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Jewish/Israeli Massacres and Terrorism

Part 1: Massacres

King David Hotel in Jerusalem (July 22, 1946)

What happened: 91 people killed by explosives planted by the Irgun: 28 Britons, 41 Arabs, 17 Jews and five persons of other nationalities. Of the dead, 21 were British government officials, 13 were soldiers, and three were police officers. There were also 49 employees of either the hotel or the British government and five members of the public.

The Bombing Of The King David Hotel (Islamic Association for Palestine)

The Outrage (Britain's Small Wars, 1945-2001)

For the Zionist perspective, see:

Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia

The Irgun Site

Print Resources:

Thurston Clarke, By Blood & Fire: The Attack on the King David Hotel, New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1981, pp 304.

Menachem Begin, The Revolt: The Story of the Irgun, New York: Henry Schuman, Inc., 1951, pp. 212-230 gives Begin's perspective on the affair.

At Tira (December 11, 1947)

What happened: "5 Arabs killed and 6 injured at At Tira village in attack by Jews."

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 267 (table).

Location: Unknown; At Tira is a common village name. The index to Morris, Birth, lists five.

Alternate spellings: al-Tira

Village outside Haifa (December 12, 1947)

What happened: "12 Arabs lost their lives when Jews attacked a village outside Haifa."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing The Times (London), December 13, 1947).

Village near Tel Aviv (December 14, 1947)

What happened: "Arab village near Tel-Aviv attacked by Jews in steel helmets wearing Khaki uniforms. 18 Arabs killed and 100 injured."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 21 (citing The Times (London), December 15, 1947).

al-Khisas (December 18, 1947)

What happened: 10 civilians killed by the Haganah, most within their own houses.

"On 18th December [1947] there was trouble in the Huleh Valley when Jews entered the Arab village of Khissas, near the Syrian frontier, and killed 10 and wounded 5 Arabs, most of whom were women and children, with grenades and machine-gun fire. They withdrew without suffering any casualties after leaving pamphlets stating that the attack was carried out by the Haganah as a reprisal for casualties suffered in Safad, and an incident near Khissas where a Jew had recently been killed by Arabs. The latter event had been in turn a reprisal for the shooting of an Arab by a Jewish Settlement policeman. So the system of one life for another, and often ten lives for another, was fostered. The attack on Khissas, in which 2 Lebanese and 2 Syrian visitors had been killed, resulted in the first hostile invasion of Arab irregulars over the frontier from Syria."

Source: Wilson, Cordon and Search, p. 159.

Location: Safad district

Alternate spellings: Khisas, Khissas

Khalidi reference: pp. 465-466

Haifa (December 30, 1947)

What happened: "Two bombs thrown from passing vehicle by I.Z.L. or Stern members at crowd of Arab employees standing outside C.R.L. [Consolidated Refineries, Ltd.], Haifa. 6 Arabs killed and 42 wounded. Arabs inside and outside refinery reacted spontaneously and attacked Jewish employees who were outnumbered. 41 Jews killed and 48 injured."

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 268 (table).

Other sources:

Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 17 (citing Middle East Journal, April 1948, p. 216).

The riot led the Haganah to raid the village of Balad Esh-Sheikh the next night [or that night?] (see below).

Jerusalem (December 30, 1947)

What happened: The Irgun threw a bomb from a speeding taxi in Jerusalem, killing 11 Arabs and two Britons.

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 17 (citing Middle East Journal, April 1948, p. 216).

Balad Esh-Sheikh (December 31-January 1 night, 1947)

What happened: 14 (perhaps as many as 60) civilians killed by the Haganah, most within their own houses.

"The following night [i.e., following the riot at the Haifa refinery] the Arab village of Balad es Sheik, which lies three miles southeast of Haifa, was attacked by a strong party of armed Haganah, who entered the village dressed as Arabs under heavy covering fire from the high ground. Firing sub-machine guns and throwing grenades into the houses, they succeeded in killing 14 Arabs, of whom 10 were women and children, and wounding 11. Their own casualties were slight."

Source: Wilson, Cordon and Search, p. 158.

Location: Haifa district

Alternate spellings: Balad es Sheik, Balad ash Sheikh

Khalidi reference: pp. 151-154

The refinery riot was one of the few incidents during the 1947-1949 war in which Arabs killed a large number of Jews.

"In the evening of January 30-31, 1947 a mixed force of the First Battalion of Palmach and the 'Carmel' Brigade under the command of Haim Avinoam attacked the village of Balad al-Shaikh (now Tel Hanan). In this operation more than sixty of the enemy, most of them noncombatants, were killed in their houses."

Source: An article by Israeli historian Arieh Vitzhaqi in the April 14, 1972, issue of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, translated in "From the Hebrew Press," Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 1, no. 4 (summer 1972), p. 144. Also quoted in Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 88.

"In the evening of December 30-31 a mixed force of the First Battalion of the Palmach and the 'Carmel Brigade' under the command of Haim Avinoam attacked the village of Balad al-Shaikh; in this operation more than sixty of the enemy were killed in their houses.... The attacking units entered the village and started operating inside the houses and because of the heavy firing in the rooms, it was impossible to avoid hitting women and children also."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 21 (translating from Ha Sefer Ha-Palmach [The Book of the Palmach], Tel Aviv: Ha-Kibbutz Ha-Meuchad, 1955, p. 55).

Jaffa (January 4, 1948)

What happened: 15-30 people killed, 100 wounded, from a truck bomb planted by the Stern Gang in the middle of the city

"One Sunday in January [1948] a large truck loaded with oranges parked in the centre of Jaffa between Barclays bank and a government office Building. The truck was driven by two Stern Gang terrorists. They had failed on a previous attempt to enter Jaffa, when Arab sentries guarding access to the city had become suspicious and opened fire on the truck, Now on their second try, they had penetrated into the heart of the city with a truck that contained more than just oranges.

Disguised as Arabs, the experienced terrorists walked away from the vehicle, stopping for coffee at a nearby restaurant before leaving Jaffa. Soon after, an explosion demolished many buildings in the centre of the city. According to a Jaffa resident, Basil Ennab, one of the buildings destroyed was 'sort of a feeding centre for children,'[2] many of whom were among the over 100 casualties."

[2] Middle East Centre, Saint Anthony's College (Oxford, UK), Thames Interviews, box II, file 1.


Source: Palumbo, pp. 83-84. See generally Chapter V, "The Fall of Jaffa," pp. 82-94.

Other Sources:

"Stern Gang members bombed a crowded square in Jaffa, killing between 15 and 30 people and wounding 98." Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 17 (citing Middle East Journal, April 1948, p. 217).

"Jews penetrate into Jaffa, blow up the headquarters of the Arab National Committee; heavy explosion also destroys police station, many shops and Barclay's Bank. Casualty list of 9 Arabs killed and 71 wounded probably incomplete. (Jews dressed as Arabs drove a lorry of orange crates and left it in front of the building.)" Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 19 (citing The Times (London), January 5, 1948).

Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem (January 4-5 night, 1948)

What happened: 10-25 killed by the bombing of the hotel by Haganah.

"The Katamon district in West Jerusalem was another area from which the local inhabitants were driven out by the Haganah. Populated by mainly Christian Arabs with some Muslim and British residents, Katamon took its name from an Orthodox monastery situated on a hill which dominated the district. According to Sami Haddawi, a long-time resident of Katamon, the section was regarded as a 'strategic area' which the Jewish forces needed if they were to secure their hold over West Jerusalem. On the night of 3-4 January, the Haganah made its move.

The target was the Semiramis Hotel, one of the well-known landmarks of the district. The hotel was only two blocks away from Sami Haddawi's home so that he clearly recalls the huge explosion when the Semiramis was dynamited by the Zionists. A total of twenty-six people were killed, including a Spanish diplomat and numerous women and children. The Haganah claimed that the hotel had been 'used as a base for marauding Arab gangs and headquarters of the Arab military youth organization.' But the British administration, which still exercised at least nominal control, investigated the incident and found that the Jewish charge that the Semiramis was a military headquarters was 'entirely without foundation.' The British report called the bombing 'wholesale murder of innocent people.'[10]"

[10] Central Zionist Archives (Jerusalem) S25/4013.


Source: Palumbo, p. 98. Note that the date given for the bombing appears to be wrong, as most sources place the blast on the night of January 4/5.

Other Sources:

"Haganah claimed responsibility for blowing up of the Semiramis Hotel. 20 people dead, among them the Spanish Consul. 'Haganah claims guests in the hotel must have been cooperating with Arab gangs.' Government inquiry later establishes the falsehood of the accusation." Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 19-20 (citing The Times (London), January 6, 1948).

"Haganah blew up Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem killing 12 Arabs and injuring 2." Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 269 (table).

Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem (January 7, 1948)

What happened: "A Jewish driver used a British Army car to get past [an] Arab barricade at Jaffa Gate. The bomb he threw rolled on to a cafe near the gate. 17 Arabs dead so far."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 17 (citing The Times (London), Jan. 8, 1948).

Unknown Location (January 16, 1948)

What happened: "Jews today blew up 3 Arab buildings. In the first 8 children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years died, one child is still under the debris and one woman died. In the second, 5 Arabs died and 5 are still buried."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing The Times (London), Jan. 17, 1948).

Tireh (February 10, 1948)

What happened: "12 Arabs returning to Tireh village near Tulkarm were stopped by a large party of Jews who fired at them. Some sought refuge in a house but were followed and fired at. 7 Arabs killed, 5 injured."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists? (citing The Times (London), February 11, 1948).

Bus from Safad (February 12, 1948)

What happened: "Armed Jews attacked an Arab bus from Safad. Explosion in bus kills 5 Arabs and injures 5."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 19 (citing The Times (London), February 13, 1948).

Sa'sa' (February 14-15 night, 1948)

What happened: 60 civilians killed, most within their own houses.

"In this operation, which was for many years to be regarded as a model raid because of the high standard of its execution, twenty houses were blown up over their inhabitants, and some sixty Arabs were killed, most of them women and children."

Source: An article by Israeli historian Arieh Vitzhaqi from the April 14, 1972, issue of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, translated in "From the Hebrew Press," Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 1, no. 4 (summer 1972), p. 145. Also quoted in Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 88; and Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 21-22.

Location: Safad district

Alternate spellings: Sa'sa

Khalidi reference: pp. 495-497

See also Jon Kimche and David Kimche, Both Sides of the Hill: Britain and the Palestine War, London: Secker & Warburg, 1960, p. 84.

Sa'sa' was subjected to two massacres. The second one appears to have taken place on October 30. See the entry below, under that date, for information on the second massacre.

Qisarya (February 15-20?, 1948)

What happened: "Another case [of a massacre] happened in Caesarea. In February 1948 the Fourth Battalion of the Palmach forces, under the command of Josef Tabenkin, conquered Caesarea. According to Milstein, all those who did not escape from the village were killed. Milstein gleaned testimonies about this fact from fighters who participated in the conquest."

Source: "Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992) (quoting Israeli military historian Uri Milstein)

Location: Haifa district

Alternate spellings: Caesarea

Khalidi reference: pp. 182-184

Additional sources:

Morris, Birth, p. 54, recounts that Jewish militas conquered Qisarya on February 15 and expelled the remaining population on the 20th. As Milstein's account doesn't date the killings, I have given this time frame.

Haifa (February 20, 1948)

What happened: Jews attacked the Arab sections of Haifa with mortars, killing at least 6 Arabs and wounding 36.

Source: Who Are the Terrorists? (citing Middle East Journal, April 1948, p. 220.

Khantara-Haifa Train (February 27, 1948)

What happened: "Khantara-Haifa train near Rehovoth by Jews. 27 British soldiers killed and 36 wounded."

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 271 (table).

Haifa (March 3, 1948)

What happened: "Stern Gang destroyed Salameh Building in Haifa with explosive vehicle. 11 Arabs killed, 27 wounded."

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 271 (table).

Other sources:

"The Stern Gang claimed responsibility for the detonation of an army truck in front of the Salam building in Haifa. Fourteen Arabs were killed and at least 26 wounded." Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing Middle East Journal, July 1948, p. 329).

al-Husayniyya (March 12 and 16-17, 1948)

What happened: Palmach twice raided the village of al-Husayniyya, killing 15 and wounding 20 in the first attack on March 12, and killing "more than 30" in the second onslaught on the evening of March 16-17.

Location: Safad district, 11 km. from town of Safad.

Alternate spellings: Al Huseiniya, Kfar Husseinia

Sources:

1. An article in the New York Times of March 14, 1948, cited in Khalidi, All that Remains, p. 456-457, describes the March 12 assault.

2. Morris, Birth, p. 157 cites Palmach reports for the following narrative: "In March, the Palamch's 3rd Battalion twice raided the village of Al Huseiniya, near the Hula Lake in Upper Galilee. In the first raid, on 12 March, the battalion blew up five houses. In the second raid, on 16-17 March, 'more than 30 Arab adults (excluding women and children) were killed ... The village was abandoned byall its inhabitants.'"

3. Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 22, cites Arthur Koestler, Promise and Fulfillment: Palestine 1917-1949, New York: Macmillan, 1949, p. 159, for the second attack.

Train near Benjamina (March 31, 1948)

What happened: "Jews blew up train near Benjamina killing 24 Arabs and injuring 61."

Source: Wilson, Cordon & Search, p. 272 (table).

al-Sarafand (April 5, 1948)

What happened: "Jews attacked the Arab village of Sarafand. 16 Arabs were killed and 12 wounded. Most Arabs were killed when a house was mortared."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists? (citing The Times (London), April 6, 1948).
Location: Haifa district

Alternate spellings: as Sarafand, Sarafand

Khalidi reference: p. 188

Deir Yassin (April 9-11, 1948)

1. Websites

Coming to Terms with Deir Yassin (PEACE Middle East Dialog Group)

Dayr Yasin (Palestine Remembered)

Deir Yassin: Arab & Jewish Tragedy in Palestine (1998 novel by Ray Hanania)

Deir Yassin Committee (Yahoo! eGroup for descendants from Deir Yassin)

Deir Yassin Remembered

Open Directory: Deir Yassin

Survivors' Testimonies (alnakba.org)

2. Articles

"Jews May Not Want to Look at This" (Robert Fisk; The Independent; April 7, 2002)

"The 1948 Massacre at Deir Yassin Revisited" (Matthew Hogan; Historian; Winter, 2001)

"Deir Yasin: Still Remembered After 51 Years" (Pat and Samir Twair; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; April/May 1999)

"On the Fiftieth Anniversary of Deir Yassin: A Jewish Perspective on Memory, Justice and Reconciliation" (Marc H. Ellis; Ariga; April 1998)

"Reinterpreting Deir Yassin" (Sharif Kanaana; Birzeit University; April, 1998)

"Remembering Deir Yassin (James Zoghby; Al-Ahram Weekly; April 1998)

"Deir Yassin Remembered" (Daniel A. McGowan; The Link; volume 29, issue 4 (September-October, 1996))

Print Resources:

Daniel McGowan and Marc Ellis, Remembering Deir Yassin: The Future of Israel and Palestine, New York: Olive Branch Press, 1998

3. Zionist Denials

"Deir Yassin" at Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia

"Deir Yassin: History of a Lie"

"Deir Yassin" at The Irgun Site

Tel Litvinsky (April 16, 1948)

What happened: "Jews attack the former British Army camp at Tel Litvinsky and kill 90 Arabs there."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing The Times (London), April 17, 1948).

Tiberias (April 19, 1948)

What happened: "14 Arabs were killed in Tiberias in a house blown up by Jews."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 20 (citing The Times (London), April 20, 1948).

Ayn al-Zaytun and perhaps other nearby villages (May 1-4, 1948)

What happened: Apparently five separate killings of various magnitudes took place over three or four days: (1) Barrel bomb and grenade attacks by the Palmach killed and injured many of the villagers as the militia was attacking the village. (2) "Several" villagers in Ayn al-Zaytun were shot, and 37 young men were taken prisoner, when the Palmach conquered the village on May 1. (3) On May 3 or 4, "some 70" Arab prisoners, probably including these 37, were massacred with their hands still tied. (4) "23 Arabs" taken from Ayn al-Zaytun and shot. (5) 30 Arab prisoners who tried to escape were shot. "It is possible that they were killed chained. Next morning a platoon was sent to bury them." The source for the final two atrocities does not date them.

Nazzal describes the attack on the village:

"During the night of May 1, 1948, a Palmach unit, with mules loaded with ammunition, advanced towards the village of Ein ez Zeitun by way of Tall al Durraiyat, which overlooks the village to the north. From the top of the hill, Palmach soldiers rolled barrels filled with explosives down the hill to the village and threw hand grenades, killing and injuring many of the villagers."

Source: Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus, pp. 34-35.

Massacres two and three are attested by Morris:

After the Palmach took Ayn al-Zaytun on May 1, "several villagers apparently were shot by the Palmach troops." [from note 133 on page 321] "Some 37 of the young men caught in the village were detained. They were probably among the 70 or so Arab prisoners massacred by two Palmach 3rd Battalion soldiers, on Battalion OC Moshe Kelman's orders, on 3 or 4 May in the gully between Ein az Zeitun and Safad." [from page 102]

"Kelman's company commanders all refused to carry out the massacre or to allow their men to carry it out. The battalion OC in the end had to use two 'broken' men, who did not belong to the fighting formations and who claimed that they had suffered at Arab hands earlier in the war, to do the killing. Afterwards, Kelman assigned Ben-Yehuda [Netiva Ben-Yehuda--see below] to untie the hands of the dead as a Red Cross visit to the area was expected." [from note 133 on page 321]


Source: Morris, Birth, p. 102 and note 133 on p. 321.

Netiva Ben-Yehuda recounted the slaughter in a book: Miba'ad La'avutot (Through the Binding Ropes), Jerusalem: Domino Press, 1985, pp. 243-248. According to Morris, "Ben-Yehuda graphically describes the prelude to, and aftermath of, the slaughter of the 70, which she did not witness."

See also Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus, p. 107, which states (without identifying his source) that "The Zionists separated the men from their families, beat and humiliated a few villagers, crucified one of the villagers on a tree, and took at random thirty-seven boys as hostages, who were never heard of again."

The final two massacres are attested by Israeli military historian Uri Milstein:

"The historian Uri Milstein presented in his book series 'The History of the War of Independence' a number of massacres. Three more cases came to his knowledge after he finished writing. One case happened in Ayn Zaytoon. According to Milstein two massacres happened there in addition to the case described by Netiva Ben Yehuda in her book 'Within the Bounds' (mibe'ad la'avutot). Milstein possesses a testimony from a soldier named Aharon Yo'eli: 'Three men from Safad came to Ayn Zaytoon, they took 23 Arabs, told them they were murderers and gangsters, took from them their watches and put them in their pockets, led them over the hills and killed them. This was the revenge of the Jews of Safad. I understood that our commanders were looking for additional killers to execute such jobs. Not everybody in Safad was a Hassid [strictly observing Jew]. In my opinion this was not the execution of prisoners but the killing of Arab murderers. The rest were expelled in the direction of the Germak that same evening and to make them go fast, we shot at them.' The second case was reported to Milstein by a soldier named Yitzhak Golan, as he referred to thirty prisoners who were brought to interrogation in Har Kna'an: 'The men of the Intelligence Unit interrogated them and after the interrogation the question came up what to do with them. We were told to take them down to the Rosh Pina police station. On the way they attempted to escape so we shot at them. There was no alternative. The danger was that they might reach Safad and would tell there how few weapons and manpower we had. It is possible that they were killed chained. Next morning a platoon was sent to bury them.'"

Source: "Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992).

Location: Safad district

Alternate spellings: Ayn Zaytoon, Ein az Zeitun

Khalidi reference: pp. 436-438

Abu Shuska (May 13-14 night?, 1948)

What happened: "But Yitzhaki kept the testimonies. The first case he presents happened in Tel Gezer [i.e., Abu Shuska]. A soldier of the Kiryati Brigade (...) testifies that his colleagues got hold of ten Arab men and two Arab women, a young one and an old one. All the men were murdered. The young woman was raped and her destiny was unknown. The old woman was murdered. Yitzhaki tells that he discovered the testimony in a specific folder containing testimonies from Guard Units (Kheil Mishmar) in the IDF archives. Later he also obtained an oral testimony about this event from a person who wished to remain anonymous."

Source:"Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992) (quoting Israeli historian Aryeh Yitzhaki)

Location: Haifa district

Khalidi reference: pp. 142-143.

Morris, Birth, p. 127, says that the Jewish assault on Abu Shuska began with a mortar attack on the night of May 13-14, but he doesn't mention the massacre, and the information provided by Aryeh Yitzhaki doesn't date the atrocity. Therefore, the date of the massacre is uncertain; I've tentatively used the May 13-14 date.

al-Bassa (May 14?, 1948)

What happened: Several killings of villagers were recounted by survivors.

"Mahmud Hassan Dukhi returned two days after the village had fallen to bring back his mother, who had insisted on staying, only to find her burnt body at his home. Hussain As'ad Khalil, who also returned, reported:

'... I saw the bodies of Abdullah Isma'il Muhammad, Ahmad Muhammad Khalil, and Ali Hussain Ali, who had been killed by Jewish soldiers as they tried to infiltrate into the village. ...'

Hussain As'ad Khalil's uncle and his wife, who stayed on after the fall of El Bassa ... described the Jewish occupation of the village:

"The day the village fell, Jewish soldiers ordered all those who remained in the village to gather in the church. Simultaneously, they took a few young people--including Salim Darwish and his sister, Illin -- outside the church and shot them dead. Soon after, they ordered us to bury them."


Source: Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus, p. 58 (who adds that Hussain As'ad Khalil's uncle and his wife, who asked that their names not be used, gave him the names of five people killed in the process of occupation)

Location: Acre district

Alternate spellings: El Bassa

Khalidi reference: pp. 6-8

Acre (May 18, 1948)

What happened: After capturing Acre on May 18, Israeli troops killed at least 100 Arab civilians.

"Several months after the Israeli capture of Acre, Lieutenant Petite, a United Nations observer from France, visited Acre to investigate Arab charges that those Palestinians who remained under Israeli rule were being mistreated. ...

Lieutenant Petite noted that the Jews had murdered at least 100 Arab civilians in Acre. In particular the Israelis killed many residents of the new city who refused to move into the portion of the old city that was being used as an Arab ghetto. The Israelis considered the new city totally off-limits to Arabs.

The case of Mohammed Fayez Soufi was typical. He was forced to leave his home in the new part of town and was relocated in the portion of the old city of Acre that had not been demolished. When Mohammed and four of his friends went back to their former homes in the new city to get food, they were stopped by a gang of Israeli soldiers who put a pistol to each of their heads and forced them to drink cyanide. Mohammed faked swallowing the poison but his friends were not so lucky. After half an hour, three of the Arabs died and were tossed in the sea by the Israelis. Several days later, their bodies were washed up on the shore."


Source: Palumbo, Palestinian Catastrophe, p. 119, relying on Petite's reports, stored at United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, box 13.

Possible caution: I have not seen this massacre noted anywhere except in Palumbo's work. While the timing is consistent with massacres in the same area, additional evidence would be useful.

al-Kabri (May 20, 1948)

What happened: Two groups of al-Kabri villagers killed; in one case, "several" youngsters were machine-gunned (some survived); in the other, the Israelis shot (and apparently killed) six refugees from the village whom they had seized trying to escape.

"On 20 May 1948 the Karmeli Brigade conquered the village Kabri. Dov Yirmiya, who was a company commander in the 21th battalion, tells: 'Kabri was conquered without a fight. Almost all inhabitants fled. One of the soldiers, Yehuda Reshef, who was together with his brother among the few rescapees from the Yehi'am convoy, got hold of a few youngsters who did not escape, probably seven, ordered them to fill up some ditches dug as an obstacle and then lined them up and fired at them with a machine gun. A few died but some of the wounded succeeded to escape. The battalion commander did not react. Receive was a brave fighter and as a rescapee from the Yehi'am convoy, enjoyed special status in the battalion. He advanced later to the grade of Brigadier General. He justified his action as an act of revenge.'

'When the action ended, we left, namely the battalion commander Dov Tschitchiss, Education Officer Tzadok Eshel, the driver and myself. We drove over fields to Nahariya. While driving we saw refugees escaping to the North. The battalion commander ordered the driver to stop and went with the driver and the Education Officer to chase an Arab who was escaping with a girl eight or nine years old. I heard shots and had scarcely the time to understand what happened. When they returned, the battalion commander declared: We killed them. I asked: The girl too? And he answered to me: No, no, we did not kill the girl.'"


Source: "Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992)

"My husband and I left Kabri the day before it fell. ... At dawn [the next day], while my husband was preparing for his morning prayer, our friend Raja passed us and urged us to proceed, saying that we should run. ... It was not too long before we were met by the Jews. ... They took us and a few other villagers (...) in an armoured car back to the village. There a Jewish officer interrogated us and, putting a gun to my husband's neck, he said "You are from Kabri?" .... The Jews took away my husband, Ibrahim Dabajah, Hussain Hassan al-Khubaizah, Khalil al-Tamlawi, Uthman Iban As'ad Mahmud, and Raja. They left the rest of us.... An officer came to me and asked me not to cry. We slept in the village orchards that night. The next morning, Umm Hussain and I went to the village. ... I saw Umm Taha on the way to the village courtyard. She cried and said "You had better go see your dead husband." I found him. He was shot in the back of the head."

Source: Nazzal, Palestinian Exodus, p. 61-62 (quoting Aminah Muhammad Musa, interviewed at Burj al-Barajnih Camp, Beirut, Lebanon, February 24, 1973).

Location: Acre district

Alternate spellings: Kabri

Khalidi reference: pp. 19-20

Other sources: Morris, Birth, p. 125, states that al-Kabri was captured on May 20-21, and that "Al Kabri had long been a centre of anti-Yishuv forces. In early May, most of its inhabitants fled following a Haganah retaliatory action, in which a number of villagers were killed."

al-Tantura (May 22-23, 1948)

What happened: More than 200 villagers, mostly unarmed young men, shot by the Israeli army's Alexandroni Brigade.

"The Tantura Massacre, 22-23 May 1948" (Journal of Palestine Studies; Vol XXX, No. 3 [Spring 2001; Issue 119])

"The Tantura Case in Israel: The Katz Research and Trial" (Ilan Pappe; Journal of Palestine Studies; Vol XXX, No. 3 [Spring 2001; Issue 119])

Tantura Massacre Exposed: 21 Eyewitness Testimonies of War Crimes against Humanity (PalestineRemembered.com)

For Zionist denials, see:

"History's Revenge" (Avi Davis; israelinsider; November 20, 2001)

PalestineFacts.org

Location: Haifa district

Alternate spellings: Tantura

Khalidi reference: pp. 193-195

Lydda (July 11-12, 1948)

What happened: Several hundred civilians killed by Israeli troops, including 80 machine-gunned inside the Dahmash Mosque.

If the following accounts are all true, there were several stages to the massacre at Lydda. Many died on the evening of July 11 during Moshe Dayan's famous lightening strike into the town. The town surrendered, and things were then quiet until just before noon the next day, when two or three Arab Legion armored cars rolled into town. Two (or perhaps as many as four) Israeli solders were killed, inciting a spasm of Israeli violence that killed 250 Arabs, including the (first?) massacre at the mosque. Finally, according to Guy Erlich's article, some 20-50 Arabs were slaughtered after cleaning up the mosque. Note that this account and Palumbo's assertion that the bodies of the first group killed at the mosque "lay decomposing for ten days in the July heat" cannot both be true.

After all this, the inhabitants of Lydda and neighboring Ramle were expelled in the infamous "Lydda death march," as a result of which several hundred more probably died. See Chapter VIII, "The Lydda Death March" (pp. 126-138), in Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe.

"Civilians ran for cover as an armoured unit of the Israeli 89th Commando Battalion fired its way into Lydda, an Arab town not far from Tel Aviv. At the head of the column in an armoured car he called 'The Terrible Tiger' rode Major Moshe Dayan, a relatively obscure professional soldier who had personally recruited the men of his battalion including a contingent of Stern Gang terrorists. Dayan was eager to prove that his method of lightening warfare would win quick results against the Arabs. For fourth-seven minutes on the evening of 11 July 1948, Dayan and his armoured forces terrorized both the defenders of Lydda and the neighbouring town Ramle, as well as their Arab civilian population.

Keith Wheller, a reporter for the Chicago Sun Times, witnessed the attack. In an article titled 'Blitz Tactics Won Lydda,' he wrote that as the Israeli vehicles surged through the town, 'practically everything in their way died.' [1] Not all the casualties were members of the Arab Legion that was defending the town. Kenneth Bilby of the New York Herald Tribune who entered Lydda in the company of an Israeli intelligence officer noticed 'the corpses of Arab men, women and even children strewn about in the wake of the ruthlessly brilliant charge.'[2]

The Israelis were not keen to take prisoners. Netiva Ben Yehuda, a young female member of the Palmach, recalled that a soldier 'went through the streets of Lydda with loudspeakers and promised everybody who would go inside a certain mosque that they would be safe.' Hundreds of Arabs entered the Dahmash Mosque believing that nothing would happen to them if they sat quietly with their hands on their head. But according to Ben Yehuda 'something did happen.'[3] In retaliation for a grenade attack after the surrender which killed several Israeli soldiers, over eighty Arab prisoners were machine-gunned to death. The bodies lay decomposing for ten days in the July heat. The Dahmash Mosque massacre terrorized the people of Lydda."

Footnotes:

1. Reprinted in Palestine Post, 13 July 1948.
2. Kenneth Bilby, New Star in the Near East, p. 43
3. Lynne Reid Banks, A Torn Country: An Oral History Of The Israeli War Of Independence, New York, Franklin Watts, 1982. Also Raja'i Buseilah, The Fall of Lydda 1948: Impressions and Reminiscences, Arab Studies Quarterly, Spring 1981, pp. 137-138.


Source: Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, pp. 126-127.

"After the entry of the [Arab Legion] detachment, the local Arab population rose in revolt, and, to suppress the revolt, orders were given to fire on any one seen in the streets. 'Yiftah' troops opened heavy fire on all passers-by and suppressed the revolt mercilessly in a few hours, going from house to house and firing at every moving target. According to the commander's report, 250 Arabs were killed in the fighting."

Source: An article by Israeli historian Arieh Vitzhaqi from the April 14, 1972, issue of the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, translated in "From the Hebrew Press," Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 1, no. 4 (summer 1972), p. 145. Also quoted in Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 88.

"After Lydda gave up the fight, a group of stubborn Arab fighters barricaded themselves in the small mosque. The commander of the Palmach's 3d Battalion, Moshe Kalman, gave an order to fire a number of blasts towards the mosque. The soldiers who forced their way into the mosque were surprised to find no resistance. On the walls of the mosque they found the remains of the Arab fighters. A group of between twenty to fifty Arab inhabitants was brought to clean up the mosque and bury the remains. After they finished their work, they were also shot into the graves they dug."

Source: "Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992).

See also Morris, Birth, pp. 205-206, who writes that "In the confusion, dozens of unarmed detainees in the mosque and church compounds in the centre of the town were shot and killed." He also suggests that to call the events on July 12 a "revolt" is unwarranted. As is his tendency, Morris attempts to mitigate Israeli moral responsibility by asserting that the occupying Israeli solders "felt threatened, vulnerable and angry" during the July 12 phase of the massacre.

Elot (end of July, 1948)

What happened: "At the end of July 1948, after conducting a search in the village of Elot near Nazareth, the Israeli army arrested forty-six young men and took them away. On August 3 several of these men were found dead in the hills near the village. On the same day fourteen of those arrested were killed in an olive grove, in full view of the villagers."

Source: Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976, p. 154.

Location: Nazareth district

Khalidi reference: None.

Arab Suqrir (August 29, 1948)

What happened: 10 villagers "who tried to escape" killed by Israeli army.

Location: Gaza district

Alternate spellings: Arab Abu Suwayrib, Khirbet Sukreir

Khalidi reference: pp. 80-81

"Another case happened in Ashdod [the name of an Israeli settlement where Arab Suqrir used to stand]. Towards the end of August 1948, the Giv'ati Brigade executed the 'Cleansing Campaign' (Mivtza Nikayon) in Ashdod's dunes. This happened after the forced landing of an Israeli plane in the area and the killing of his eight passengers by locals. A company of mounted cavalry, jeeps and Giv'ati fighters went to comb the area. In the course of this action, and according to a conservative estimate, ten farmers ('fellahin') were murdered. Yitzahki says that evidence about that can be found in the campaign chronicle of Giv'ati in the IDF archives and in the second chapter of the book on the Giv'ati Brigade."

Source: "Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992) (quoting Israeli military historian Aryeh Yitzhaki).

See also Morris, Birth, p. 215, quoting a Givati intelligence officer as explaining, on 29 August, that "ten Arabs who tried to escape were killed."

Hula, Lebanon (sometime during October 24-29, 1948)

What happened: 50 villagers machine-gunned to death by Israeli army.

"During the 'Hiram' operation (October 24-29, 1948), which cleared away the remains of Qawuqji's army from the Galilee, company 22 from the 'Carmeli' brigade, where I had served as an officer, conquered the village Hula, which is located [inside Lebanon] 3 km. west of the Kibbutz Manara.
...
I received a report that there had been no resistance in the village, that there was no enemy activity in the area, and that about a hundred people were left in the village. They had surrendered and requested to stay. The men among them were kept in one house under guard. I was brought there and saw about 35 men. [Yirmiya does not remember the exact number today, and there were in fact over 50 men there] in the age range 15-60, including one Lebanese soldier in uniform....
When I returned to the village the following morning with an order to send the villagers away, I found out that, while I was away, two of the troops' officers had killed all of the captives who were in the house with a sub-machine gun, and had then blown up the house on top of them to be their grave. The women and children were sent west.

When I asked him why he had done this, the officer answered that this was 'his revenge for the murder of his best friends in the [Haifa] refineries."


Source: Article from Mapam newspaper Al Hamishmar by R. Barkan, title not given, quoting a letter from eyewitness Dov Yirmiya, translated in the Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. VII, no. 4 (summer 1978), number 28, pp. 143-145. Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 89, discusses this massacre, and Morris, Birth, p. 350, note 37, states without amplification that 34 villagers were murdered by the IDF in the Lebanese village "Hule" (this is apparently a typo, as he uses "Hula" in other places).

The article reveals what happened after the war: The officer described in Yirmiya's letter was Shmuel Lahis. Although he was later convicted of the murders in a military court, he received (via an appeal) only a one-year sentence, and, due to an amnesty that he received, didn't even serve that long in jail.

Subsequently, he became a lawyer and was admitted to the Israeli bar upon a finding that his conduct "was not an act which carried with it a stigma." He later became Secretary General of the Jewish Agency.

al-Dawayima (October 29, 1948)

What happened: 100-200 villagers killed by Israeli army.

"Ben-Gurion, quoting General Avner, briefly referred in his war diary to the 'rumours' that the army had 'slaughtered 70-80 persons.' What happened was described a few days later by an Israeli soldier-witness to a Mapam member, who transmitted the information to Eliezer Pra'i, the editor of the party daily Al Hamishmar and a member of the party's Central Committee. The party member, S. (possibly Shabtai) Kaplan, described the witness as 'one of our people, an intellectual, 100 percent reliable.' The village, wrote Kaplan, had been held by Arab 'irregulars' and was captured by the 89th Battalion (8th Brigade) without a fight. 'The first [wave] of conquerors killed about 80 to 100 [male] Arabs, women, and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead,' wrote Kaplan. Kaplan's informant, who arrived immediately afterwards in the second wave, reported that Arab men and women who remained were then closed off in their houses 'without food or water.' Sappers arrived to blow up the houses. 'One commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain house ... and to blow up the house with them. The sapper refused ... The commander then ordered his men to put in the old women and the evil deed was done. One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her. One woman, with a newborn baby in her arms, was employed to clean the courtyard where the soldiers ate. She worked a day or two. In the end they shot her and her baby.' The soldier-witness, according to Kaplan, said that 'cultured officers ... had turned into base murderers and this not in the heat of battle ... but out of a system of expulsion and destruction. The less Arabs remained--the better. This principle is the political motor for the expulsions and the atrocities.'"

Source: Morris, Birth, pp. 222-223. The letter from Kaplan to Pra'i is dated November 8, 1948, and found in Kibbutz Meuhad Archives, Aharon Zisling Papers, 6/6/4.

David Gilmour, Dispossessed: The Ordeal of the Palestinians 1917-1980, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1980, pp. 68-69, quotes much of this same letter. His citation is: Letters of 8 November 1948. Quoted in Eyal Kafkafi, "A Ghetto Attitude in the Jewish State," Davar [Israeli newspaper], September 6, 1979.

Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, p. 94, says that the Dawayma massacre was "revealed by the Israeli journalist Yoela Har-Shefi in 1984." Flapan's citation is: Nimrod, Al-Hamishmar, April 10, 1985.

"Another publicized massacre of which the author [Hadawi is speaking of himself] personally became aware in 1951 in the course of his official duties with the Jordan government occurred in the village of Ed-Dawayimeh, in the Hebron Sub-District. There, about 200 persons--mostly aged inhabitants who could not run away--took refuge in the village mosque, and when the Israelis entered the village, they massacred the entire crowd.

Many of the reports that the author inspected at the police station in Hebron gave the ages of the victims as between 70 and 90 years. ..."


Source: Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 89.

Location: Hebron district

Alternate spellings: (also spelled al-Dawayma, Duwayma, Ed-Dawayimeh)

Khalidi reference: pp. 213-216

Jish (October 29?, 1948)

What happened: "A woman and her baby were killed. Another 11 [were killed?]"

Source: Morris, Birth, p. 230, citing Aharon Cohen's handwritten notes from a November 11 briefing, by Moshe Erem, to the Political Committee of Mapam, stored in Hashomer Hatzair Archives, Aharon Cohen Papers, 10.95.10(6). In this reference in Birth, Morris describes the briefing as having been given by Israel Galili, head of the Haganah National Command, but he later corrects this statement. See Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 59, note 24.

Morris doesn't date the killings in Jish, which Israeli troops conquered during Operation Hiram, a 60-hour operation that took place from October 29-31. Abu-Sitta, The Palestinian Nakba, gives a date of October 29 for the massacre (although that could represent the date Jish was captured).

Location: Safad district

Khalidi reference: none

Eilabun (October 30, 1948)

What happened: 13 villagers--at least 12 of them "youngsters"--killed by Israeli soldiers after they had taken the village.

"The villagers hung out white flags and the Israeli troops entering the village were welcomed by four priests. The inhabitants huddled inside the churches while the priests formally surrendered the village. But the Israelis discovered in a house the severed heads of two missing IDF soldiers. What happened next is described in a letter from the village elders to Shitrit [Bechor Shitrit, Israel's Minority Affairs Minister]: the villagers were ordered to assemble in the village square. While assembling, one villager was killed and another wounded by IDF fire.

Then the commander selected 12 youngsters and sent them to another place, then he ordered that the assembled inhabitants be led to Maghar .... He himself stayed on with another two soldiers until they killed the 12 youngsters in the streets of the village and then they joined the army going to Maghar...."


Source: Morris, Birth, p. 229, citing Israel State Archives, Foreign Ministry Papers 2564/10.

"On the square in front of [Greek Catholic priest] Father Markos' house, the Jewish commander yelled, 'You want to make war, here you have it!' as his men mowed down four young men with machine guns. Three other youths including a boy of seventeen were taken to a nearby field where they were killed in a similar manner. In all, thirteen young men were murdered in the early morning hours.

The American [United Nations] officer, Captain Zeuty reported, 'There is no doubt in this observer's mind that the Jews committed murder and plunder.'"


Source: Palumbo, Palestinian Catastrophe, p. 164, citing United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, box 11, document entitled "Atrocities September-November." The book reproduces on p. 165 a sketch by Captain Zeuty of the village showing where the victims were killed and where they were buried.

Majd al-Kurum (October 30, 1948)

What happened: In one account, the Israelis picked 12 men from the village at random and killed them in front of the other villagers. In another account, nine villagers, including two women, were killed.

"During the morning of October 30, a few villagers decided to carry white flags and meet the Jews west of the village. They were to tell the Jewish soldiers that the villagers had gotten rid of the ALA [Arab Liberation Army] and that the village was safe and prepared to surrender. We were surprised when suddenly another Jewish force approached the village from the east. The Jews joined up at the village and soon after ordered us to assemble at Ain Majd el Kurum in the center of the village. Jewish soldiers picked twelve of our men at random, blindfolded them, and shot them in front of us."

Source: Nafez Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948, Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978, p. 92, reporting the account of eyewitness Umm Abid al-Qiblawi, interviewed at Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon, on February 1, 1973. The story of Israel's takeover of Majd al-Kurum is on pp. 90-93.

On page 228, Morris, Birth, notes this report but takes no position on its validity.

See also Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, pp. 171-172, who states that the Israelis killed nine people, including two women, at Majd al-Kurum. He quotes A. Pallemans, a Belgian U.N. officer, as reporting "there is no doubt about these murders." Palumbo cites United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, box 11, document entitled "Atrocities September-November."

Safsaf (October 30, 1948)

What happened: According to a Palestinian eyewitness, 70 young men were blindfolded and shot to death, one after another, by Israeli troops in front of the assembled villagers. The Israeli army report acknowledges 14 deaths.

"At about sunrise, the Israelis entered the village. There they ordered the villagers to line up around Isma'il Nassir Za'mut's and Ahmad Muhammad Shuraidah's houses, to the north. Umm Shahadah al-Salih, among those present, recalled that tragic morning:

'As we lined up, a few Jewish soldiers ordered four girls to accompany them to carry water for the soldiers. Instead, they took them to our empty houses and raped them. About 70 of our men were blindfolded and shot to death, one after the other, in front of us. The soldiers took their bodies and threw them on the cement covering of the village's spring and dumped sand on them....'"


Source: Nafez Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948, Beirut: The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978, p. 95, reporting the account of eyewitness Umm Shahadah al-Salih, interviewed (along with two other eyewitnesses) at Ain al-Hilwah refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon, on March 23-24, 1973. The story of Israel's takeover of Safsaf is on pp. 93-96.

Morris, Birth, in note 37 on page 350, says that Nazzal's account "in the main tallies with" the military's report that Morris quotes. (That report is quoted just below.)

"In his briefing of 11 November to the Political Committee of Mapam, Galili [Israel Galili, head of the Haganah National Command] detailed some of the atrocities committed in the October fighting. He spoke of '52 men [in Safsaf] tied with a rope and dropped into a well and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] three cases of rape.... A girl aged 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed.'"

Source: Morris, Birth, p. 230, citing Aharon Cohen's handwritten notes from this meeting, stored in Hashomer Hatzair Archives, Aharon Cohen Papers, 10.95.10(6). Later, Morris said that the briefing had been delivered by Moshe Erem rather than Galili. See Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 59, note 24.

Location: Safad district

Khalidi reference: pp. 490-491.

Saliha (October 30?, 1948)

What happened: "94 ... were blown up with a house."

Source: Morris, Birth, p. 230, citing Aharon Cohen's handwritten notes from a November 11 briefing, by Moshe Erem, to the Political Committee of Mapam, stored in Hashomer Hatzair Archives, Aharon Cohen Papers, 10.95.10(6). In this reference in Birth, Morris describes the briefing as having been given by Israel Galili, head of the Haganah National Command, but he later corrects this statement. See Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 59, note 24.

Morris doesn't date the killings in Saliha, which Israeli troops conquered during Operation Hiram, a 60-hour operation that took place from October 29-31. Abu-Sitta, The Palestinian Nakba, gives a date of October 30 for the massacre (although that could represent the date Saliha was captured).

Location: Safad district

Khalidi reference: pp. 491-492.

Sa'sa' (October 30?, 1948)

What happened: "There were cases of 'mass murder [though] a thousand [?] lifted white flags and a sacrifice was offered [to welcome] the army. The whole village was expelled.'"

Source: Morris, Birth, p. 230, citing Aharon Cohen's handwritten notes from a November 11 briefing, by Moshe Erem, to the Political Committee of Mapam, stored in Hashomer Hatzair Archives, Aharon Cohen Papers, 10.95.10(6). In this reference in Birth, Morris describes the briefing as having been given by Israel Galili, head of the Haganah National Command, but he later corrects this statement. See Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 59, note 24.

Morris doesn't date the killings in Sa'sa', which Israeli troops conquered during Operation Hiram, a 60-hour operation that took place from October 29-31. Abu-Sitta, The Palestinian Nakba, gives a date of October 30 for the massacre (although that could represent the date Sa'sa' was captured).

Location: Safad district

Alternate spellings: Sa'sa

Khalidi reference: pp. 495-497

Sa'sa' was subjected to two massacres. The earlier one took place on the evening of February 14-15. See the entry above, under that date, for information on the first massacre.

al-Bi'na and Deir al-Assad (October 31, 1948)

What happened: An unknown number killed by Israeli soldiers.

"On Sunday, 31 October at 10 a.m., the Israeli forces entered al-Bi'na and Deir al-Assad.

The Jews gathered the entire population in a field between the two towns and demanded that they turn over their weapons. About 100 rifles were given to the Israelis. By afternoon the children and elderly became exhausted and were in need of water. Some of the Arab men asked if they could get water from a nearby well. Everyone thought that the young men would bring back water for their families and friends but the Israelis had other plans: 'They killed them with automatic rifle fire near the well,' testified Hassan Muhidun Askbar. After investigating his charges, UN observers described the murders as 'wanton slaying without provocation.'"


Source: Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, p. 168, citing United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, box 11, document entitled "Atrocities September-November."


See also Morris, Birth, p. 229-230, in which a refugee from al-Bi'na is quoted as saying that Israeli troops shot two villagers. In Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 54, Morris includes Deir al-Assad (which he spells Dayr al-Assad) in a list of villages at which massacres took place, but as there's no index entry in Birth for this village, I can't readily determine whether he mentions this massacre in that earlier book.

Nahf (end of October, 1948?)

What happened: Apparent massacre.

Source: Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 54. Morris includes Nahf in a list of villages at which massacres took place. However, he provides no additional information, and his earlier book Birth has no index entry for Nahf.

Khirbat al-Wa'ra al-Sawda (November 2, 1948)

What happened: 14 "liquidated," according to the Israeli military's report.

"The men set fire to the Arabs' houses and returned to base [i.e., Maghar] with 19 Arab adult males. At the base the men [captives] were sorted out and those who took part in hostile actions against our army were identified, and they were sent under command of Haim [Hayun] to a place that had been determined and there 14 of the adult males were liquidated."

Source: Benny Morris, "Revisiting the Palestinian Exodus of 1948," in Eugene Rogan and Avi Shlaim (eds.), The War for Palestine: Rewriting the History of 1948, Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 57.

Location: Tiberias district

Alternate spellings: Khirbet al-Wa'ra as-Sauda, Arab al Mawasi (predecessor village)

Khalidi reference: pp. 545-546

Beit Jala, West Bank (January 6, 1952)

What happened: Israeli forces attacked Beit Jala, a village in the West Bank, killing 7 unarmed civilians (one man, two women, and four children) and another woman's unborn child.

"The morning after the raid, Commandant Bouvet and I were called out and told to rush to the scene at Beit Jalla. As we drove up to the pile of rubble that had once been a two-story, cut-stone house, we could hear the sing-song wail of the Arab women who were gathered around the victims." (p. 12)

"The upper floor of the house had been completely destroyed by a demolition charge. The lower part, built into the side of the hill, was still partly intact but the walls and doors were scarred by the bullets that had raked the area. A twenty-three-year-old Arab and his wife had died in the blast, There was little left for burial." (p. 13)

"A few hundred yards to the East, another house had been attacked. ...[The husband told what had happened during the attack.] The wife, who was eight-months pregnant, moved cautiously to follow his orders [to leave the house]. She had taken only a few steps from the back door when the Israelis, who were firing from behind a stone wall, turned their fire in her direction. The bullet that passed through her body from the back snuffed out the life she was carrying, but her own life was miraculously spared." (p. 13)

"The third target of the Israeli raiders was a house about one-mile away--very near the tomb of Rachael. ... On entering this room we were brought up short--no person could live long enough to become calloused to such a sight. The mother and her four children, ranging in age from 6 to 14, were sprawled about the room--their bodies riddled by bullets and grenade fragments." (p. 14)


Source: E. H. Hutchison, Violent Truce: A Military Observer Looks At the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1951-1955, New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1956, pp. 12-14. While explicitly anti-Zionist, Hutchison was a U.S. naval officer who from 1951-1954 served on the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission established by the U.N. (and chaired it for much of that time), and in this book he related his personal observations and official U.S. reports.

"Rose-colored leaflets were left by the Israelis who carried out the attack in Beit Jalla on the 6th of January 1952.

Translated: On 4 December 1951, persons from Beit Jalla killed a young Jewess near Beit Vaghan after committing towards her a crime that will never be expiated. What we have done here now is recompense for this horrendous crime--we can never remain silent when it comes to criminals. There will always be arrows in our quivers for the likes of these. Let those who would know, (know) BEWARE"


Source: Hutchison, p. 15, which has this caption under a copy of the leaflet left by the Israelis.

Jerusalem (April 22, 1953)

What happened: "Israeli forces fire at unarmed civilians in open space in front of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Ten killed."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 34 (citing E. H. Hutchison, Violent Truce: A Military Observer Looks At the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1951-1955, New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1956, p. 155).

Caution: While the Hutchinson book does state that 10 Arab civilians were killed, it doesn't report the circumstances of the deaths. I am continuing to investigate.

Bureji Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip (August 28, 1953)

What happened: "One of the latest and gravest incidents has been the attack upon several houses and huts in the Arab refugee camp of Bureij on the night of 28 August. That camp, organized and administered by UNRWA, is situated about 2 kilometers west of the demarcation line. Bombs were thrown through the windows of huts in which refugees were sleeping and, as they fled, they were attacked by small arms and automatic weapons. The casualties were 20 killed, 27 seriously wounded, 35 less seriously wounded. The Mixed Armistice Commission, in an emergency meeting, adopted by a majority vote a resolution according to which the attack was made by a group of armed Israelis. A likely explanation is that is was a ruthless reprisal raid."

Source: E. H. Hutchison, Violent Truce: A Military Observer Looks At the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1951-1955, New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1956, p. 168. While explicitly anti-Zionist, Hutchison was a U.S. naval officer who from 1951-1954 served on the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission established by the U.N. (and chaired it for much of that time), and in this book he related his personal observations and official U.S. reports.

Qibya, Jordan (October 14-15 night, 1953)

What happened: The Israeli army's now-infamous Unit 101, led by Ariel Sharon, killed about 70 civilians in a raid on this village.

The Arab Legion investigated and determined that the Israelis had moved from house to house "systematically killing" the residents before blowing up their homes. (p. 261) This account, Morris says, is corroborated by Israel Defense Forces post-operational reports, which describe breaking into most of the houses and "clearing them" with fire and grenades. (p. 262)

Source: Benny Morris, Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956, Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1993. The Qibya massacre is extensively discussed on pp. 257-276.

"That night, less than ten hours later, a large force of regular Israeli soldiers attacked the village of Qibya. We rushed to the scene early the next morning and found that 53 men, women and children had been killed and 15 wounded. It is difficult to describe the wanton destruction that had taken place. One sight that burned deep into my mind was that of an old woman perched high on a pile of rubble. Here and there from between the rocks you could see a tiny hand or foot protruding. The woman's state was blank--void of any sign of sensibility. She was sitting on the pile of rocks that held the lifeless bodies of her six children. The bullet riddled body of her husband lay face down in the dusty road before her.
...
One story was repeated time after time: the bullet splinted door, the body sprawled across the threshold, indicating that the inhabitants had been forced to stay inside until their homes were blown up ove them."


Source: E. H. Hutchison, Violent Truce: A Military Observer Looks At the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1951-1955, New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1956, p. 44. While explicitly anti-Zionist, Hutchison was a U.S. naval officer who from 1951-1954 served on the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission established by the U.N. (and chaired it for much of that time), and in this book he related his personal observations and official U.S. reports.

Open Directory: Qibya

"Qibya and Shatila: Lessons Not Learnt" (Nizar Farsakh; Zenjustice.com; December 5, 2001)

"Nailing Sharon for Qibya Will Bring Peace" (Ahmed Amr; Media Monitors Network; May 31, 2001)

"An Eye for an Eye" (Flore de Préneuf; Salon; February 6, 2001)

"Interviews with Qibya Survivors" (ZenJustice.com)

Alternate spellings: Kibya, Quibya, Qibiya

Nahalin, Jordan (March 28-29 night, 1954)

What happened: "An Israeli watchman wsa killed near Kissalon, west of Jerusalem, but the case was not referred to the Commission for investigation. Two nights later the Israelis struck in force at Nahhalin Village in Jordan, killing nine and wounding nineteen. It was a small Qibya--demolition bombs, incendiary bombs, automatic weapons, and grenades."

Source: E. H. Hutchison, Violent Truce: A Military Observer Looks At the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1951-1955, New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1956, p. 55. See also a photograph of one of the victims between page 72 and 73. While explicitly anti-Zionist, Hutchison was a U.S. naval officer who from 1951-1954 served on the Israel-Jordan Mixed Armistice Commission established by the U.N. (and chaired it for much of that time), and in this book he related his personal observations and official U.S. reports.

Gaza City (April 5, 1956)

What happened: Israelis shelled Gaza City, killing 56 and wounding 193

On April 4 there had been an incident of firing on the Gaza ADL [Armistice Demarcation Line] between Israeli and Egyptian forces, which had resulted in three Israelis' being killed. ... On the 5th another exchange was set off .... In the exchange the Egyptians had fired some mortar-shells at Israeli settlements, causing a few casualties. Thereupon, in retaliation, an Israeli major ordered fire by 120-mm. mortars on Gaza. A heavy fire was poured in, centered on the middle of the town, full of civilians about their ordinary business. Fifty-six Arabs were killed and 103 wounded, men, women, and children.

The unjustifiable savagery of this retaliation shocked the Israeli authorities, I believe. It seems to have been due to the bad judgment, to use the mildest possible phrase, of a local commander. But the Israeli Army tried to offer the excuse that their mortars were firing at military objectives. Unfortunately for this contention, the UN observers were able to investigate the occurrence before the mortar-shells had ceased falling, and the location of the hits was promptly plotted. It showed the "mean point of impact" right in the middle of the town, in the principal square, while the Egyptian mortars were upwards of two kilometers away, somewhere near Ali Muntar. Later, the Israelis averred that there was some undefined kind of headquarters in Gaza which had been their target, but we found no evidence that there was such a headquarters. The well-known Police H.Q. in the "Taggart Fort," also cited by the Israelis as a justifiable target, was about 1500 metres distant from the Israelis' point of aim.


Source: E.L.M. Burns, Between Arab and Israeli, London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1962, pp. 140-141. Reprinted Beirut: Institute of Palestinian Studies, 1969. Burns, a general in the Canadian military, served as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization from August 1954 until November 1956, and then as commander of the United Nations Emergency Force until the spring of 1957.

Kafr Kassem (October 29, 1956)

What happened: Israeli border policemen under orders to shoot to kill curfew-breakers fired on villagers in this Israeli Arab town, returning from their fields, who were unaware that Israel had imposed a curfew. (In fact, they could not have been aware, as the village mukhtar was informed at 4:30 pm that the curfew was to begin half an hour later.) The number of dead has been estimated at between 47 and 51 men, women and children. Eight of the policemen were tried and convicted, despite their claims that they were merely following orders. However, their sentences were later reduced, and none served more than three and a half years in jail.

Open Directory: Kafr Kassem

"Start with Textbooks" (Yossi Sarid; January 11, 2000; Jerusalem Post)

"Israel Explores Dark Pages of Its Past" (Lee Hockstader; Washington Post; October 31, 1999)

"School Official Wants to Mark Israeli Atrocity" (Joel Greenberg; New York Times; October 7, 1999)

"The first villagers to return after the curfew came into effect were four men riding bicycles, Two were killed. The bodies were left on the side of the road. Then came a wagon driven by a man with his small daughter at his side, followed by two men and a boy. ... Police sent the boy into the village with the girl. Two of the three men were killed. A flock of goats tended by a man and a twelve-year-old boy approached. Both were killed."

Source: E.L.M. Burns, Between Arab and Israeli, London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1962, p. 305 (quoting from the Jerusalem Post). Reprinted Beirut: Institute of Palestinian Studies, 1969. Burns, a general in the Canadian military, served as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization from August 1954 until November 1956, and then as commander of the United Nations Emergency Force until the spring of 1957.

For a thorough account of this massacre, see Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976, pp. 140-153.

Massacre of Egyptian Soldiers and Civilians during Suez War (October 29 to November 7, 1956)

What happened: An estimated 273 Egyptian solders and civilians executed.

Egyptian POWS (Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights) An important collection of resources.

"As Evidence Mounts, Toll of Israeli Prisoner of War Massacres Grows" (Katherine M. Metres; WRMEA; February/March 1996)

Historians: Israeli troops killed many Egyptian POWs (AP; 2000?)

"Israelis Admit Massacre" (Ohad Gozani; The Daily Telegraph; August 16, 1995)

"A Soldier's Confession: Admitting to killing Egyptian POWs in 1956, a veteran stirs a nation's conscience" (Lisa Beyer; Time; August 28, 1995 (volume 146, no. 9)

They Shoot POWs (translation by Israel Shahak)

Khan Yunis (November 3, 1956)

What happened: A "large number" of civilians killed during Israel's occupation of this town and an UNRWA refugee camp nearby during the Suez war.

"A large number of civilians were killed at that time, but there is some conflict in the accounts given as to the causes of the casualties. The Israeli authorities state that there was resistance to their occupation and that the Palestinian refugees formed part of that resistance. On the other hand, the refugees state that all resistance had ceased at the time of the incident and that many unarmed civilians were killed as the Israeli troops went through the town and camp, seeking men in possession of arms. The exact number of dead and wounded is not known, but the Director [Henry Labouisse, Director-General of the UNRWA] has received from sources he considers trustworthy lists of names of persons alleged killed on 3 November, numbering 275 individuals..."

Source: E.L.M. Burns, Between Arab and Israeli, London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1962, p. 304 (quoting UN document A/3212/Add.1). Reprinted Beirut: Institute of Palestinian Studies, 1969. Burns, a general in the Canadian military, served as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization from August 1954 until November 1956, and then as commander of the United Nations Emergency Force until the spring of 1957.

Rafah Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip (November 12, 1956)

What happened: Over 100 refugees killed during the Israeli Army's occupation of this camp.

"On November 12, a serious incident happened in the Agency's [UNRWA] camp at Rafah. ... A difference of opinion exists as to how the incident happened and as to the numbers of killed and wounded. ... It is agreed, however, that the incident occurred during a screening operation conducted by the Israel forces ... to find persons who were members of the so-called 'Palestine Brigade' or who participated in fedayeen operations .... Sufficient time was not allowed for all men to walk to the screening-points and get there before the designated hour, In the confusion, a large number of refugees ran toward the screening-points for fear of being late, and some Israel soldiers apparently panicked and opened fire on this running crowd. ... The Director [Henry Labouisse, Director-General of the UNRWA] has received from sources he considers trustworthy lists of names of persons alleged killed at Rafah on 12 November, numbering 111."

Source: E.L.M. Burns, Between Arab and Israeli, London: George G. Harrap & Co., 1962, p. 304 (quoting UN document A/3212/Add.1). Reprinted Beirut: Institute of Palestinian Studies, 1969. Burns, a general in the Canadian military, served as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization from August 1954 until November 1956, and then as commander of the United Nations Emergency Force until the spring of 1957.

Nuqeib, Syria (March 16-17, 1962)

What happened: "Israeli artillery and aircraft attack unarmed village of Nuqeib in Syria, killing at least 30."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 39 (citing Carl von Horn, Soldiering for Peace, London: Cassell & Co., 1966, pp. 267-268. American edition: New York: David McKay Co., 1967).

Samu, Jordan (November 13, 1966)

What happened: "A large Israeli force, including tanks and armoured cars, attacks the village of Samu in Jordan, destroying 125 houses, a school and a clinic and 15 houses in another village, killing 18 and wounding 54."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 39 (citing Keesing's, XVI (1967-1968), 21819).

Massacre of Egyptian Soldiers during Six-Day War (June 5-11, 1967)

What happened: As many as two thousand Egyptian soldiers, either helpless or already captured, shot by Israeli troops.

Egyptian POWS (Legal Research and Resource Center for Human Rights) An important collection of resources.

"As Evidence Mounts, Toll of Israeli Prisoner of War Massacres Grows" (Katherine M. Metres; WRMEA; February/March 1996)

Historians: Israeli troops killed many Egyptian POWs (AP; 2000?)

"A Soldier's Confession: Admitting to killing Egyptian POWs in 1956, a veteran stirs a nation's conscience" (Lisa Beyer; Time; August 28, 1995 (volume 146, no. 9)

Two articles

They Shoot POWs (translation by Israel Shahak)

Related atrocity: Denying medical care, food and water to Egyptian soldiers

"Israel did not allow the International Red Cross to operate in the Sinai desert until 15 June 1967, five days after the cessation of hostilities. Thousands of Egyptian soldiers were thus left to perish in the desert from thirst and hunger, as well as hundreds of wounded whom relief could not reach in time."

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 45 (citing The Times (London), June 15, 1967).

Attack on the U.S.S. Liberty (June 8, 1967)

What happened: On June 8, 1967, during the Six Day War, Israeli forces attacked the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy intelligence-gathering ship off the coast of Gaza, killing 34 men and wounding 171. The weather was clear; the ship was in international waters; the attack, which lasted two hours, was preceded by several hours of Israeli reconnaissance. The Israelis claimed the attack was a case of misidentification, and President Johnson hushed the whole episode up. The surviving crewmembers know the truth and are active to this day.

Go to the U.S.S. Liberty section of this Research Guide.

Rafah Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip (June? 1967)

What happened: Twenty-three refugees shot by Israeli soldiers and buried in a mass grave.

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 42, quoting the two references reproduced below.

"Story told by Fattah Muhammad el-Gharib: Speaks perfect English, spent a year at the American University of Beirut, worked for UNRWA at their camp in Rafah. It was there that he witnessed the shooting of 23 men who were left lying in the street for several days to terrorize others. They were finally buried in a mass grave. A second witness to this event, Ahmad H. Ghanme, who had three cousins shot at this time, verifies the story.

Deeb Mahdi, ex-policeman, Gaza, was forced to continue his duties in the Israeli police force. As such he corroborates the story of twenty-three people being shot in Rafah camp in the Gaza strip and buried in a common grave."


Source: Report by the British Red Cross representative published in the Daily Star (Beirut) on August 17, 1968.

"In Gaza, according to UNRWA sources that I believe to be reliable, 144 inhabited houses in a refugee camp were bulldozed in a single night, and a recent communal grave in the camp that was excavated under UNRWA supervision contained 23 bodies."

Source: article by David Holden in the Sunday Times (London), November 19, 1967.

Killing of Indian UNEF Members (June 1967)

"The Indian Government handed an aide memoire to the Israel Consul General in Delhi .... The aide memoire says 'An Israeli tank in Gaza deliberately fired on an Indian UNEF [UN Emergency Force] vehicle from five yards, and then deliberately squashed the driver to death knowing that he was a member of the United Nations. The Israeli forces,' the aide memoire adds, 'on five occasions deliberately attacked Indian UNEF staff killing eleven and wounding twenty-four.'"

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 49-50 (citing The Times (London), August 2, 1967).

Killing of Refugees and "Infiltrators" (after the 1967 war)

What happened: An untold number of Palestinian refugees--men, women, and children--were shot without warning as they tried to cross the Jordan River into the West Bank. Those who weren't killed immediately were finished off in the morning.

Forthcoming

Source: Who Are the Terrorists?, p. 52-53 (quoting Israeli Imperial News, March 1968, which is described as being published in London by members of the Israeli Socialist Party, Matzpen).

1978 Invasion of Lebanon ("Operation Litani," commenced March 14)

Forthcoming

1982 Invasion of Lebanon ("Operation Peace for Galilee," commenced June 6)

Forthcoming

Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps, Lebanon (September 16-18, 1982; part of "Operation Peace for Galilee")

What happened: After surrounding these two refugee camps, which are adjacent to one another in west Beirut, during its 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the Israeli army allowed 150 members of the Lebanese Phalangist militia to enter the camps and conduct "mopping up" operations. Ariel Sharon was Israel's Minister of Defense. Two thousand human beings are estimated to have been slaughtered during the next 40 hours.

Go to the
Israel in Lebanon/Sabra and Shatila Massacre section of this Research Guide.

Qana, Lebanon (April 18, 1996)

What happened: Israel shelled the U.N. refugee camp in Qana, Lebanon, killing over 100 civilians.

See Israel in Lebanon/Qana Massacre in this Research Guide.

Jenin Camp, West Bank (April 3-15, 2002)

Although much of the world has apparently decided that Israeli atrocities at Jenin did not amount to a "massacre," Human Rights Watch has documented at least 52 Palestinian deaths, including at least 21 civilians.

See Destruction of Jenin Camp in this Research Guide.


Part 2: Some Other Acts of Terror.


Sinking of the S.S. Patria in Haifa Harbor (November 25, 1940)

What happened: The Patria was filled with Jewish refugees whom the British refused to allow to emigrate to Palestine. The Haganah decided to prevent the Patria from leaving port by sabotage. A mine was prepared at Haifa, concealed in a cloth bag and smuggled aboard the ship, where it was handed over to one of the Haganah liaison officers. On November 25, 1940, at about 9 a.m. the mine was detonated. The intention was to blast a small hole in the vessel's side so that that it would slowly take in water, allowing time to evacuate all those on board. However, the mine blasted a large hole and water flooded into the hold. Some 276 people (200 of them Jews, and most of the remainder British soldiers) went down with the ship.

"The Story of the S/S Patria" (Eva Feld)

"The Irgun's Role in Illegal Immigration" (Yehuda Lapidot; Virtual Jewish Encyclopedia)

Assassination of Britain's Lord Moyne (November 6, 1944, in Cairo by the Stern Gang)

Landmark for Lord Moyne in Cairo

"Yitzhak Rabin's Assassination and the Hassan Sabri Street Murders" (Samir Raafat; 1995)

"The spiritual storm of those who willingly made the supreme sacrifice gripped me, too, as I bowed my head in homage before the heroic death of the two Eliyauus [Hakim and Beit Zuri, who assassinated Lord Moyne] in Cairo, of Moshe Barazani and Meir Feinstein [who blew themselves up with a hand grenade in their Jerusalem prison cell the evening before they were to be hanged] and the others." Quote from David Ben-Gurion.

Source: Promotional blurb on distjacket for Geula Cohen's book, Woman of Violence: Memoirs of a Young Terrorist, 1943-1948, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966.

Print Resources:

Jerold Frank, The Deed, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1963, 317 pp.

Hanging of the two British soldiers, Martin and Paice (July 29, 1947, by the Irgun)

Kidnappings, Beatings, Murders and Hangings (Britain's Small Wars)

Assassination of Count Folke Bernadotte, Swedish Nobleman and U.N. Mediator (September 17, 1948, in Jerusalem by the Stern Gang)

"The Assassination of Count Bernadotte" (excerpt from David Hirst's 1977 book, _The Gun and the Olive Branch_)

"Jewish Terrorists Assassinate U.N. Peacekeeper Count Folke Bernadotte" (Donald Neff; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; September 1995, pgs. 83-84)

See also a Zionist version:

"The Assassination of Count Bernadotte" (Virtual Jewish Encyclopedia)

Print Resources:

Ralph Hewins, Count Folke Bernadotte: His Life and Work, London: Hutchinson, 1948

Amitzur Ilan, Bernadotte in Palestine 1948: A Study in Contemporary Humanitarian Knight Errantry, New York: St. Martins Press, 1989, 308 pp.

Kati Marton, A Death in Jerusalem: The Assassination by Jewish Extremists of the First Arab/Israeli Peacemaker, New York: Pantheon Books, 1994, 321 pp.

Sune Persson, Mediation and Assassination: Count Bernadotte's Mission to Palestine, London: Ithaca Press, 1979

Ted Schwartz, Walking With the Damned: The Shocking Murder of the Man Who Freed 30,000 Prisoners from the Nazis, New York: Paragon House, 1992

Terrorizing of Iraqi Jews (1950-1951)

What happened: Three bombs thrown by Israeli agents between April 1950 and January 1951 at locations frequented by Jews in Baghdad succeeded in causing a panic. Iraqi Jews assumed that terrorists were attacking them. Almost all of Iraq's 130,000 Jews left, most emigrating to Israel. While the first two bombs didn't kill anyone, the third killed a Jewish boy.

"The Jews of Iraq" (Naeim Giladi; The Link; volume 31, issue 2 (April-May, 1998))

Print Resources:

David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1977, pp. 155-164.

Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld, Genocide in the Holy Land, Brooklyn, NY: Neturie Karta, 1980, pp. 509-527

The Lavon Affair (July 1954)

What happened: An Israeli spy ring in Egypt planted firebombs at several locations, apparently intending to damage U.S.-Egyptian ties: July 2, in the Alexandria post office; July 14, US Information Service libraries in Cairo and Alexandria; July 23, two cinemas, the central post office and the railway station, all in Cairo.

"The Lavon Affair" (excerpt from David Hirst, _The Gun and the Olive Branch_, 1977)

The Lavon Affair (Jewish Virtual Library)

Print Resources:

Avri El-Ad, with James Creech, III, Decline of Honor: A First-Person Account By the Israeli Spy Whose Sabotage in Egypt Brought Down the Ben-Gurion Government, Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1976

Aviezer Golan, Operation SUSANNAH: As Told by Marcelle Ninio, Victor Levy, Robert Dassa and Philip Nathanson, New York: Harper & Row, 1978

Uri Bar-Joseph, Intelligence Intervention in the Politics of Democratic States: The United States, Israel, and Britain, University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1995

Shabtai Teveth, Ben-Gurion's Spy: The Story of the Political Scandal that Shaped Modern Israel, New York: Columbia University Press, 1996

See also:

David Hirst, The Gun and the Olive Branch, New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1977, pp. 164-170.

Stephen Green, Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant Israel, New York: William Morrow & Co., 1984, pp. 107-114.

Forcing Down Syrian Civilian Airplane (December 12, 1954)

"On Dec. 12, 1954, Israeli warplanes forced a Syrian Airways Dakota passenger craft carrying four passengers and five crewmen to land at Lydda airport inside Israel. The passengers were interrogated for two days before international protests, including strong complaints from Washington, finally convinced Israel to release the plane and its passengers.

Moshe Sharett, who as Israel's foreign minister had to explain the incident to the international community, was privately appalled by it. He recorded in his diary: 'I have no reason to doubt the truth of the factual affirmation of the U.S. State Department that our action was without precedent in the history of international practice. What shocks and worries me is the narrow-mindedness and the short-sightedness of our military leaders. They seem to presume that the state of Israel may--or even must--behave in the realm of international relations according to the laws of the jungle.'"


Source: "Israel Was First Nation to Skyjack A Civilian Airliner" (Donald Neff; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; November/December 1994, pages 71-72).

Operation Damocles (West Germany and Egypt, 1962-1963)

What happened: Between September 1962 and March 1963, Israel attempted to disrupt Egyptian research, assisted by West German scientists, into military rockets. Israel killed a number of people during this operation, including five with a letter bomb on November 28, 1962.

"Starting September 11, 1962, with the abduction of a German purchasing agent of rocket parts in Munich, Dr. Heinz Krug (his body has never been found), Mossad waged a violent campaign called Operation Damocles against the German scientists. Threatening letters were sent to the scientists and even some letters that contained bombs. One of the letter bombs addressed to the manager of Factory 333 [the Egyptian facility] exploded and badly injured the man's secretary, Hannelore Wende, on November 27. The next day another bomb sent to the factory exploded and killed five persons. Other bombs were discovered and defused. The terror continued until March 2, 1963, when an Israeli, Joseph Ben-Gal, and an Austrian colleague were arrested in Basle, Switzerland, for threatening Heidi Goerke, the daughter of Professor Paul Goerke, who was the leading scientist at Factory 333."

Source: Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem: The Six Days that Changed the Middle East in 1967, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984, pp. 101-102. Reprinted Brattleboro, VT: Amana Books, 1988.

"The terror campaign against Iraq [to prevent its development of a nuclear reaction] was similar to one carried out by Israel 19 years earlier against West German scientists working on Egypt's rocket program. That campaign was called Operation Damocles and involved kidnapping and letterbombs which caused the deaths of at least five persons in 1962-63."

Source: "Israel Bombs Iraq's Osirak Nuclear Research Facility" (Donald Neff; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; June 1995; pages 81-82).

"Dr. Heinz Krug, director of a Munich-based Egyptian front company called Intra, had disappeared mysteriously and was presumed murdered in September 1962. On 7 October Harel [Isser Harel, Mossad head] left for Europe 'to personally supervise authorized operations and the special collection programme.' In November Aman [IDF intelligence branch] sent several letter bombs to the rocket installations in Egypt and one of them, a large parcel that had been mailed by sea from Hamburg, killed five Egyptians. Someone with a black sense of humour dubbed the campaign 'post mortem.'" [RM comment: I'm sure the murdered scientists' families would find that joke a real side-splitter.]

Source: Ian Black and Benny Morris, Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services, New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991, p. 195-199. The quote is on p. 196.

Other sources:

Who Are the Terrorists?, pp. 40-41, also cites Keesing's, XIV (1963-1964), 19635A, and New York Times Magazine, February 8, 1970, p. 88. According to these sources, a second bomb exploded, killing a sixth scientist.

Shooting Down of Libya Airlines Flight 114 (February 21, 1973)

What happened: Disoriented in a sudden sandstorm on a regular flight from Tripoli to Cairo, Flight 114 entered airspace over the Sinai peninsula, then occupied by Israel. Within minutes, Israel shot the plane down, killing 106 of the 113 on board, including an American. The place crashed only 20 kilometers from the Egyptian-Sinai line. Prime Minister Golda Meir, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, and Transportation Minister Shimon Peres found no fault with the Israel's actions.

"Libya: A Day to Remember"

Who Remembers LAA Flight 114? (WRMEA; September 19, 1983)

Bombing of Iraqi Nuclear Reactor (June 7, 1981)

"The Bush Doctrine Makes Nonsense of the UN Charter" (Jonathan Steele; The Guardian; June 7, 2002)

"Israel Bombs Iraq's Osirak Nuclear Research Facility" (Donald Neff; Washington Report on Middle East Affairs; June 1995; pages 81-82)

Osiraq/Tammuz I (Federation of American Scientists)

"The Israeli Strike Against OSIRAQ: The Dynamics of Fear and Proliferation in the Middle East" (Lucien S. Vandenbroucke; Air University Review; Sept.-Oct. 1984)

See also the Zionist perspective:

"Twenty Years Later: Israel, Osiraq, and Anticipatory Self-Defense" (Louis Rene Beres; June 7, 2001)

Raid on the Iraqi Reactor (Virtual Jewish Encyclopedia; 1981)

Hebron Massacre (February 25, 1994)

What happened: American-born West Bank settler Dr. Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslims praying at the Tomb of the Patriarchs. He killed 29 Palestinians before being beaten to death by the worshippers. Settlers established a shrine to him that was forcibly removed by the Israeli Government only in 1999. His father later wrote that "Perhaps someday our leaders will remove the blinders from their eyes, stop running with the deluded, persecuting pack and find the integrity to print the truth about Baruch's final act of self-sacrifice."

Hebron Massacre (hebron.com)

"Graveside Party Celebrates Hebron Massacre" (BBC; March 21, 2000) Other settlers dress up like Goldstein at these memorials.

"Israeli Forces Dismantle Shrine to Hebron Killer" (Jewish Bulletin; January 7, 2000)

"The Background and Consequences of the Massacre in Hebron" (Israel Shahak; Middle East Policy; volume III, number 2 (1994))

"The Hebron Massacre: Another 'Defining Moment' in the Middle East" (Leon T. Hadar; WRMEA; April/May 1994)"

"Jewish Settler Terror Groups Have a Long History in Hebron" (Steve Sosebee; WRMEA; June 1994)

Open Directory: Hebron Massacre

See also the Zionist perspective:

"Why Did an Israeli Kill 29 Palestinian Worshipers in Hebron in 1994?

"Dr. Baruch Goldstein's Memory Should Be Rehabilitated" (Manfred and Anne Lehmann Foundation; 1997) This site quotes the father's letter.

Killing by Israeli Police of 13 Israeli Arabs during Week-Long Disturbances (October 1-8, 2000)

See resources collected in the Palestinians Living in Israel section of this Research Guide.


Part 3: General Sources on Zionist/Israeli Massacres and Other Terrorism.


"Not Only Deir Yassin" (Guy Erlich, Ha'ir [Israeli newspaper], 6 May 1992) Essential

"According to [Israeli historian Aryeh] Yitzhaki, about ten major massacres were committed in the course of the War of Independence (i.e. more than fifty victims in each massacre) and about a hundred smaller massacres (of individuals or small groups). ... The historian Uri Milstein, a myth-shatterer, corroborates Yitzhaki's assessment regarding the massacres' extent and goes even further. 'If Yitzhaki claims that almost in every village there were murders, then I maintain that even before the establishment of the State, each battle ended with a massacre.'"


"Oy McVey: From the Irv Rubin Bust to the Stern Gang: The Rich History of Jewish Terrorism" (Jason Vest; The Village Voice; December 19-15, 2001)

"There are streets named after the assassins of Moyne and Bernadotte. They are historical figures not disavowed by the rhetoric of the state of Israel, nor is there any reflection on the fact that two terrorist leaders later became distinguished leaders of the republic."

"Kidnappings, Beatings, Murders and Hangings" (Britain's Small Wars, 1945-2001)

Israeli Black History

Zionist "Israeli" Terrorism 1939-1947

Israeli Massacres

Massacres Against Palestinians

Zionist Massacres

Zionist Terrorism

Print Resources:

Avner (pseud.), Memoirs of an Assassin: Confessions of a Stern Gang Killer, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959, 200 pp. ("the confessions of one of Lehi's most trusted executioners"; the authenticity of these accounts has been questioned)

Menachem Begin, The Revolt: The Story of the Irgun, New York: Henry Schuman, Inc., 1951, 386 pp. (by the leader of the Irgun and later Israel's prime minister)

J. Bowyer Bell, Terror Out of Zion: The Violent and Deadly Shock Troops of Israeli Independence, 1929-1949, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1977, 374 pp. (by author who appreciates the Irgun's and the Stern Gang's "accomplishments" but was not himself involved in those events)

Yitshaq Ben-Ami, Years of Wrath, Days of Glory: Memoirs from the Irgun, New York: Sheingold Publishers, 2nd ed., 1983, 620 pp. (by an Irgun member who seems to have been in the U.S. after 1939)

Geula Cohen, Woman of Violence: Memoirs of a Young Terrorist, 1943-1948, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1966, 275 pp. (by a Stern Gang member who seems to have spent most of the years under review in prison)

Joseph Heller, The Stern Gang: Ideology, Politics and Terror, 1940-1949, London: Frank Cass, 1995 (study by a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Doris Katz, The Lady was a Terrorist During Israel's War of Liberation, New York: Shiloni Publishers, 1953, 192 pp. (Katz and her husband Samuel [see the next title] were both members of the Irgun)

Samuel Katz, Days of Fire: The Secret History of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Making of Israel, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1968, 317 pp. (see also the preceding title)

Yaacov Meridor, Long Is the Road to Freedom, New York: United Zionists Revisionists, 1961, 298 pp. (story of the over 250 Irgun fighters who were imprisoned by the British in Africa during 1945-1948; the author was the Irgun's second-in-command)

Shepard Rifkin, What Ship? Where Bound?, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1961, 254 pp. (novel about the seamen on the first Irgun ship to run the British blockade of Palestine; not directly concerned with terrorism)

Eli Tavin and Yonah Alexander (eds.), Psychological Warfare and Propaganda: Irgun Documentation, Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc., 1982, 265 pp. (translations into English of Irgun documents, with commentary by the editors)

From http://www.robincmiller.com/melinkfr.htm