Front was established that assumed full responsibility for all the fighting forces in the Negev area. Three Palmach Brigades took part in the battles for liberating the Negev.