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Home Occupation 14/October/2021 04:47 PM

Remembering the Qibya massacre of 1953

Remembering the Qibya massacre of 1953

RAMALLAH, Thursday, October 14, 2021 (WAFA) – On this day in 1953, two Israeli military units under Ariel Sharon besieged the village of Qibya, located 11 km northwest of Ramallah, and isolated it from the rest of the neighboring villages.

At about 7:30 pm, the Israeli military began bombing the village until 4 am of the following day, forcing the Palestinian inhabitants to stay inside their homes. At the time, the Israeli troops planted mines on various roads so that the village was completely isolated.

A couple of hours later, the Israeli military stormed houses in the village, amid heavy firing of machineguns and bombs before blowing the houses up on the heads of their residents. They then began bombing it with mortars before the soldiers stormed it and raided the houses.

The Israeli soldiers then started raiding one house after the other. The soldiers threw bombs inside homes, fired randomly through open doors and windows and shot at anyone who tried to flee. In this massacre, 67 Palestinian civilians were killed, dozens were wounded and dozens of houses were bombed and blown up.

The inhabitants and the Jordanian National Guard, led by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, confronted the Israeli forces despite their small number and simple weapons. They fired back at the Israeli soldiers and continued to resist until they ran out of ammunition and most of them were killed.

The commander of the National Guard managed to reach neighboring Deir Qaddis village where he contacted the Jordanian military leadership in Ramallah calling for help and ammunition. The Jordanian military moved from Budrus village to rescue the village, but was intercepted by the Israeli occupation forces stationed in the roads, and was unable to reach Qibya.

The Israeli occupation forces then started to blow up houses with their inhabitants still inside. The number of village inhabitants was about 200 on the day of the massacre and the number of houses that were blown up was estimated at 56, in addition to a mosque, two schools and a water tank.

The events of this massacre took place after the Israeli authorities escalated their raids against the Palestinian villages near the border in the aftermath of the Israeli armistice agreement with the Arab countries in 1949.

Entire families were completely wiped out in this massacre including the Abu Zaid family of four members, and the family of Mahmoud al-Masloul which included six children.


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