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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem

CHAPTER NINE Part 2 of 2

The towns of Lydda and Ramle were thoroughly ransacked and looted by theZionist soldiers. Civilians from surrounding Jewish settlements and from Tel Aviv also joined in the looting. All movable goods vanished. Doors, windows and tiles were ripped out of their houses.

David Ben-Gurion confirms this in his diary entry for July 15, 1948:

The bitter question has arisen regarding acts of robbery and rape in the conquered towns. Soldiers from all the battalions robbed and stole.(55)

The expulsion of the Arab populations of Lydda and Ramle in July 1948 accounted for a full one-tenth of the Arab expellees from Zionist-occupied Palestine during the war for the partition of Palestine. Seventy thousand civilians were totally uprooted and their property looted in this great war crime by the Zionists.

The robberies, rapes and murders accompanying the Zionist expulsion of the inhabitants of Lydda and Ramle were not unique, for equivalent crimes took place throughout Palestine. Neutral observers stated that the Zionist terrorization and other atrocities committed against the Palestinian Arabs and the wholesale looting of their possessions, were part of a calculated design by the Zionists to expel the Palestinians and deter them from ever returning.

Michael Palumbo reports:

The expulsion from Al Rama took place after the completion of Operation Matateh, when there were UN observers in the area. An American UN obsewer spotted the villagers on the road after they had been forced out of their homes by the Jews. Dr. Abdullah Sherban, a local doctor, told the UN investigators, ''I have been expelled from my village with all of the Christian inhabitants. I would like the UN to take action so that such a shame be stopped." After a thorough investigation at Al Rama, Commandant Perrossier of France, a senior UN observer, stated in his report: "The Jews have terrorized the Christian Arabs to force them to emigrate to Lebanon so that the Jews can get their land." He also noted, "The acts of looting in the village are similar to those in all of the villages evacuated by the inhabitants." Some villagers, however, suffered a worse fate than the people of Ghuweir and Al Rama.(56)

A. L. Miller, a YMCA official, was in Jerusalem when the Zionist atmities were revealed. He reported to his superiors that Arab morale was affected by the-crimes committed by the Jews, which in his view "really have been atrocities." Miller believed that the Jewish crimes greatly contributed to the Palestinian exodus. He noted: "In my opinion the atrocities were committed with this in view."(57)

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. Petite reported that looting was being conducted ina systematicmanner by the Israeli army which wascarrying off furniture, clothes, and any other property that could be used by new Jewish immigrants who were being settled into the city. The LJN obsewer reported that the looting was part of "a Jewish plan to prevent the return of refugees,'' similar to what was being done in other parts of the new Jewish state.(58)

Israeli journalist Tom Segev describes how many Zionists enriched themselves because of this policy:

And so tens of thousands of Israelis, soldiers and civilians, helped themselves to the spoils. One took an armchair, another a rug, a third took a sewing machine and a fourth - a combine; one took an apartment and another took a vineyard. Very quickly and easily a whole class - albeit a small one - of newly prosperous people appeared on the scene: merchants, speculators, contractors, agents of all sorts, industrialists and farmers. Some stole what property they could, others received theirs legally. A good many of the transactions fell into that grey area between what the law permitted and what was considered illegal, between outright robbery and official expropriation.(59)


1. On April 1, 1948 "Operation Nachson" was launched to carve out and hold a corridor from Tel Aviv on the coast to Jemsalem in the interior. This involved the occupation and destruction of Arab villages in this corridor. The massacre of Deir Yassin on April 10th was part of this operation. By April 12th, the Zionists had expelled about 15,000 Arab villagers from this corridor.

2. On April 13, 1948 "Operation Jephtha" was launched to clear eastern Galilee of Arabs and to link Tiberias and Safad. On April 18, the Zionists occupied Tiberias and brutally expelled 4,500 Palestinian Arabs from that city as well as about 14,000 Arabs from the neighboring villages.

3. On April 22, 1948, "Operation Misparayim" was launched for the capture of the whole of Haifa. Fearing for their lives, all bui a few thousand of Haifa's more than 60,000 Arab inhabitants fled.

4. On April 27 the Zionists attacked the villages around Jaffa, occupying Salameh, Yazur and others, expelling about 5,000 Arabs.

5. Also on April 27 the Zionists invaded the suburbs of Jerusalem and were able to occupy the quarters of Katamon, the German colony, and upper Bakaa, expelling about 30,000 Arabs.

6. Between April 28 and May 6 the Zionists attacked more Arab villages in Galilee and in the district of Beisan, expelling their inhabitants and committing horrid massacres to impel flight.

7. On May 7 the Zionists attacked the city of Safad. As a result, 25,000 Arabs were expelled from Safad and the surrounding villages.

8. On May 11 the Zionists completed their attack on the city of Jaffa, expelling 67,000 Arabs.

9. Also on May 11 th the Zionists occupied the town of Beisan in Northern Palestine, expelling 15,000 Arabs from the town and its surrounding villages.

10. On May 12 and 13 large scale operations were launched in the southern region of Palestine, expelling about 25,000 of its Arab inhabitants.

11. On May 14 "Operation Ben-Ami" was launched with the objective of occupying the city of Acre and its surrounding villages. More than 30,000 Arabs were expelled.

12. On May 14 following the withdrawal of the last British forces from Jerusalem, the Zionists occupied upper Baka, Mount Zion, Mamillah, Musrara and the southern outskirts of Jerusalem. More than 15,000 Arabs left the Jerusalem area, completing the expulsion of Arabs from modern Jerusalem.

13. On July 12-13 "Operation Dani" was launched with the Zionists occupying the cities of Ramle and Lydda and ruthlessly expelling 70,000 Arabs from their homes.

14. Between July 18-25 the Zionists attacked the Arab villages of Ein Ghazal and Jaba by air and land, systematically destroying the villages and making their 8,000 inhabitants homeless.

15. On October 31 the Zionists occupied the village of Ikrit in western Galilee, subsequently expelling its inhabitants. On the same day the village of Kfar Berem was occupied, and its inhabitants, too, were expelled.

This summary by no means exhausts the list of expulsions perpetrated by the Zionists against the Palestinian Arabs during the war. Many villages throughout the land were ruthlessly depopulated and then razed to the ground. Not even churches, mosques and cemeteries were spared.

This summary is not just cold numbers. The numbers represent a compendium of individual suffering by a huge proportion of the Palestinian Arab people. These civilian victims suffered the indiscriminate shelling and bombing of their native towns and villages. Their womenfolk experienced robbery and rape and the death of their infant children. Their menfolk experienced murder, humiliation and the loss of all their worldly possessions. Having been totally dispossessed and left destitute, their ancestral homes were looted of movable goods and then razed to the ground. The people themselves were herded like cattle in trucks or forced to tramp on aching feet to Jordan, Lebanon or Syria. The suffering of the despoiled Palestinians continues today as a homeless refugee nation.

Michael Palumbo writes:

Most of the Israeli atrocities in Upper Galilee were motivated by a desire to terrorize the population into fleeing. Some murders were committed for vengeance or to cover up looting. A few Zionist outrages appear to be almost senseless brutality. The American diplomat William Burdett reported to Washington that "after the surrender in three Arab villages in the Galilee area, the Jews ordered the villagers to turn in all of their arms in twenty-five minutes. When unable to meet the deadline, five men from one village and two each from another were selected at random and shot. Killings confirmed by UN investigations."(60)

At Safed prisoners captured during the fighting were treated by the Zionists with brutality. Netiva Ben Yehuda has written honestly about the slaughter of several groups of Arab POWs during and after the battle for Safed.

In one case she saw an intelligence officer torture about ten Arab prisoners with a hoe until they bled to death. "He beat these wounded men, burnt men who had not slept for days with their lips swollen from lack of water." The intelligence officer refused to allow the accumulated bodies to be carried out of the interrogation room since he wished to frighten the other Arabs who were brought in. Ben Yehuda was overwhelmed by the experience. Many of her fellow Palmachniks were also disgusted by the sight of blood and splattered brains. But the intelligence officer had only contempt for their humane sentiments.

He mumbled as he murdered the helpless prisoners: "These Palmachniks! Weaklings, what do they think? They escaped! Did they think we can maintain a state without such things? And is this the first time? So where are we to get men with guts to do things for us? Maybe we should hire people? Or hire some British? Free some Nazis!"(61)

... In the village of Jish in the Safed district, the thievety was particularly vicious, Two days after the village was captured, Israeli soldiers stole money, jewellery, and other valuables from several homes. An Arab member of the Knesset later noted: "When the people who were robbed insisted on being given receipts, they were taken to aremote place and shot dead." The village complained to the local commander who had the bodies brought back to the village. "The finger of one of the dead had been cut off to remove a ring." In a conversation with Ben Gurion one of the Prime Minister's most trusted military advisers, Fred Grunich, revealed that among the atrocities he had observed was "the horror of the seizure of the Arab village Jish including the massacre of civilians."(62)

Dr. Nafez Nazzal personally interviewed witnesses in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. His book provides the best direct evidence from witnesses who testified about their personal experience and what happened to their families, relatives and the inhabitants of their towns and villages.

The Arab village of Safsaf is about seven kilometers northwest of Safad. In 1948 it had about one thousand inhabitants. On the evening of October 29, 1948, the Zionists shelled the village, occupying it the next dav and ordering the villagers to line up. Eyewitness Umm Shahadah al-Salih testifies:

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 seventy of our men were blindfolded and shot to death, one after the other, in front of us.(63)

Seventy unarmed men shot to death out of a village with a total population of 1,000 men, women and children! The world cannot believe that Jewish survivors of Nazi atrocities could commit cold-blooded murder on Palestinian Arabs who did them no harm. But the bullets directed by Nazi war criminals at Jews were echoed by bullets directed by Zionist war criminals at Arabs.

As for rape, a contempt for womanhood is clear in the words of Agriculture Minister Aharon Zisling:

It has been said that there were cases of rape. I could forgive acts of rape but I won't forgive other deeds, which appear to me much graver. When a town is entered and rings are forcibly removed from fingers and jewellery from necks - that is a very grave matter.(64)

A crime against a woman's body, if she is an Arab woman, is not as grave as stealing her jewellery in Zionist eyes! Defiling her body is of minor importance. Not turning her jewelry over to the Zionist authorities is a "grave" crime! Eyewitness Kamal Sulaiman 'Abdulmu'ti testifies about what happened in the Arab village of El Bi'na:

When El Bi'na was taken by the Jews, my family and 1 were in El Bi'na's orchards to the north. The Jews grouped us with the other villagers, separating us from our women. We remained all day in the village courtyard, thirsty and hungry. Two villagers asked permission to bring water to the elderly and the children. The Jews took the men to get the water, but they shot them instead. The Jews searched us, took what little money we had, our rings and watches, and chose about 200 men at random and drove away with them in trucks toward Er Rama. We do not know what happened to them. The rest of us were to proceed north to Lebanon. We were forced to travel at night with our old men, women and children. The Jews shot into the air to terrify us. They injured my nine-year-old son in his knee. We walked for hours."(65)

The shooting of unarmed men was a common practice. What the Zionists so proudly proclaim a "War for Independence," was more exactly an exercise in butchery. Even a white flag of surrender in an unarmed village was not respected. A good example is the village of Majd el Kurum, about 18 kilometers east of Acre, with a population of 1,400 Arabs. According to the eyewitness testimony of 'Umm 'Abid al-Qiblawi:

During the morning of October 30, 1948 a few villagers decided to carry white flags and meet the Jews west of the village, to tell the Jewish soldiers thatthevillage wasprepared to surrender. The Jewish force entered the village and ordered us to assemble in the center of the village. Jewish soldiers picked twelve of our men at random, blindfolded them, and shot them in front of us.(66)

In many cases the Zionists killed Palestinian villagers by bombardment from the air, the same type of war crime they continued for decades afterwards against Palestinians in refugee camps. A good example is the Arab village of Saffuriya, about six kilometers northwest of Nazareth. It had a population of 4,330 Palestinians. During the night of July 15, 1948, three airplanes bombed Saffuriya. According to the eyewitness testimony of a village farmer, Salih Muhammad Nassir:

Three Jewish planes flew over the village and dropped barrels filled with explosives, metal fragments, nails and glass. They were very loud and disrupting. They shook the whole village, broke windows, doors, killed at least eleven and wounded at least tour of the villagers and many of the village livestock. We expected a war but not an air and tank war.(67)

The ruthless shelling and bombing of civilian targets was designed to impel the flight of the Palestinian Arabs, to force their expulsion from their homeland. A good example is the village of Kuweitat about nine kilometers northeast of the city of Acre, with a population of 1,050 Arabs. During the night of July 9-10, 1948, the Zionists shelled Kuweikat. According to the eyewitness testimony of Hassan Ahmad 'Abdullatif:

We were wakened by the loudest noise we had ever heard, shells exploding and artillery fire. The whole village was in panic. Women were screaming, children were crying. Most of the villagers began to flee with their pajamas on.(68)

Those few villagers, mostly elderly people, who remained in Kuweikat during the night of the attack, were expelled.

When indiscriminate bombing and shelling did not sufficiently impel the civilian Arab population to leave, the Zionists utilized other methods to "encourage" the depopulation of Arab villages. According to the eyewitness testimony of the uncle and aunt of Hussain As'ad Khalil of the village of El Bassa, about 18 kilometers north of Acre with a population of about 3,000 Arabs:

On May 14, 1948 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. During the following day we were transferred to El Mazra'a, where we met other people gathered form the surrounding villages.(69)

When bombing and shelling and the shooting of unarmed civilians to set an example of the fate awaiting those who would remain in their village was insufficient to force the Palestinians out, the Zionists would simply order the inhabitants to leave. The eyewitness testimony of Hussain 'Ali Yusif recounts what happened when the village of Er Rama fell to the Jews:

The people in Er Rama were ordered to assemble at the center of the village. A Jewish soldier stood on the top of a rise and addressed us. He ordered us to leave to Lebanon, threatening death to those taking any of their belongings with them.(70)

It was not enough that Palestinians should have their homes and farmland stolen; they faced the death penalty if they should try to carry out any of their belongings with them!

Sometimes a villager would try to sneak back to his home to save some of his worldly possessions. His fate was often death at the hands of the Zionists. According to the eyewitness testimony of Hussain 'Ali Harnid of the Arab village of 'Ein ez Zeitun:

I and five other villagers went back to get the money that we had buried in our courtyards. Rashid Khalil, the first to enter the village, was shot dead by a Jewish soldier. We saw it was too dangerous to go in and decided to leave to Lebanon.(71)

'Ein ez Zeitun' is a village on the northern outskirts of the city of Safad, with a population of approximately 900 Palestinian Arabs, It became the scene of barbarous cruelties. After the Palmach terrorists occupied the village on the night of May 1, 1948 they ordered the villagers to assemble at Mahmud Hamid's courtyard. Then the women were separated from the men and were taken to a courtyard behind the village mosque. According to the eyewitness testimony of Muhammad Ahmad Hamid. a mechanic:

I decided not to leave the village and hid in a nearby stable, close to my house. I remained in hiding for a while and then decided to join the people assembled at Mahmud Hamid's courtyard. As I was crossing the street, I was caught. The Jewish soldiers took me to the center of the village. There I saw Jamil Ahmad Idris crucified on a tree. I was beaten and questioned, then I was ordered to join the men in the courtyard. 72

In 'Ein ez Zeitun, Palestinians were killed as they tried to surrender. According to villager Mansur Shaibi:

We were terrified and decided to remain in our house with some of our relatives. We were afraid to surrender because Rashid Shaibi, who was hiding with us, had seen 'Abdullaj Shaibi killed as he was trying to surrender.(73)

At the courtyard a horrible crime took place. According to the testimony of eyewitness Munira Harnid Shaibi, after being taken to the courtyard where the villagers had been gathered,

A Palmach officer ordered his soldiers to choose thirtyseven teenaged boys at random, ordering the rest of the villagers to move into the storage rooms of the mosque. Those boys were taken away and were never seen again. One was my brother. I do not think my brother is alive. I think the Jews killed him. Why would the Jews keep him for so long? What use is he to them?(74)

It is unreasonable to believe that not even one of thirty seven teenaged boys in 1948 would try to contact their families during the four decades since they were separated from them. The only reasonable assumption is that they cannot speak because they are buried in an unmarked mass grave.

After expelling those Palestinian Arabs they had not murdered, the Zionists wantonly burned and destroyed the houses of the inhabitants they had expelled. Anexample is the village of El Khalisa, about 28 kilometers north of Safad, which had a population of approximately 1,900 Arabs. Eyewitness testimony of villager Ahmad Hussain al-'Ali, who had fled with his family for their lives to Lebanon, recounts:

I left the village without harvesting my grain. I returned to collect some of our tobacco and grain to keep my family from starving in Lebanon. At the village we found that the Jews had burned and destroyed many houses. The village was in ruins.(75)

Many times Palestinian Arabs from villages on main roads fled temporarily for safety to nearby villages, expecting to return to their homes when the fighting died down. When they tried to return home, they found that the Zionists had wantonly destroyed their homes to make it impossible for the indigenous Arab populace to return. A good example is that of Es Sumeiriya, a village about six kilometers north of the city of Acre on the main road between Acre and the Lebanese border. It had a population of about 800 Arabs. According to the eyewitness testimony of such a villager, Ibrahim Taher Sa'ayah, who returned to Es Sumeiriya three days after the village was captured by the Zionists: "Few people were in the village. Most of the village was de~troyed."(76)

Many of the villagers of Es Sumeiriya had temporarily fled for relative safety to the village of El Ghabisiya, about twelve kilometers northeast of the city of Acre, with about 1,300 inhabitants. According to the eyewitness testimony of Hussain Shahadah:

At dawn on May 21, the Zionists approached El Ghabisiya. They shelled the village, killing and injuring many of the villagers as they were fleeing. We left in such a hurry that I was unable to take anything with me.(77)

When an entire village was not immediately destroyed at the time of its occupation, it was nonetheless predestined for obliteration. An example is the village of Ez Zib, about 14 kilometers north of Acre with a population of approximately 2,000 Palestinians. According to the eyewitness testimony of villager As'ad Qiblawi:

I returned to the village about a month after it had fallen into Jewish hands, to bring a few things from my home. I talked to the elderly people who had remained; they were all staying at Abu Salih's house. They said that the Jewish soldiers haddestroyed most of the al-Ramil area, south of the village, and the eastern section.(78)

Ez Zib, like many other Arab villages, had totally disappeared. It was pulled down and converted into a kibbutz, Gesher Hazaf, now inhabited by American, British and South African Jews. Its inhabitants have seen their ancestral village erased from the map, their lands expropriated for the benefit of foreign colonists receiving largesse from abroad while they subsist in the bitterness of enforced exile.

On the path to this enforced exile the Palestinian Arabs had many bitter pills to swallow. Here is the eyewitness testimony of Aminah Muhammad Musa of the village of Kabri:

My husband and I left Kabri on foot the day before it fell. We were met by the Jews, who stopped and searched us. They took my jewelry - gold earrings, a necklace, and four bracelets - and forty Palestinian pounds we had with us. One of the Jews kept saying, "I will give this necklace to my girlfriend." I did not say a word to him because I knew they were our enemies and that they had no mercy on us. A Jewish officer interrogated us and, putting a gun to my husband's neck, took him away. An officer came and asked me not to cry. He said he would bring my husband back, except that he had already been killed. The next morning I found the body of my dead husband. He was shot in the back of the head. I did not know what to do. I could not dig a grave for him. We carried him on a piece of wood to the cemetery and buried him in his mother's grave. Until today I worry and pray that I buried him the right way, in the proper position.(79)

The Zionists chased their Palestinian Arab victims from town to town, from village to village. According to eyewitness testimony of Muhammad Qassim Tarawiya of the village of Edh Dhahiriya et Tahta, about two kilometers southwest of Safad, with a population of about 400 Arabs:

With the fall of Safad we left with our families. I tried to return to our village with some others to bring out some of our belongings. The Zionists had planted mines. Some were blown up by Jewish mines. My father, brother, wife and children stayed with me on the outskirts of the village of Farradiya. My mother, sister, cousin and nephew stayed at Safsaf. When the Jews bombed Safsaf, my mother, sister and other relatives were among those killed there.(80)

Massacre, murder, rape, robbery, death and destruction propelled the Palestinians from their homeland. Even Zionist soldiers themselves admit to these unspeakable crimes for example, in the village of Duwayma, in the Hebron district:

They killed some eighty to one hundred Arabs, women and children. The children were killed by smashing their skulls with clubs .... In the village there remained Arab men and women who were put in the houses without food. Then the sappers came to blow up the houses.(81)

One of the survivors of the massacre, Hassan Mahmud Hodeib, said that on 28 and 29 October 1948,20 tanks from Moshe Dayan's 89th attalior surrounded the village and committed mass murder against its civilian inhabitants. Among the victims were 75 elderly people who took refuge in a mosque. Members of 35 families were discovered hiding in a cave and were machinegunned. The Israeli newspaper Hadashot confirmed the massacre when its correspondent, Yoella Har-Shefi, uncovered skeletons in a cistern near the village 36 years later, in 1984.(82)

The depopulation and destruction of Palestinian Arab cities, towns and villages was also accompanied by the expulsion of thousands of Bedouins from their traditional lands, many of whom "had definitely reached the semi-nomadic stage in pre-Partition Palestine."(83) In the Negev alone, there were "approximately 90,000 Bedouins divided among ninety-five tribes."(84) Due to the attacks of the Zionist invaders in their lands, only about 10,000 Bedouins were left in the Negev after the 1948 war.(85)

All of these expulsions, from towns and villages, and of the Bedouin tribes, Zionist propaganda attributes to appeals by radio broadcasts of the Arab leaders telling their people to leave. These non-existent appeals are a total fabrication intended to cover up the war crime of the expulsion of the Palestinians.

Erskine Childers, a British journalist, examined the records of all broadcasts by Arab transmitters in the Middle East in 1948, which had been monitored by the BBC. Childers concludes that

There was not a single order, or appeal, or suggestion about evacuation from Palestine from any Arab radio station, inside or outside Palestine, in 1948. There is repeated monitored record of Arab appeals, even flat orders, to the civilians of Palestine to stay put.(86)

The IDF Intelligence Branch Report, in the words of Jewish scholar Benny Morris, as reported in The Jerusalem Post, confirms Childers' conclusions:

Significantly... the report makes no mention of any blanket order issued over Arab radio stations, or through other means, to the Palestinians to evacuate their homes and villages.(87)

So, when the transcripts of the Arab broadcasts and the Zionists' own internal intelligence documents are examined, the official reason given by the Zionist State for the exodus of the Palestinians is found to be a pure hoax.

The expulsion of the Palestinians continued after the 1948 war. Using allegedly "legal" methods, this removal and expulsion of as many as possible of the remaining Palestinian Arabs was directed from the highest levels of the Zionist State by a "Committee for Removal and Expulsion," chaired by David Ben-Gurion. Tom Segev discovered that although "Ben-Gurion in his diary referred to the Committee for 'Removal and Expulsion,' the editors of the Prime Minister's diary saw fit to 'correct' his wording. According to them, the committee dealt with 'evacuation and repopulation.'"(88)

The legal fictions used by the Zionists to expel Palestinians from their homes after the creation of Israel are practically without precedent. They declared people whose entire roots are in Palestine for millennia to be aliens, and have made automatic citizens of Jews who have no roots in Palestine whatsoever.

If a Palestinian had so much as left Palestine for a visit to another country, or had even left his town or village, or even his part of a city at any time after November 29, 1947, he was declared an "absentee" without any rights whatsoever!(89)

Even if he had never left his village, a Palestinian was subject to eviction from his home on the flimsiest of pretexts. Entire villages were expelled to make room for new, alien immigrants.

On November 5, 1948 all of the Arabs of the village of Ikrit in western Galilee were expelled from their village.

On February 4, 1949 all of the inhabitants of the village of Kfar Anan were evicted from their homes, and half of them were forced to cross the armistice lines into the West Bank.

On June 5, 1949 the Zionist army and police surrounded three Arab villages in Galilee-Khasas, Qatiya and Yanuh, and expelled the inhabitants.

In January, 1950 a Zionist army unit ordered the Arab villagers of Ghabisiya to leave their homes within two days.

On July 7, 1950 some one hundred residents of the village of Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem were rounded up and taken to an "unknown destination."

On August 17, 1950 the Arab inhabitants of Mijdal in the south received an expulsion order and were dumped across the armistice line of the Gaza Strip over the next three weeks.

On November 17, 1951 a Zionist military detachment surrounded the village of Khirbet Buweishat, expelled the inhabitants and dynamited their homes.(90)

All of these Arabs were illegally expelled from their homes by any objective standard of law, and illegally forced to become refugees either within or without their native land.

The Zionists were implementing in Palestine the same "technique of depopulation" Adolf Hitler had called for in his speech to the Reichstag of October 6, 1939.(91)

Where the Zionists did not utilize legal fictions to expel Palestinian Arabs remaining in Occupied Palestine after the 1948 war, they continued using their established terrorist methods to frighten Palestinians into leaving. One of the most insidious methods they used was the placing of bombs by "persons unknown" in or near schools attended by Palestinian children.

As reported by Professor Sabri Jiryis, "In the years from 1956 through 1958, bombs were found near schools in Tayba, Nazareth, the villages of Bin Mahil and Jish, Baqa al Gharbiya, Kfar Kassim, Ramle and Tur'an, near a church at Safa Arnr, in a children's playground in Baqa al Gharbiya, and in the village of Sandaleh. A bomb exploded in August 1957 in Umm al Fahm, wounding four children, and in 1956 a bomb exploded in Sandaleh, causing the deaths of fourteen schoolchildren who had found it and were playing with it."(92)

The waging of such merciless war against schoolchildren could have had but one purpose: to frighten their parents into fleeing their homeland. Needless to say, the much admired Israeli Intelligence services were "unable" to find the perpetrators of these crimes.

That it was the policy of the Zionists to encourage the remaining Palestinian Arabs living under occupation to leave is supported by ample historical evidence. The diary of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion has an entry for September 26, 1948, in which he records that the notorious Yosef Weitz, head of the Jewish National Fund, proposed a series of measures to drive the Palestinian refugees further away. "They must be harassed continually," Weitz insisted.(93)

Yehoshua Felmam, Advisor on Arab Affairs to Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, said in an interview:

I was not surprised that the Arabs fled. It was a natural reaction. I behaved towards those who remained as a wolf in sheep's clothing - harsh, but outwardly decent.(94)

How "outwardly decent" were the Zionists in their treatment of the Palestinian Arabs? Let us quote from a report made by M. Sela, an officer from the Zionist police national headquarters on his visit to the Arab village of Elabun:

All the inhabitants of Elabun were deported, excepted for a small number of old people and children. The total number of inhabitants left in the village is fifty two. The priests complained bitterly about the expulsion of the villagers and demanded their return.(95)

It was, and is, the policy of the Zionist leaders to prevent the return of the Palestinian Arab refugees to their homeland, let alone to their ancestral homes and properties.

The Nazi war criminals were brought to justice for their war crime of expelling Jews, Poles, Frenchmen, Yugoslavs and others, but Zionist war criminals still enjoy the unlawful fruits of their war crimes. And the forcibly expelled Palestinian Arabs remain dispossessed- but they will never cease their yearning to return home, and sooner or later they will do so. Crime never pays and justice always triumphs in the end.


1. Alfred Rosenberg, Die Spur des Juden im Wandel der Zeiten (Munich: 1937), p. 133.
2. Gerhard Holdheim, "Der Zionismus in Deutschland," Suddeutsche Monatshefte, December 12, 1930, p. 855.
3. Jon and David Kimche, Des Zornes und des Herzen Wegen (Berlin: 1956), p. 26.
4. David Ben Gurion, Rebirth and Destiny of Israel (New York: 1954), p. 4 1.
5. Joseph Weitz, Yomani Veagroti Labanim, volume 2 (Tel Aviv: Masada, 1965), pp. 182-1 83.
6. Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer (Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin, 1944), p. 320.
7. David Ben Gurion, ed., Darkhei Mediniuteinu (The Ways of our Policy: A Full Report about the World Convention of Yehud Po'alei Zion, C.S..) (Tel Aviv: Federation of Po'alei Zion Publication, 1938), as quoted by Israel Shahak, "A History of the Concept of 'Transfer' in Zionism," Journal of Palestine Studies, volume 18, No. 3, Spring 1989, issue 71, pp. 23-24.
8. Shabtai Teveth, Ben Gurion and the Palestinians, p. 189, as quoted by Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe (London: Quartet Books, 1987), p. 32.
9. Ben Gurion's Diary, volume 1, December 19, 1947, as quoted by Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, p. 40.
10. Ben Gurion's Archives (Sde Boker), Mapai Protocols, 4 April, 1948, as quoted by Palumbo, p. 143.
11. Who's Who in Israel 1972, (Tel Aviv: Bronfman & Cohen
Publishers, 1972), p. 51.
12. Roberta Strauss Feurlicht, The Fate of the Jews (New York:
Times Books, 1983), p. 243.
13. The Jerusalem Post, March 29, 1986, p. 15.
14. United Nations Progress Report of the United Nations Acting Mediator on Palestine Submitted to the Secretary-General for Transmission to the Members of the United Nations. General Assembly, Official Records: Third Session, Supplement No. 11 A, New York, p. 14.
15. C. L. Sulzberger, A Long Row of Candles (New York: Macmillan, 1969). p. 339.
16. Joachim C. Fest, The Face of the Third Reich (New York: Pantheon Books, 1970), p. 57.
17. Ibid.
18. Ze'ev Schiff, A History of the Israeli Army (New York: Macmillan, 1985), p.24.
19. Chaim Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars (New York: Random House, 1982), p. 33.
20. Nafez Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948 (The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978), pp. 28-29.
21. Ibid., p. 29.
22. Ibid.,p. 107.
23. Menachem Begin, The Revolt, (London: W. H. Allen, 1983), p. 363.
24. Diary of Sir Henry Gurney, entry for May 2, 1948, Middle East Center, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, as cited by Palumbo, p. 89.
25. Palumbo, p. 91.
26. 4512 meeting of Jewish Agency Executive, 6 May 1948, Central Zionist Archives (Jerusalem), as cited by Palumbo, p. 74.
27. Benny Morris, "The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus from Palestine: The Israel Defence Forces Intelligence Branch Analysis of June 1948," Middle Eastern Studies vol. 22, 1986, pp. 5-19.
28. Yitshaq Ben-Ami, Years of Wrath, Days of Glory (New York: Speller, 1982), p. 440.
29. Yigal Allon, The Making of Israel's Army (New York: Universe Books, 1970), pp. 194-195.
30. Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, 0 Jerusalem! (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972), pp. 521-522.
31. Morris, "The Causes and Character of the Arab Exodus from Palestine," p. 10.
32. Fest, The Face of the Third Reich, p. 90.
33. Morris, p. 10.
34. Ibid.
35. Schiff, A History of the Israeli Army,"p. 28.
36. Joseph Goebbels, "Warten Konnen," Der Angriff, February 18, 1929.
37. United Nations Progress Report, General Assembly, Official Records: Third Session, Supplement No. 11 A, New York, pp. 33-34.
38. Morris, p. 1 1.
39. Allon, The Making of Israel's Army, p. 177.
40. Morris, p. 1 1.
41. Ibid.
42. Ibid, pp. 13-14.
43. Ibid, pp. 13-18.
44. Benny Morris, "Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948," The Middle East Journal vol. 40, No. 1, Winter 1986, pp. 86-87.
45. Ibid., pp. 88-89.
46. Ibid., pp. 90-9 1.
47. Ibid., p. 92.
48. Ihid., pp. 96-97.
49. Ibid., pp. 97-99.
50. Palumbo, pp. 129-133.
51. London Economist, 21 August, 1948, cited by Palumbo, p. 129.
52. Middle East Center, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, Thames Interviews, Box 2, file 5, cited by Palumbo, p. 131.
53. Middle East Center, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, Thames Interviews, Box 2, file 1, cited by Palumbo, p. 133.
54. Public Records Office - London, FO 371-68578 E10440/4/3 1.
55. Ben-Gurion, Diary, volume 2, p. 589.
56. United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, Box 11, as quoted by Palumbo, p. 1 10.
57. American Friends Service Committee Archives (Philadelphia), Palestine 1948 Correspondence, as quoted by Palumbo, p. 101.
58. United Nations Archives 13/3.3.1, Box 13, as quoted by Palumbo, p. 119.
59. Tom Segev, 1949 The First Israelis (New York: The Free Press, 1986), p. 79.
60, U.S. State Department Files, National Archives (Washington, D.C.), File 867N. 0111 1-1 648. as cited by Palumbo, p. 171.
61. Koteret Rashit, 27 February 1985, as quoted by Palumbo, pp. 114-115.
62. Palumbo, p. 17 1.
63. Nafez Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948 (The Institute for Palestine Studies, 1978), p. 95.
64. Moms, "Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948," p. 105.
65. Nazzal, The Palestinian Exodus from Galilee 1948, p. 90.
66. Ibid., p. 92.
67. Ibid., pp. 72-73.
68. Ibid/u.
69. Ibid., p. 58.
70. Ibid., pp. 32-33.
71. Ibid., p. 37.
72. Ibid., p. 35.
73. Ibid.
74. Ibid., p. 36.
75. Ibid., pp. 47-48.
76. Ibid., p. 54.
77. Ibid., pp. 63-64.
78. Ibid., p. 56.
79. Ibid., pp. 61 -63.
80. Ibid., p. 43.
81. Davar, 6 September 1979, quoted in David Gilmour, Dispossessed: The Ordeal of the Palestinians (London: Sphere Books, 1980), pp. 68-69.
82. Al-Fajr (Jerusalem), 7 September, 1984.
83. D. H. K. Amiran and Y. Ben-Arieh, "Sedentarization of Bedouin in Israel," Israel Exploration Journal, volume 13, 1963, p. 169.
84. H. V. Muhsarn, Bedouin of the Negev: Eight Demographic Studies (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Academic Press Ltd., 1966), p. 24.
85. Kurt Goering, "Israel and the Bedouin of the Negev," Journal of Palestine Studies, volume 9, 1979, pp. 5-6.
86. Erskine Childers, The Other Exodus, Amman, 1965.
87. Benny Morris, "Jewish Attacks Caused Most of Arab Exodus," The Jerusalem Post, March 2, 1986, p. 1.
88. Segev, pp. 29-30.
89. Sabri Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1976), p. 83.
90. Ibid., pp. 8 1-82.
91. Fest, p. 99.
92. Jiryis, The Arabs in Israel, p. 155.
93. Segev, pp. 29-30.
94. Ibid., p. 67.
95. Ibid., p. 28.

Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
By Issa Nakhleh

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