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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem

CHAPTER TEN EXAMPLES OF MASSACRES COMMITTED BY THE ZIONISTS Part 1 of 3

The horrendous crimes of World War II left in their wake an advancement in the international legal system concerning criminal responsibility for the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Political authorities, military commanders and their subordinates alike have since legally borne full responsibility in international criminal law for failure to act as well as for any acts in regard to crimes perpetrated within their realm of responsibility.

It is a great tragedy for the Jews of the world that the relatives and descendants of Jews who perished by the massacres and brutalities committed by the Nazi war criminals in Babi Yar and Dubno and in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Belsen, Buchenwald, Fossenberg, Mauthausen, Natzwiler, Neuengamme, Ravensbmck, and Sachsenhausen, have committed similar crimes againsts the Palestinians in Palestine.

Study of the war crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine discloses that those who were responsible for these crimes ensured that all others in the Zionist structure would have to be accomplices. The Zionists have systematically striven to remove conscience as a factor from any individual Jew in Palestine in the perpetration of their crimes.

To the outside world the Zionists have often tried to excuse crimes as "isolated incidents," "unpremeditated incidents," "acts of ultra-extremists," and other whitewashes that have misled world public opinion. In fact, all Zionist war crimes and crimes against humanity are planned in advance and executed for a desired effect, with malice aforethought and full knowledge of the consequences involved in order to serve the Zionist objective, namely, the annihilation of the Palestinians and the establishment of a Jewish State.

The Zionists claim that 6,000,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis, but the Zionists killed more than 100,000 Palestinians and committed genocide by destroying the existence of Palestinians as a nation and made Palestinians refugees living in exile. Massacres are massacres, whether six million or one hundred thousand are massacred. The Zionists throughout the world and particularly in the United States of America are accessories to the war crimes committed by their coreligionists in Palestine because they have aided and abetted them in the commission of these crimes and try to whitewash and cover up these war crimes committed against the Palestinians.

This chapter recounts the massacres at the King David Hotel, the Semiramis Hotel, Deir Yassin, Dawayma, Kibya, Kafr Kassim, the attacks on the USS Liberty and the Libyan Boeing 727 Airliner, and the massacres against Sabra and Shatila and other refugee camps in Lebanon.

THE KING DAVID MASSACRE

The King David Hotel explosion of July 22, 1946, which resulted in the deaths of 92 Britons, Arabs and Jews, and in the wounding of 58, was not just an "extremist act" of "Jewish extremists," but a premeditated massacre conducted by the Irgun in agreement with the highest Jewish political authorities in Palestine, the Jewish Agency and its head David Ben-Gurion.

According to Yitshaq Ben-Ami, a Palestinian Jew who spent 30 years in exile after the establishment of Israel investigating the crimes of the "ruthless clique heading the international Zionist movement,"

The Irgun had conceived a plan for the King David attack early in 1946, but the green light was given only on July first. According to Dr. Sneh, the operation was personally approved by Ben-Gurion, from his self-exile in Europe. Sadeh, the operations officer of the Haganah, and Giddy Paglin, the head of the Irgun operation under Menachem Begin agreed that thirty-five minutes advance notice would give the British time enough to evacuate the wing, without enabling them to disarm the explosion.(1)

The Jewish Agency's motive was to destroy all evidence the British had gathered proving that the terrorist crime waves in Palestine were not merely the actions of "fringe" groups such as the Irgun and Stern Gang, but were committed in collusion with the Haganah and Palmach groups and under the direction of the highest political body of the Zionist establishment itself, namely the Jewish Agency.

That so many innocent civilian lives were lost in the King David massacre is a normal part of the pattern in the history of Zionist outrages: A criminal act is committed, allegedly by an isolated group, hut actually under the direct authorization of the highest Zionist authorities, whether ofi the Jewish Agency during the Palestine Mandate or of the Government of Israel thereafter.

The following is a statement made in the House of Commons by then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee:

On July 22, 1946, one of the most dastardly and cowardly crimes in recorded history took place. We refer to the blowing up of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Ninety-two persons lost their lives in that stealthy attack, and 45 were injured, among whom there were many high officials, junior officers and office personnel, both men and women. The King David Hotel was used as an office housing the Secretariat of the Palestine Government and British Army Headquarters. The attack was made on 22 July at about 12 o'clock noon when offices are usually in full swing. The attackers, disguised as milkmen, carried the explosives in milk containers, placed them in the basement of the Hotel and ran away.

The Chief Secretary for the Government of Palestine, Sir John Shaw, declared in a broadcast: "As head of the Secretariat, the majority of the dead and wounded were my own staff, many of whom I have known personally for eleven years. They are more than official colleagues. British, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians; senior officers, police, my orderly, my chauffeur, messengers, guards, men and women, - young and old - they were my friends.

"No man could wish to be served by a more industrious, loyal and honest group of ordinary decent people. Their only crime was their devoted, unselfish and impartial service to Palestine and its people. For this they have been rewarded by cold-blooded mass murder."

Although members of the Irgun Z'vai Leumi took responsibility for this crime, yet they also made it public later that they obtained the consent and approval of the Haganah Command, and it follows, that of the Jewish Agency.(2)

The King David Hotel massacre shocked the conscience of the civilized world. On July 23, 1946, Anthony Eden, leader of the then British opposition Conservative Party, posed a question in the House of Commons to Prime Minister Atlee of the Labor Party, asking "the Prime Minister whether he has any statement to make on the bomb outrage at the British Headquarters in Jerusalem." The Prime Minister responded:

Hon. Members will have learned with horror of the brutal and murderous crime committed yesterday in Jerusalem. Of all the outrages which have occurred in Palestine, and they have been many and horrible in the last few months, this is the worst. By this insane act of terrorism 93 innocent people have been killed or are missing in the ruins. The latest figures of casualties are 41 dead, 52 missing and 53 injured. I have no further information at present beyond what is contained in the following official report received from Jerusalem:

"It appears that, after exploding a small bomb in the street, presumably as a diversionary measure - this did virtually no damage - a lorry drove up to the tradesmen's entrance of the King David Hotel and the occupants, after holding up the staff at pistol point, entered the kitchen premises carrying a number of milk cans. At some stage of the proceedings, they shot and seriously wounded a British soldier who attempted to interfere with them. All available information so far is to the effect that they were Jews. Somewhere in the basement of the hotel they planted bombs which went off shortly afterwards. They appear to have made good their escape.

"Every effort is being made to identify and arrest the perpetrators of this outrage. The work of rescue in the debris, which was immediately organized, still continues. The nextof- kin of casualties are being notified by telegram as soon as accurate information is available. The House will wish to express their profound sympathy with the relatives of the killed and with those injured in this dastardly outrage."(3)

THE SEMIRAMIS HOTEL MASSACRE

The Jewish Agency escalated their terror campaign against Palestinian Arabs. They decided to perpetrate a wholesale massacre by bombing the Semiramis hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, in order to drive out the Palestinians from Jerusalem. The massacre of the Semiramis Hotel on January 5, 1948, was the direct responsibility of Jewish Agency leader David Ben-Gurion and Haganah leaders Moshe Sneh and Yisrael Galili, If this massacre had taken place in World War 11, they would have been sentenced to death for their criminal responsibility along with the terrorists who placed the explosives.

A description of the massacre of the Semiramis Hotel from the United Nations Documents follows, as well as the Palestine Police report on the crime sent to the Colonial Office in London:

5 January 1948. Haganah terrorists made amost barbarous attack at one o'clock in the early morning of Monday, 5 January 1948, at the Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, killing innocent people and wounding many. The Jewish Agency terrorist forces blasted the entrance to the hotel by a small bomb and then placed bombs in the basement of the building. As aresult of the explosion the whole building collapsed with its residents. As the terrorists withdrew, they started shooting at the houses in the neighborhood. Those killed were: Subhi El-Taher, Moslem; Mary Masoud, Christian; Georgette Khoury, Christian; Abbas Awadin, Moslem; Nazira Lorenzo, Christian; Mary Lorenzo, Christian; Mohammed Saleh Ahmed, Moslem; Ashur Abed El Razik Juma, Moslem; Ismail Abed El Aziz, Moslem; Ambeer Lorenzo, Christian; Raof Lorenzo, Christian; Abu Suwan Christian family, seven members, husband, wife and five children.

Besides those killed, 16 more were wounded, among them women and children.(4)

The following is a text of a cable by the High Commissioner for Palestine to the Colonial Office about the massacre:

Jerusalem. 0117 hours, Urban. At approximately 01 17 hours, a grenade was thrown into the Semiramis Hotel, Katamon Quarter, causing superficial damage but no casualties. During the ensuing confusion, a charge was placed in the building and it exploded about one minute later, completely demolishing half the hotel. Witnesses have stated that the perpetrators arrived by way of the Upper Katamon Road in two taxis. Four persons are reported to have alighted from the first taxi, and one person, who apparently covered the main party, from the second. All were wearing European clothes.

The following are the known casualties: Dead - Manuel Allendesalazar y Traveseda - Spanish Consul at Jerusalem; Nazira Lorenzo; Mary Lorenzo; Abbas Ahmed Awadin, an Egyptian waiter, and Ashur Abdul RazzikJuma. (The last two named have not yet been extricated from the debris.) Seriously Injured - Mrs. Georgette Khouri, aged 38, of Jaffa. Slightly Injured - Silvo Lorenzo; Eddy Lorenzo; Rene Lorenzo; Rita Lorenzo; Joseph Lorenzo; Dr. Abu Sawan; Cyril Abu Sawan; Matier Abu Sawan; Friek Batawi; Daoud Khadoush; Mohammed Ahmed Abdul Najib; Ibrahim Nicola; Hassan Mohammed; Awad Mohammed; Hassan Ibrahim; and No. 874 F.P.C. Hamil Ragheb Dajani.

The following are believed to be buried underneath the debris: Raouf Lorenzo and his wife; Lutfi Abu Sawan (62) and his wife (45); Labibeh Lorenzo (40); Hubert Lorenzo (25); Subhi Taha (25); Amneh Abdul Azziz Zorob (34); Ismail Zaid Abdo (15), son of AmnehZorob; and Gharviayeh Saoud Abu Yunis (30).

The bodies of two of these persons have been extricated from the debris but have not yet been identified.

Heavy firing broke out in the Katamon area after the first explosion, and Mohammed Ahmed Saleh of Beit Rima, who was near the hotel in the company of another Arab, was shot in the head and killed.(5)

DEIR YASSIN MASSACRE, APRIL 9, 1948

The first major massacre in the 1948 War was the massacre of Deir Yassin on April 9110, 1948. It was designed to spread terror and panic among the Palestinian population in every city and village of Palestine in order to frighten them into fleeing, so that their homes and land could be confiscated for the use of Jewish colonialist settlers. The tactics of the Zionist Jews were to frighten defenseless people into fleeing their homes out of fear for their lives.

Two hundred and fifty people were slaughtered. Mutilating the bodies, even before death, the culprits cut off parts and opened the bellies of others. Nursing babies were butchered on the bosoms of helpless mothers.

Of those two hundred and fifty people, twenty-five pregnant women were bayoneted in their abdomens while still alive. Fifty-two children were maimed under the eyes of their own mothers, and then they were slain and their heads cut off. Their mothers were in turn massacred and their bodies mutilated. About sixty other women and girls were also killed and their bodies mutilated. Such are the historical facts concerning the horrible crime perpetrated against the Arab village of Deir Yassin.

On the night of April 9/10, 1948, the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin, a suburb of Jerusalem, was surprised by loudspeakers calling upon the inhabitants to evacuate the village immediately. The villagers woke up and, in a state of turmoil and fear, proceeded to investigate what was going on, only to find themselves surrounded on all sides by Jewish gangs. The Jews made use of the prevailing state of fright and disorganization by killing and mutilating people who had been deprived of every opportunity to defend themselves.

The marauders were not satisfied with the crimes they had committed in the village. They gathered together the women and girls who were still alive, and after removing all their clothes, put them in open cars, driving them naked through the streets of the Jewish section of Jerusalem, where they were subjected to the mockery and insult of the onlookers. Many took photographs of those women.

The crime of Deir Yassin shocked the world, which called upon the International Red Cross Society to establish the truth. The representative of the Red Cross, Mr. Jacques Reynier, asked the Jewish Agency for permission to visit the site of the massacre. The granting of this permission was delayed twenty four hours while the Jews tried to erase the traces of their crimes. They gathered together all that was possible to collect of the parts of the mutilated bodies of their victims, dumped them in the cistern of the village and locked it up. They did all they could to obliterate any traces that the representative of the Red Cross could come across. On visiting the site of the crime, however, the representative of the Red Cross discovered the cistern, and found one hundred and fifty maimed bodies of women andchildren. He couldexpress his horror, disgust and fright at the sight only by declaring that "the situation was horrible."

In addition to the bodies that he had found in the cistern, the representative of the Red Cross discovered many other corpses scattered throughout the backstreets of the village and buried under the debris of the destroyed homes. Mr. Reynier found under a mound of dead bodies a girl of six who had been seriously wounded, but was not yet dead. He extracted the girl from under the human debris and carried her with him to the hospital.

All the Jewish Agency (the body responsible at that time for the activities of the Jewish gangs) did was to express its sorrow and condemn the affair as if it had been completely unaware of it.

David Shaltiel, Commander of the Haganah, released a communique about Deir Yassin on April 10, in which he stated:

This morning, the last Lehi and Etzel soldiers ran from Deir Yassin, and our forces entered the village. We were forced to take command of the village after the splinter forces (Irgunists and Stemists) opened a new enemy front and then fled, leaving the western neighborhoods of the city open to enemy attack.

The splinter groups did not launch a military operation ... They could have attacked enemy gangs in the Jerusalem area and lightened the burden which Jerusalem bears. But they chose one of the quiet villages in the area that has not been connected with any of the gang attacks since the start of the present campaign; one of the few villages that has not let foreign gangs in.

For a full day, Etzel and Lehi soldiers stood and slaughtered men, women and children, not in the course of the operation, but in a premeditated act which had as its intention slaughter and murder only. They also took spoils, and when they finished their work, they fled ....(6)

The communique denied Irgun and Sternist claims that a Palmach force had participated in the attack. Enraged by this declaration, Raanan and Zetler released the text of the letter Shaltiel had sent them guardedly approving the attack in advance. Israel Galili, the Haganah commander, then asked Shaltiel about this letter, which Tel Aviv had never sanctioned. Shaltiel cabled back on April 15:

I learned they were preparing action against Deir Yassin. As I didn't want to meet them I sent a letter. I would stop to the extent possible future operations of dissidents.(7)

Two days after this maneuver of the Jewish Agency, the newspaper Hamashekev, the organ of the Irgun, replying to the Jewish Agency's condemnation of the Deir Yassin massacre, published the fact that the Commander of the Haganah (the organized forces of the Jewish Agency) had been fully aware in advance of the details of the plan and had already contemplated the occupation of Deir Yassin by the Irgun terrorists. Meanwhile, Menahem Begin, the leader of the Irgun gang, himself admitted on December 28, 1950, in a press interview in New York, that the Deir Yassin incident had been carried out in accordance with an agreement between the Irgun and the Jewish Agency and the Haganah.

Four criminals who had taken part in the Deir Yassin massacre and had been badly injured demanded remuneration from the Jewish authorities in occupied Palestine on the basis of a government decision to compensate all persons who suffered injuries during the fighting in Palestine. The authorities refused the request on the grounds that the Deir Yassin incident had not been perpetrated on orders from responsible Jewish authorities. The four culprits raised an action before the District Court at Tel-Aviv. They produced evidence that the Deir Yassin massacre had been carried out on the orders of the Jewish Agency, and in agreement with the Haganah. The District Court considered the evidence produced to be genuine and irrefutable and ruled that the plaintiffs should be compensated by the state.

By the criteriaestablished in the International War Crimes Tribunals after World War 11, the Irgun and Stern gang members directly responsible for the Deir Yassin massacre would receive death sentences for committing such an atrocity. The leaders of both gangs, including Menachem Begin of the Irgun and Yitzhak Shamir of the Stern Gang, would have been convicted with a death sentence for their Command Responsibility for the massacre. Moreover, the senior commanders of the Haganah, especially Chief of Staff Yaacov Dori and Commander David Shaltiel, and the political authority responsible for the discipline of the Jewish armed units, the Jewish Agency leaders and its head David Ben-Gurion, would have borne ultimate responsibility and would have been hung like their Nazi political counterparts after World War II.

THE MASSACRE OF DAWAYMA IN 1948

The following testimony of a soldier who participated in the occupation of the Palestinian village of Dawayma (in Haifa sub-district) on October 29, 1948 is only the most recently disclosed item in a long chain of evidence:

... They killed between eighty to one hundred Arab men, women and children. To kill the children they (soldiers) fractured their heads with sticks. There was not one home without corpses. The men and women of the villages were pushed into houses without food or water. Then the saboteurs came to dynamite them.

One commander ordered a soldier to bring two women into a building he was about to blow up .... Another soldier prided himself upon having raped an Arab woman before shooting her to death. Another Arab woman with her newborn baby was made to clean the place for a couple of days, and then they shot her and the baby. Educated and well-mannered commanders who were considered "good guys" ... became base murderers, and this not in the storm of battle, but as a method of expulsion and extermination. The fewer the Arabs who remain, the better.(8)

THE MASSACRE OF KIBYA

The Massacre of Kibya on October 14, 1953, was a continuation of such brutal, inhuman massacres as the King David Hotel, Semiramis Hotel and Deir Yassin. But it was also a watershed in one of the most sinister grand designs in military history - a deliberate turning of an entire officer corps into a cabal with shared personal guilt for vicious war crimes.

The Nazis organized a separate all-volunteer army, under Heinrich Himmler, the Waffen SS. The SS was responsible for the majority of the German war atrocities comparable to those committed by the Zionists. In 1953, Ben-Gurion established an SS equivalent in the Zahal, designated as Commando Unit 101. This all-volunteer unit was responsible for the Kibya massacre and was given exemption from the rules of war as if the Geneva Convention never existed. The first, and only, commander of Commando Unit 101 was Ariel Sharon, the single person most responsible years later for the notorious Sabra and Shatila massacre in Beirut, Lebanon.

The guilt of Commando Unit 101 was in the most sinister fashion extended first to the Israeli Airborne forces, and subsequently to the entire career officer corps of the Israeli Army. Sharon maneuvered the resignation of the professional commander of the Israeli paratroops, Yehuda Harari, and amalgamated the paratroops along with Commando Unit 101 into Unit 202 of the Israeli Army.

The professionalism of the Israeli Airborne troops was thus destroyed, turning all Israeli paratroopers, not just the participants in the Kibya Massacre, into common criminals and murderers of innocent men, women and children.

The Zionists, having destroyed the professionalism of their own Airborne Force, proceeded to destroy the professionalism of the entire career Officer Corps of the Israeli Defense Forces. No senior officer of the IDF could gain promotion without prior service in the paratroops, and all paratroopers shared in war crimes guilt through assignments given them to murder civilians and to commit other acts illegal under the Geneva Convention.

According to an authoritative survey of the Israeli Army: "The silver parachute 'jump-wings' are worn by almost all Zahal officers, as it is normally a required qualification."(9)

The Government of Israel at the time claimed that the Kibya Massacre was performed by "civilian Jewish settlers." But the historical record shows that it was sanctioned by acting Prime Minister Moshe Sharrett, and was planned by Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon, the Chief of the General Staff Mordecai Maklef, and the Chief of Operations, General Moshe Dayan, in concert with vacationing Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

Despite the Israeli Government's attempt at cover-up, word spread of their responsibility for the Kibya Massacre and Ariel Sharon's role ultimately came out in connection with this crime. No less a Zionist figure than I.L. Kenen, the founding father of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), the official Israeli lobby in the United States, revealed in his Memoirs:

I was on my way home en the subway, headed for Riverdale, when I heard a brief news flash in the World Telegram disclosing that 66 Arabs had been killed at Kibya as Israelis sought to avenge the slaughter of an Israeli family. I did not know until years later that the raid was ordered by Ariel Sharon, the Israeli commander who led the invasion of Lebanon in 1982.(10)

At 9.30 p.m., on Wednesday, October 14, 1953, Israeli troops attacked the border Jordanian village of Kibya, Northwest of Jerusalem. Seven hundred regular Israeli troops participated in the attack in which mortars, machine guns, rifles and explosives were used. Forty-two houses as well as the school and the mosque of the village were dynamited. Every man, woman and child found by the criminal attackers was killed; all in all, seventy-five innocent villagers were murdered in cold blood that night. Later, the attackers turned their fire on the cattle, killing 22 cows. The attack was the bloodiest and most brutal Zionist crime since the infamous Deir Yassin massacre of 1948.

The Jordanian Government immediately informed the Truce Supervision Organization of the attack. The signatories of the Three Power Declaration of 1950 (U.S.A., Britain and France) were also informed of the serious consequences of the despicable Zionist aggression.

The Arab Legion cancelled all leaves, thousands of persons demonstrated in the streets of Amman, Nablus and Old Jerusalem asking for arms to avenge the innocent victims of Kibya. The Jordan Cabinet held a series of meetings with military chiefs to discuss measures to be taken to deal with the situation resulting from the Zionist attack. After a twohour meeting, the Jordan-Israeli Mixed Armistice Commission convicted Israel of the Kibya aggression.

REACTION OF WESTERN POWERS

In London, the Ministers of major western powers who were meeting in the British capital condemned the Israeli crime. The British Foreign Office issued a statement in which the attack was described as constituting the gravest violation of the Palestine Armistice Agreement and a serious threat to peace in the area. The statement added: "Her Majesty's ambassador in Tel-Aviv has been instructed to express to the Israeli Government the horror of her Majesty's Government at the apparently calculated attack. Her Majesty' Government expects the Israeli Government to bring to justice those who are responsible and to take measures to compensate the victims."

In Paris, the French Government announced that it associated itself with Great Britain in protesting in horror against the Israeli attack. A spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry also confirmed that a French note of protest was delivered to Israel through the French embassy in Tel-Aviv.

In Washington, the Department of State issued a statement in which it said: "The U.S. Government has the deepest sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in and near Kibya during the recent attack by Israeli forces. The shocking reports which have reached the Department of State of the loss of lives and property involved in this incident convince us that those who are responsible should be brought to account and that effective measures should be taken to prevent such incidents in the future."

JORDAN REPORTS KIBYA MASSACRE TO SECURITY COUNCIL

On October 16, 1953, Dr. Yousif Haikal, Jordanian Ambassador to the United Nations, addressed the following letter to the President of the Security Council reporting the Israeli Kibya attack(11):

Under instructions from my Government I have the honour to bring the following matter to your attention:

On Wednesday, October 14, 1953, at 9:30 p.m., a battalion scale attack was launched by Israeli troops on the village of Kibya in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Israelis entered the village and systematically murdered all occupants of houses, using automatic weapons, grenades, and incendiaries; and dynamited houses over victims' heads. On October 14, the bodies of forty-two Arab civilians were recovered. Four men and thirty-eight women and children bore small-arms or grenade wounds. Several more bodies were still under the wreckage. Forty houses, the village school, and a reservoir were destroyed. Twenty-two cattle were killed and six shops looted. Approach roads from neighbouring villages were mined. Several men of the village police and National Guards, who were absent on frontier duty preventing Jordan infiltrators from entering Israel, lost their families - one man lost his entire family of eleven. Quantities of unused explosives bearing Israel Army markings in Hebrew were found in the village.

At about 3:00 a.m., to cover their withdrawal, Israeli support troops began shelling the neighbouring villages of Budrus and Shuqba from positions in Israel, damaging a number of houses.

On that same day, October 14, Israel had been condemned by the Mixed Armistice Commission for ambushes on a civilian bus and taxi travelling between Beit Sira and Latrun. At an emergency meeting on October 15, the Mixed Armistice Commission condemned Israel by majority vote for the shelling of Budrus by a supporting unit of the Israel attacking forces (under the Armistice Agreement, Article 3, Paragraphs 2 and 3). The Commission passed a resolution by majority vote, calling upon the Israeli Government to take immediate and most urgent steps to prevent the recurrence of such steps on Jordan and Jordan citizens.

The Jordan Government has taken appropriate measures to meet the emergency. However, it feels that this criminal Israeli aggression is so serious that it might start a war in the area. It has the view, therefore, that the situation calls imperatively for an immediate and effective action by the United Nations, and especially by those nations party to the Tripartite Declaration of May 25, 1950.

SECURITY COUNCIL DEBATE ON ISRAELI BORDER AGGRESSIONS

On October 19, the United Nations Security Council met at the invitation of the three great Western Powers to discuss the Israeli border aggressions.(12)

On October 26, General Van Bennike testified before the United Nations Security Council. He gave irrefutable evidence that the brutal attack on Kibya was undertaken by regular army units of Israel and not by irregulars as claimed by official Israeli sources. The following is the full text of General Van Bennike's report on Kibya:

The information I am going to submit on the Kibya incident is based on reports received from United Nations observers, in particular from the senior officer who is the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission.

Following the receipt of a Jordan complaint that a raid on the village of Kibya had been carried out by Israel military forces during the night of 14-15 October, between 9:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., a United Nations investigation team departed from Jerusalem for Kibya at about 6:30 a.m. on 15 October. The Acting Chairman also left for Kibya on the same morning. On reaching the village he found that between thirty and forty buildings had been completely demolished, including the school, the water pumping station, the police station and the telephone office.

Near the police station, one lorry had been completely destroyed by fire. The necks and trigger attachments of incendiary bombs were found nearby.

Bullet-riddled bodies near the doorways and multiple bullet hits on the doors of the demolished houses indicated that the inhabitants had been forced to remain inside until their homes were blown up over them.

There were several small craters along the western perimeter of the village, and the tails of two-inch mortar shells were found. Four gaps, approximately three metres in width, had been blasted in the barbed-wire protective fence surrounding the village. Fragments, easily identifiable as parts of Bangalore torpedoes, were found near these gaps.

By the time the Acting Chairman left Kibya, twenty-seven bodies had been dug from the rubble. The villagers were digging for others who they knew were still buried beneath the building stones. They believed that the number of dead might reach sixty. Six wounded persons were seen in the village, and the Acting Chairman was told that there were other wounded persons in the hospital.

Witnesses were uniform in describing their experiences as a night of horror, during which Israel soldiers moved about in their village, blowing up buildings, firing into doorways and windows with automatic weapons and throwing hand grenades. A number of unexploded hand grenades, marked with Hebrew letters indicating recent Israel manufacture, and three bags of TNT were found in and about the village.

An emergency meeting of the Mixed Armistice Commission was held in the afternoon of 15 October. The following resolution, moved by the Jordan delegation, was adopted by majority vote, with the Israel delegation voting against it:

"(a) The crossing of the demarcation line by a force approximately one half of a battalion from the Israeli Regular Army, fully equipped, into Kibya village on the night of 14-15 October, 1953, to attack the inhabitants by firing from automatic weapons and throwing grenades and using Bangalore torpedoes together with TNT explosives by which forty-one dwelling houses and a school building were completely blown up, resulting in the cold-blooded murder of forty-two lives, including men, women, children, and the wounding of fifteen persons and the damage of a police car, (and) at the same time, the crossing of a part of the same group in to Shuqba village, (are) a breach of article 111, paragraph 2 of the General Armistice Agreement.

"(b) The shelling by a supporting unit to that force by three-inch mortar guns resulted in the damage of some houses and a bus and the wounding of a N.C.O. in charge of the National Guards, is a breach of article 111, paragraph 3 of the General Armistice Agreement.

"The Mixed Armistice Commission decides that it is extremely important that the Israeli authorities should take immediately the most vigorous measures to prevent the recurrence of such aggressions against Jordan and its citizens."

I discussed with Commander Hutchison, of the U.S.A. Navy, the Acting Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission, the reasons why he had supported the resolution condemning the Israel Army for having carried out this attack and, after listening to his explanations and technical arguments, I found them most convincing.(13)

SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS ISRAEL FOR KIBYA RAID

On November 9, the British, United States, French and Greek delegates to the Security Council told the Council they held Israel responsible for the raid on Kibya. After a long debate which occupied a number of meetings of the Council and in which the Israeli delegate to the UN tried to drown the aggression on Kibya in a generalized discussion of all sorts of aspects of the Palestine Question, the Council finally approved on 25 November a draft resolution introduced by France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The resolution condemned Israel's crime at Kibya in unmistakable terms. It said in part:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions on the Palestine question, particularly those of 15 July 1948, 1 1 August 1949, and 18 May 195 1 concerning methods for maintaining the armistice and resolving disputes through the Mixed Armistice Commissions;

Noting the reports of 27 October 1953 and 9 November 1953 to the Security Council by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization and the statements to the Security Council by the representatives of Jordan and Israel;

Finds that the action at Kibya taken by armed forces of Israel on 14-15 October 1953 and all such actions constitute a violation of the ceasefire provisions of the Security Council resolution of 15 July 1948 and are inconsistent with the Parties' obligations under the General Armistice Agreement and the Charter;

Expresses the strongest censure of that action which can only prejudice the chances of that peaceful settlement which both Parties in accordance with the Charter are bound to seek, and calls upon Israel to take effective measures to prevent all such actions in the future.(14)

AMERICAN PRIVATE CITIZENS EXPRESSED OUTRAGE AT ISRAEL FOR THE KIBYA MASSACRE

The following comments are by Passionist Father Ralph Gorrnan, Editor of The Sign, National Catholic Magazine of the United States:

Terror was apolitical weapon of the Nazis. But the Nazis never used terror in a more cold-blooded and wanton manner than the Israelis in the massacre at Kibya.

The official report of the Palestine Truce Supervisor removed any possible doubt that the Israelis, themselves in large part refugees from Hitler's terror, were perpetrators of this horrible slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. It also reveals that it was an official act of the State, carried out by an official organ, the army.

Kibya is an Arab village twenty miles northeast of Jerusalem and a mile and a half from the border of Israel. The evening of October 14 was like any other for the 1500 inhabitants of the peaceful village until at 9:30 all hell let loose. Mortar shells began exploding from artillery that had been carefully aimed from Israel before dark. After the town had been partly demolished and many of its inhabitants buried in the rubble of falling homes or blown to bits by the exploding shells, half a battalion of the regular Israeli army moved in and surrounded the village to cut off escape.

Then followed an orgy of murder that would be incredible if it had not been verified by reliable neutral testimony. Women and children as well as men were murdered deliberately, systematically, and in cold blood.

The only response the Israelis have made to outraged protest of the civilized world had been one of defiance and self-justification. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion excused the murderers. Israeli newspapers openly gloated over the deed, and even American Zionists showed little concern other than a fear that American dollars might not continue to flow as freely as before into the coffers of the new state.

Most of our readers know by now our attitude on Zionism. We are not anti-Semitic, although anybody who criticizes Israel is tarred with this brush in some quarters. We have always advocated help for persecuted Jews and an open-door policy for Jewish immigration into the United States. But Palestine has been an Arab country since the seventh century and it is a horrible injustice to rob the Arabs of their land and drive them into exile in order to make a home for Jewish refugees. If we want a measure of justice for all concerned, if we want any respect for the United Nations and its decisions, if we want peace in the Middle East and the vast Moslem world on our side, then we must take action now. We simply cannot permit the Israelis to go on thumbing their noses at the United Nations and flouting the most fundamental decencies of the civilized world.

We should demand that the Israelis accept, and accept as final, the territorial limits established by the United Nations, with minor rectifications toreturn to Arabvillages land which has been cut off by an arbitrary drawing of boundaries. We should give a guarantee to the Arabs that in case of further Israeli aggression we shall shut off all help to Israel and give all possible aid to the Arabs. We can and should force the Israelis to accept the United Nations decision to intemationalize Jerusalem. This is amatter in which the whole Christian world has an interest. These are minimum and essential demands.

We must confess a fear that little or nothing will be done in spite of the tremendous issues involved. The Zionist pressure group in this country is so powerful that even the highest Government officials either talk as if they were citizens of Israel or keep silent.15

John Barwick is an American citizen who was for many years YMCA Representative in the Middle East and was then living in Jerusalem. In the following article he describes the indelible effect of the fact that American ammunition was used in the Kibya Massacre:

FA 43, that is what is stamped on the rim of this cartridge shell. There is a dent in the copper center which means it had done its job.

But it was still vigorous enough at midnight on October 14, 1953 to penetrate a baby's skull as it lay on its mother's lap. Its fellows in the magazine of that gun did the same for a three-year old boy, his four-year old sister and their mother. All the wounds were in the back of their heads. Their bodies were bowed as in prayer when the stones of their home were lifted off them. Those who made that cartridge hoped it would keep the Nazis behind the Rhine.

The Arab village of Kibya will probably outlive Lidice in the hot memories of hate. To Kibya, Israel dispatched its army, as its instrument of national policy, to use artillery to blast its way into an unarmed village of 2,000 people, kick open a few doors, shoot in cold blood a dozen families, put demolition bombs under their houses then sit on the wall in the moonlight to watch them blow up, smoking cigarettes looted from the shops. After that the soldiers loaded the loot on a few donkeys, shot the rest of the livestock and went leisurely home to well-earned rest.

The irony of all this is that for centuries Arab countries had been the refuge of Jews persecuted in so-called Christian lands. The practical problem the world faces today is the mind of the Arab holding this shell. He has been told it is of American origin and he is not surprised, although it is not what he hoped for from acountry known for its kindness. FA 13 against the background of a white hot memory - that night when his world fell around him, his army 75 miles away, unable to respond to his pleas, his women and children dying under the rubble of his roof, no help of any kind for hours, no doctors or nurses until all but two had died, not even an ambulance for almost 24 hours.

The conclusion is inescapable: all he held dear was destroyed through barbarism made possible by American bullets and shells. All the missionaries America may send from now on, all the Point Four we can pour into the country, all the U.N. relief we can provide, will not wipe out the memory.(16)

REVELATIONS FROM THE DIARY OF MOSHE SHARRETT

Years after the Kibya incident, the diary of then Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Moshe Sharrett was published. Sharrett had originally sanctioned a "reprisal" raid of some kind, but he changed his mind and tried to abort a major raid. But the ruthless clique then headed by Ben-Gurion ignored Sharrett's reservations. Sharrett's diary entries disclose:

I told Lavon that this (attack) will be a grave error, and recalled, citing various precedents, that it was never proved that reprisal actions serve their declared purpose. Lavon smiled ... and kept to his own idea .... Ben Gurion, he said, didn't share my view.(10/14/53)

According to the first news from the other side, thirty houses have been demolished in one village. This reprisal is unprecedented in its dimensions and in the offensive power used. I walked up and down in my room, helpless and utterly depressed by my feelings of impotence .... I was simply horrified by the description in Radio Ramallah's broadcast of the destruction of the Arab village. Tens of houses have been razed to the soil and tens of people killed. I can imagine the storm that will break out tomorrow in the Arab and Western capitals.(10/15/53)

I must underline that when I opposed the action I didn't even remotely suspect such a bloodbath. I thought I was opposing one of those actions which have become a routine in the past. Had I even remotely suspected that such a massacre was to be held, I would have raised real hell.(1O/16/53)

(In the cabinet meeting) I condemned the Kibya affair that exposed us in front of the whole world as a gang of bloodsuckers, capable of mass massacres regardless, it seems, of whether their actions may lead to war. I warned that this stain will stick to us and will not be washed away for many years to come.(10/18/53) (17)


THE MASSACRE OF KAFR KASSIM

The aftermath of Kibya was a continued, and still continuing, Zionist policy of perpetrating massacres to serve the political purpose of the Zionist clique. In 1956, they joined in a conspiracy with the British and French to invade Egypt. The conspiracy to commit aggressive war was accompanied by atrocities against innocent civilians.

Although the defenseless Arab population in Zionist-occupied Palestine posed no military threat to the Zionist Defence Forces, the Zionists feared the emotional arousal that would inevitably accompany their waging of a new, aggressive war. They decided to instill total fear in the hearts of the helpless Palestinian Arab communities, and selected the peaceful village of Kafr Kassim to perpetrate a cold-blooded massacre. Fifty one men, women and children were murdered on October 29, 1956, by the Frontier Guard Force.

According to the precedents established by the Intemational War Crimes Tribunals, not only the Zionist Frontier Force personnel involved were guilty of this heinous war crime, but also the officials who gave them orders to impose rigid curfews without simultaneously insuring that noncombatants were unharmed.

Because the Kafr Kassim Massacre took place during a time of war, the then Chief of Staff, General Moshe Dayan, and the then Chief of Operations of the IDF, General Meir Amit, had direct command responsibility for the actions of the Zionist Frontier Force.

Beneath them, Israeli court records disclose, command responsibility was also held by the Commander of the IDF Central Area, Major General Zvi Tsur; Frontier Guard commander Brigadier Yehishkar Shadmi; and the Commander of the unit perpetrating the massacre, Major Shmuel Melinki; Lieutenant Dahan, Sergeant Shalom Ofer, Private Makhlouf Hreish, Private Eliahu Abraham, Corporal Gabriel Olial, Private Albert Fahimi and Private Edmond Nahmani.

They should all have been hanged for their roles in the massacre in the same way German Generals such as Keitel and Jodl were hanged for their failures to prevent massacres in commands under their responsibility.

The Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was culpable under international law because it was his responsibility to establish rules for maintaining order in territory under his control. This responsibility was also directly borne by his personal delegate in the Defense Ministry, the then Director General of the Ministry of Defence, Shimon Peres. Peres cannot plead ignorance to what was taking place at Kafr Kassim; it was his duty to be informed of possible war crimes and to prevent their occurrence.

The following is a detailed account of the horrible massacre of Kafr Kassim as told by eyewitnesses.

The Israeli daily, Kol Haam came out on Wednesday, December 19, carrying on its front page the following detailed story of the Kafr Kassim massacre which was committed by the Israeli army on October 29, 1956, against the Arabs in occupied Palestine and in which 49 people - men, women and children - were slaughtered in cold blood.

Kol Haam published the story of the massacre under the title, "In This Way Were the 49 Inhabitants of Kafr Kassim Slaughtered". The following is a literal translation:

Here are the details of the massacre in which 49 of the peaceful inhabitants of Kafr Kassim - all Arabs living in Israel - were slaughtered in cold blood. Another thirteen of these inhabitants also sustained serious injuries in this horrible massacre committed by the troops of the Israeli frontier guards.

On October 29, 1956, the day on which Israel launched its assault on Egypt, units of the Israeli frontier guards started at 4 p.m. what they called a tour of the Triangle Villages. They informed the Mukhtars and the rural councils that the curfew in those villages was from that day onwards to be observed from 5 p.m. instead of 6 p.m. as was the case before, and that the inhabitants were, therefore, requested to stay home as from that very instant.

One of the villages the frontier guards passed through was Kafr Kassim. This is a small Arab village situated near the Israeli settlement of Betah Tefka. The villagers there received the alert at 4:45 p.m., only 15 minutes before the new curfew time. The "Mukhtar" of Kafr Kassim promptly informed the unit officer that a large number of the villagers, whose work took them outside the village, knew nothing of this new curfew. The officer in charge replied that his soldiers would take care of these. The villagers who were home complied with the newly-imposed curfew and remained indoors. Meanwhile, the armed frontier guards posted themselves at the village gates. Before long, the f i t batch of villagers came into sight. The first to arrive was a group of four laborers, home-bound, on bicycles. Here is what one of these laborers, Abdullah Samir Bedir by name, said about the incident:

"We reached the village entrance at about 455 p.m. We were suddenly confronted by a frontier unit consisting of 12 men and an officer, all occupying an army truck. We greeted the officer in Hebrew saying 'Shalom Katsin' which means 'Peace be unto you officer,' to which he gave no reply. He then asked us in Arabic: 'Are you happy?' and we said 'Yes.' The soldiers started stepping down from the truck and the officer ordered us to line up. Then he shouted to his soldiers this order: 'Laktasour Otem,' which means 'Reap them!' The soldiers opened fire, but by then I had flung myself on the ground, and started rolling, yelling as I rolled over. Then I feigned death. Meanwhile, the soldiers had so riddled the bodies of my three friends with bullets that the officer in charge ordered them to cease firing, adding that the bullets were merely being wasted. As he put it, we had more than the necessary dose of those deadly bullets.

"All this occurred while I lay very still, feigning death. Then I saw three laborers approaching on a small horse cart. The soldiers stopped the cart and killed all three of them. Soon after, the soldiers moved a few yards down the road, apparently to take up positions that would enable them to stop a new truckload of home-bound villagers, as well as a bunch of workers returning home on their bicycles. I seized this opportunity and moved as quickly as I could to the nearest house. The soldiers saw me and opened fire, but I was already in again stopped while carrying thirteen olive pickers, all women and girls, and two male laborers and the driver. They were attacked by the same group of frontier guards, who pitilessly butchered all but one of them."

This is what 16-year-old Hanna Soliman Amer, the only survivor, said about this incident:

"The soldiers brought ow car to a halt at the entrance of the village and ordered the two workers and the driver to step down. Then they told them they were going to be killed. On hearing that the women startedcrying and screaming, begging the soldiers to spare thosepoor workers' lives. Butthe soldiers shouted at the women, saying that their turn was coming and that they, too, were going to be killed.

"The soldiers stared at the women for a few moments, as if waiting for their officer to give the order. Then I heard the officer talk over the wireless set, apparently asking his headquarters for instructions regarding the women. The minute the wireless conversation was over, the soldiers took aim at the women and girls, who were 13 in number, and who included pregnant ones (Fatma Dawoud Sarsour was in her eighth month of pregnancy) as well as an old woman of sixty and two thirteen-year old girls (LatifaEissaand Rashika Bedair)."

The number of cars stopped by the Israeli soldiers of the frontier guards was three; the people in all three cars were ordered to descend and were shot by machine-gun fire, killing them instantly.

A fourth car, which was a little late in coming, met with better luck, for the driver, seeing the bodies scattered around, didn't heed the order to stop. He pressed the accelerator and thus managed to escape with his car. The soldiers, however, succeeded in shooting one of the passengers as the car sped by.

With the massacre practically over, the soldiers moved around finishing off whoever still had apulse beating in him. Later on, the examination of these bodies showed that the soldiers had mutilated them, smashing the heads and cutting open the abdomens of some of the wounded women to finish them off, The only survivors were those who for some time lay buried under the corpses of their comrades and thus had their bodies covered with the blood of these victims, giving the impression that they, too, were dead. Those were the only ones who lived to speak of the horrors of the massacre of Kafr Kassim.

The massacre lasted for an hour and a half and the soldiers looted whatever they could find, apparently while going round the bodies doing their finishing-off job. However, thirteen of those wretched people only fainted when they were shot at. These were taken to Bilinson as well as to other hospitals.

One of those wounded was Osman Selim, who was travelling on one of the trucks. He witnessed the massacre, and escaped by pretending to be dead among the pile of corpses. Asaad Selim, a cyclist, was seriously injured. So was Abdel Rahman Yacoub Sarsoura, a youth aged 16, who is deaf and dumb. The only one who managed to escape death and reach Kroum El-Zeitoun is Ismail Akab Badeera, aged 18, who nursed his wounds until he got there, then climbing up an olive tree despite his suffering. He remained there for two whole days until a passing shepherd came along and carried him to a hospital where one of his legs had to be amputated for gangrene.

The blood bath was not restricted to the entrance or outskirts, but was carried right into the village itself. Tala1 Shaker Eissa, aged 8, left his home to bring in a flock of goats. He had hardly stepped out of his home when he was murdered by a shot fired by one of the soldiers. When his father ran out to investigate, he was killed by another shot. The mother, dragging in his body, was then shot. Nowa, the remaining child, followed the cries of agony coming from her parents, and was killed on the spot by a hail of bullets. The only survivor of the family, a frail and aged grandfather, hearing the horror and the sounds of death, succumbed to a heart attack and died.

The next day, 31 October, 1956, a curfew was imposed on the village of Kafr Kassim, and during that time, the Israeli police brought over some of the villagers from neighbouring Galgoulia and ordered them to bury the corpses, which included fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Among these were Safa Abdalla Sarsour, a woman aged 45, who was killed with her two sons, Jihad, 16, and Abdalla, 14. Osman Abdalla Eissa was killed with his son Fathi aged 12; and Zeinab Abdel Rahman Taha and her daughter Bikria, aged 17.(18)

 

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Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem
By Issa Nakhleh

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