In Israel, the ghosts of the Kafr Qassem massacre are returning

In Israel, the ghosts of the Kafr Qassem massacre are returning

Everyone knows the Kafr Qasim massacre in Israel. The massacre of 1956, in which some fifty Palestinians in Israel were shot dead by soldiers for violating a curfew they did not know existed, was the subject of an official apology from the Israeli authorities. It is etched in the collective memory, certainly as an indelible mistake, but an isolated crime, the perpetrators of which were tried and punished.

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But the publication of part of a 7,000-page transcript of the trial of the 11 Israeli soldiers involved in the massacre, on July 27, reveals another fact. The documents show that the soldiers believed they had to help implement a plan to forcibly move Palestinian citizens of Israel from the center of the country to the neighboring West Bank, then under Jordanian sovereignty. The plan, baptized “Havarbert” (“Mole” in Hebrew), was part of the continuation of the Nakba, the forced displacement of 700,000 Palestinians upon the creation of the State of Israel. It was finally abandoned, hours before the Kafr Qassem massacre.

This killing was part of a project.

“Israel has been lying for sixty-six years, Ibrahim Sarsour is incensed, a former member of the Knesset and the Israeli parliament and the former mayor of Kafr Qassem, in which 12 members of the family were murdered in 1956. The massacre was not the fault of a few soldiers. The documents prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this killing was part of a project, which was thought deeply by senior Israeli officials at the time,” including the prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.

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Read also our archive: In Kafr Qasem, an Arab village in Israel: “Shame!”

During the 1957 trial, when asked whether the “The policy was to get rid of the Arabs,” The commander of the Israeli border guards in the area, Chaim Levy, responded that the order was given orally. Imposing a curfew can help increase the desire to flee in relation to [le plan] immortalized? “,” The judge inquired. ” yes “, to me The commander said. The boss’s instructions were clear “It is desirable that there be some deaths. »

“The tendency was to leave a few dead in each village so that on the next day, when the borders were open, the Arabs would be divided into two groups: those who fled and those who remained. Then they act like innocent sheep. Another soldier witnessed. The army was keen not to block the entrance to the village overlooking Jordan. The transfer of residents inside Israel was also considered.

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