The Palmach (an acronym for Pelugot HaMahatz, meaning striking force) was the elite fighting unit of the Haganah. It formed in 1941 when Jews were anticipating a Nazi invasion of Palestine. The Palmach was responsible for launching several pre-emptive strikes against the Arabs, and were perhaps the first to utilize undercover soldiers. They employed those who were fluent in Arabic to infiltrate Syria and Lebanon to gather strategic information.
The Palmach was supported by the British, and trained in guerilla warfare to aid in fighting the Nazis. As the threat ceased to exist in the aftermath of WWII, the Palmach was no longer invested in by the British, and the group sought to fund themselves through the kibbutz movement. The members worked half the month on a kibbutz and trained the other half.
Eventually, the Palmach turned on the British, as antisemitic policies became suffocating and life-threatening to Jews. The Palmach was instrumental in blowing up bridges, bombing naval ships, and securing safe passage of “illegal” Jewish immigrants to Palestine, as well as liberating parts of the land. It was the Palmach who was responsible for freeing the ancient and holy city of Tzfat. The leaders of the Palmach included: Moshe Dayan, Yitchak Rabin, Yigal Allon, Haim Bar-Lev, Uzi Narkiss, Yitzak Sadeh, and Ezer Weizman