A member of a Jewish underground militant group that sought to end the British Mandate in Palestine and establish the State of Israel hatched a plan to send a terrorist agent to London to assassinate Britain's then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1944, MI5 records reveal.
The Telegraph reports that Eliyahu Bet-Zuri suggested sending agents of the Stern Gang, a terrorist group dedicated to forcing the British out of Palestine, to London to kill the prime minister. Major James Robertson, from the agency's Middle East section, said threats made by Bet-Zuri against high-ranking British politicians, including Churchill and post-war foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, in November 1944 were disclosed by another member of the Stern Gang who was arrested in April 1945.
The documents show Major James Robertson of MI5's Middle East section as saying threats made by Bet-Zuri in November 1944 were disclosed by another member of the Stern Gang who was arrested in April 1945. The Telegraph cites the documents:
"As soon as he [Bet-Zuri] returned to Stern Group headquarters he proposed to suggest a plan for the assassination of highly placed British political personalities, including Mr. Churchill, for which purpose emissaries should be sent to London."
"Stern Group are training members to go to England to assassinate members of His Majesty's Government, especially Mr. Bevin...Stern further reported to be receiving practical sympathy from important Jews (in) Palestine."
Haaretz reports that Ben-Zuri was later executed for the murder of another British official in the region, Lord Moyne, the U.K.'s minister resident in the Middle East. Ben-Zuri killed Moyne, a close confidant of Churchill, in Cairo.
The encrypted reports were sent via telegram a British military officer to his superiors in London only after Ben-Zuri was executed in 1944.