Kafr Qasim massacre

PublicationAl Ghad literary Magazine
original artworksee 1970's

Kafr Qasim massacre

cover of Al Ghad literary magazine

The Kafr Qasim massacre took place in the Israeli Arab village of Kafr Qasim situated on the Green Line, at that time, the de facto border between Israel and the Jordanian West Bank on October 29, 1956. It was carried out by the Israel Border Police (Magav), who killed Arab civilians returning from work during a curfew, imposed earlier in the day, on the eve of the Sinai war, of which they were unaware.[1] In total 48 people died, of which 19 were men, 6 were women and 23 were children aged 8–17. Arab sources usually give the death toll as 49, as they include the unborn child of one of the women.[2]

The border policemen who were involved in the shooting were brought to trial and found guilty and sentenced to prison terms, but all received pardons and were released in a year.[3] The brigade commander was sentenced to pay the symbolic fine of 10 prutot (old Israeli cents).[4] The Israeli court found that the command to kill civilians was “blatantly illegal”.[5]

Issachar “Yiska” Shadmi — the highest ranking official prosecuted for the massacre — stated, shortly before his death, that the curfew and the massacre were planned as phases within an operation to ethnically cleanse Israeli Arabs from the region, and that his trial was staged to protect Israeli political and military elite, including Prime Minister Ben Gurion, from taking responsibility for the massacre.[6]

In December 2007, President of Israel Shimon Peres formally apologised for the massacre.[7]

source: Wikipedia

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