Home Archive 06/July/2019 11:27 AM

Revealed after 71 years: massacre in the Palestinian village of Al-Safsaf

 

By Rasha Hirzallah

RAMALLAH, Saturday, July 06, 2019 (WAFA) – After 71 years being kept in the drawers, new documents revealed horrifying facts about a massacre by the Zionist gangs in the Palestinian village of Al-Safsaf in the Upper Galilee in an operation called "Hiram", which resulted in the murder in cold blood of 52 men among others.

The massacre was revealed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and contains horrific information about one of many massacres and crimes committed by the Zionist terrorist gangs against the Palestinian people in 1948 and after and which have been kept secret until now.

According to these documents, the Zionist gangs tied together 52 men, put them in a hole and shot them. Ten were still alive. The women, who begged for mercy, first found six corpses, and then others for a total of 61. There were three cases of rape, one of them a 14-year-old girl who was shot and killed. The fingers of one of the victims were cut with a knife to steal the rings.

The Haaretz exposé said dozens of massacres were committed, young girls were raped, as well as looting and the destruction of entire villages, all carried out by Zionist gangs in direct orders from David Ben-Gurion, who became Israel’s first prime minister.

Since the beginning of this decade, Israel has been reviewing its archives, hiding historical documents, especially those relating to events that occurred during the Nakba in 1948.

"We expect Israel to conceal such documents,” said Sha‘wan Jabarin, director of the Ramallah-based Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq. ”It knows the types of crimes committed and therefore tries to keep them away from anyone who seeks to access that information,"

He notes that there are two types of archives in Israel: the general, which is not all available to the public, and the military, which only a handful of documents were released. As for those documents that relate to assassinations or massacres similar to those committed in 1948, they are hidden and buried.

Jabarin said that legally, these documents are supposed to be available to the public to show what really happened, especially since this information happened over 71 years ago and therefore it the normal situation is to make them available to the public. However, because of the scale of the crime committed by Israel, they try to keep it concealed. This, however, does not change the reality of tragedy. There are crimes and victims who testify to them. There are crimes that do not fall under the statute of ations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He pointed out that there are research and civil society institutions that are trying to access the archives and information. In Israel there is the law of the right to information, which has been used by many institutions, journalists, researchers and research centers since Israel is obliged by law to show them. “On the one hand it claims to be a democratic state and has a law to access information, but in reality it does not believe in all of that," he said.

"The documents are clear and unequivocal evidence of Israel‘s crimes. But Israeli does not fear accountability under international law and prosecution in international courts," he said. "It fears history and the future because it created on the bodies of innocent people and therefor tries to bury that.”

Jabarin explained that the historical and documentary issue is important because Israel is a member in international organizations, which regard the documents and history as an important part of its work. For example, it is true that it has withdrawn from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); it yet realizes that the latter has certain rules when it comes to historical documents. It therefore realizes that the future is not in its interest while it tries to hide everything that harms it.

He called on the media to give more attention to this type of investigation because what has been revealed so far cannot be compared to reality of the fact that this was a formal and systematic policy. Those who committed these crimes were not an in significant group that acted on its own, he said, adding that politicians, members of civil society and foreign diplomats should also disseminate this information on a widest scale and tie it to the Palestinian narrative.

Fayez Abbas, an expert on Israeli affairs, said that Israel‘s attempt to conceal these documents is proof that the crimes committed by the Zionist gangs against the Palestinian people at the time were indescribable. There were attempts in the past to demand their publication, but the military censorship and the Israeli government strictly prohibited this.

He said the Israeli government was supposed to publish many documents there were over 60 years old. It however extended this period "for fear of harming the security of Israel and its inhabitants", to prevent the international community and even the Israeli public from knowing the crimes committed at the time.

He pointed out that what has been published so far is miniscule compared to the crimes committed by the Zionist movement headed by David Ben-Gurion, which if published widely, it will make Israel look very bad globally despite the fact that no one dare to hold it accountable.

"These documents should be published internationally to convince the public opinion of what Israel really is, even though the vast majority is convinced it has committed crimes, but when it comes to published Israeli documents, it will convince the world of the justice of the Palestinian cause," he said.

M.K.

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