TEL AVIV, Saturday, October 15, 2022 (WAFA) – Historians have recovered official documentation proving that Israeli militias poisoned wells during the 1948 Nakba to prevent expelled Palestinians from returning to their homes, according to a report by Israeli daily Haaretz.
According to the report, historians Benny Morris and Benjamin Z. Kedar have found Israeli military documentation that prove the Israeli ethnic cleansing policy during the events that led to the forceful expulsion of more than 600,000 Palestinians at the time.
"We uncovered a lot of new information. We deciphered how the operation developed through its various stages; we discovered who authorised, organised and controlled the operation, and how it was carried out in different areas," Morris told Haaretz. "We have a much fuller picture now."
The operation began in April 1948, when Israel, formally established as a state a month later, was in the process of expelling hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland and its army and associated militias committed a host of massacres. The events later became known by Palestinians as the Nakba.
It was at first ordinary soldiers who were tasked with poisoning the wells, Haaretz said, but the job was later given to the mista'arvim, an undercover force who disguised themselves as Palestinians and specialised in sabotage operations in enemy territory, according to the documents.
It was even proposed that the operation be expanded to include Beirut and Cairo, to stop Arab armies from invading - but this part of the scheme did not materialise.
Dozens of people fell ill because of the poisoning, according to previous reports.
A lot of the Israeli archives from the pre-state period are already classified, although many more historic data from the period are slowly ushering to the surface every now and then.