Jewish spy ring in palestine, 1915-1917
During World War One, some Jews in Palestine wanted to join the fight against the Ottoman Empire by forming controversial espionage units. The most famous was NILI, organized by the Aaronsohn family and a few close friends like Avshalom Feinberg. But many in the Yishuv were vehemently against such activity, worrying that the Turks would respond with mass reprisals and persecution. In several instances local Jews turned in Jewish spies in the hopes of currying favor with the Turks, and even after the war continued criticizing the NILI for putting the Yishuv in danger. In 1917 the Turks were able to trace NILI activity to the town of Zichron Ya’akov and captured Sarah Aaronsohn. She committed suicide before the Turks were able to properly interrogate her, cementing her status as one of the first Zionist and Israeli national heroes.