NAZARETH, Saturday, July 30, 2022 (WAFA) – A series of newly released documents have uncovered fresh details on the premediated murder of 49 Palestinian civilians at the hands of Israeli forces during the bloody massacre in the village of Kafr Qasem, northeast of the coastal city of Tel Aviv in the occupied territories, in October 1956.
On October 29, 1956, Israeli border guards gunned down 49 Palestinian villagers in the village of Kafr Qasem as they worked in their fields. The farmers were unaware that Israel had placed the region under a curfew during the run-up to the Suez campaign against Egypt.
According to the trial transcripts of Chaim Levy who commanded the Israeli army in Kafr Qasem, the Israeli troops knew their victims were unarmed civilians and were unaware that the regime had imposed a strict curfew in the area, according to documents unveiled yesterday by the so-called Israeli Military Court of Appeals.
“The same goes for them as anyone else,” Levy said he was told by a commander, regarding the local residents.
In one exchange during his trial, Levy was asked, “Doesn’t your reason tell you that ‘violating a curfew’ means by someone who knows that there is a curfew?” Levy said he agreed.
Later he was asked, “How can you say that someone told you to kill people who don’t know that there is a curfew?” To which he replied, “Because I was given such an order… Today I find this unreasonable. At the time, I thought it was reasonable.”
The documents also disclose a new connection between the massacre and a secret Israeli plan, code-named Hafarperet (Mole), to uproot Palestinians from their homes by force of arms and threat of imminent slaughter.
Levy’s testimony offers a detailed account of how Israeli officers appear to have used tensions during the Suez crisis to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their villages.
Levy refers to plans of “creating enclosures” and “transporting people”, which could be interpreted to mean the detention of Palestinians in camps or expulsion from their homeland.
He also said he was told by his commander not to station troops along the village’s eastern border facing Jordan, in an effort to push fleeing Palestinians out of Israel.
“I understood that it would be no great calamity if they took this opportunity to go away,” he said.
Levy said he understood there was a direct link between shooting curfew violators and changing Israel’s demographic makeup.
“The connection is that as a result, part of the population would get scared and decide that it’s best to live on the other side. That’s how I interpret it,” he said.