NAME: Sheikh Abu-Gosh Yusef


DATE OF DEATH: December 15, 1996

Yusef was born in 1920 to  Mohammed and  Shafika.  Abu-Gosh, their village has borne their name since generations. The family had troubled relations with the  Husseini family (of the Mufti of Jerusalem) but their relationship with the Jewish population was fine. Yusef believed once the British were expelled, a way could be found to live in harmony with the Jews. Based on this, he reached Lehi and began his activities. Recruiting additional members from his village he placed his home for the underground’s needs, acquired weapons and obtained information.  He assisted Geula Cohen’s  escape from the Russian Compound Prison’s hospital in Jerusalem, April 1947. A few of his men were positioned around the hospital; on cue they created  commotion to divert the guards’ attention while was Geula escaping. Afterwards he was arrested by the British, interrogated, and badly tortured. He was  released only when they departed, May 1948.  September 1948, after  Count Bernadotte’s assassination, Sheikh Yusef was arrested as a former Lehi member. He received  humiliating treatment from the Israeli authorities: while other Lehi members were kept together in prison, Yusef was deliberately imprisoned  with Arabs who hated him. Only after much interference was he placed with his comrades. Once the war ended, new problems began: Sheikh Yusef was exposed to the intrigues of politics. The new Mukhtar  ruling the village now, instated by Israeli Mapai Party, did all he could to get rid of Yusef. He was dispossessed of his property, house and belongings confiscated;  following a fight with his creditors, he was arrested, released on bail, and ordered to report twice daily to the police station (following  Independence, the Arab population was under military rule). Eventually,with much difficulty, he managed to return with his family to his home, left with no income. He opened a Café, but customers didn’t come, so it failed. In 1971 he was awarded the Fighters of the State Medal, and the Lehi Medal; in 1984 he received the British Mandate Prisoners’ Medal. On December 15, 1996 he passed away, worn and bitter. He left behind him wife Zekiya, a son, two daughters and grandchildren.