NAME: Leon, Leah

LEHI ALIAS: Gelila

DATE OF BIRTH: 1929

Leah was born in Iraq in 1929 to Avraham and Lulu née Fatia. In 1933, the family made aliyah and settled in Jerusalem’s Beit Israel neighborhood. The father was a scribe. The Barzani family, which had two sisters and four brothers, was very religious and nationalist, and Leah absorbed a love of homeland and yearned to act to free it. Only her young age kept her from joining an underground movement. She studied in the Spitzer School.

In 1947, she joined Lehi and began disseminating promotional materials, putting up posters and giving out the newspaper Maas in the streets. The entire family took part: her mother made the glue, her father prepared the bundles of posters, and her brothers went out on missions to put up posters, surveil British forcers and plant bombs.

As the Arab attacks began after the announcement of the Partition Plan, Lehi fought ion Jerusalem, capturing Der Yassin and attacking the General Building, the French Hospital and the Old City. After Lehi in Jerusalem was disbanded, she joined the IDF in September 1948, serving in the Beit Horon battalion. A year-and-a-half later, she was demobilized.

She worked in human resources in Hebrew University in Jerusalem, until retiring early in 1985. Even afterwards, she continued to volunteer to assist the elderly through the National Insurance Institute.

Leah married Alberto Leon, and they had two daughters, a son, and numerous grandchildren. The family lived in Givat Ze’ev.

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