1947 – Balad al-Sheikh Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Jewish Militias

On December 31, 1947, the first large attack by the Haganah Zionist militia took place against the village of Balad al-Sheikh, east of the port city of Haifa, in which 60 to 70 Palestinians were killed, according to Walid Khalidi’s book, All That Remains.

The raiding militia’s orders were to kill as many adult males as possible. A force of 170 men from the Palmach (an elite force of the Haganah) fired their weapons and blew up houses, then pulled out adult males and shot them. According to the Haganah General Staff, two women and five children were also killed, with an additional 40 people injured. Several dozen houses were also destroyed during the attack. […]

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1948 – Acre and Baysan Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Jewish Militias

In An Act of Biological Terrorism, Zionists Pour Typhus Into the Water Supply, Causing an Epidemic of Typhoid Fever

In 1947, Acre, assigned to be part of a future Arab state by the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, was subjected to ethnic cleansing by Zionist forces. This operation, known as Ben Ami, was one of the final efforts to forcibly remove Palestinians from territories designated for Arabs under the UN plan. Acre, already burdened with refugees from Haifa, faced a severe humanitarian crisis.

The episode in Acre began with an act of biological terrorism, a tactic that underscored the brutality of the campaign. Military historian Uri Milstein revealed that a commander from the Carmel Brigade deliberately introduced typhus bacteria into the city’s water supply. This insidious act, directed by Moshe Dayan, was part of a larger strategy that included the poisoning of wells to prevent the return of villagers. The typhus outbreak led to an epidemic, exacerbating the suffering of the local population. In the wake of this epidemic, the Carmeli Brigade subjected Acre to heavy artillery fire. After two days of relentless bombardment, the villagers were given a dire ultimatum over loudspeakers: surrender or be destroyed. Most villagers opted to flee, dispersing to Lebanon or Nazareth.

The neighboring town of Baysan, faced with a similar threat from the Golani Brigade, initially resisted, but a powerful Zionist air campaign eventually compelled their surrender, leading to further displacement of Palestinians from their ancestral lands. […]

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1948 – Al-Dawayima Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Israel

Israeli troops murder children first, rape women, and then burn men and women alive in the village of Al-Dawayima.

In the brutal Al-Dawayima Massacre of October 29, 1948, Israeli troops, comprising mainly Irgun and Lehi members, launched a merciless attack on the Palestinian village of Al-Dawayima. Without warning, they began their onslaught, first targeting children with unspeakable cruelty. The soldiers’ actions, detailed in a letter published in Haaretz, revealed a chilling methodology: they fractured children’s heads with sticks, leaving no house without corpses. The horror escalated as they trapped men and women in houses, denying them food and water before blowing up the buildings with the civilians still inside.

The brutality of the Israeli soldiers extended to sadistic acts against Arab women, with reports of rape and murder. These crimes, committed by supposedly educated and well-mannered commanders, represented a deliberate strategy of expulsion and extermination. The United Nations, blocked initially by the Israeli Defense Force, eventually gained access to the smoldering village, only to discover the stench of burning flesh and evidence of a massacre. This heinous act at Al-Dawayima, meticulously documented and yet denied by Israeli authorities, stands as a harrowing testament to the violence and inhumanity of the Nakba, forever scarring the collective memory of the Palestinian people. […]

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  1. Al-Dawayima massacre
  2. Palumbo, Michael. The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from Their Homeland. London: Faber and Faber, 1987, vii-xiv.

1948 – Deir Yassin Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Israel

Israeli Militias Massacre 190 Palestinians, Including 30 Babies, in a Town that Supported Israel, Kicking Off the Nakba.

On April 9, 1948, the village of Deir Yassin witnessed a horrific massacre by Jewish militias, Irgun and Stern Gang. In a brutal onslaught, they slaughtered at least 107 to 250 Palestinian villagers, including women and children. This heinous act, documented by British and UN reports, involved unspeakable atrocities like rape, dismemberment, and execution-style killings. The assault on Deir Yassin, which had a non-aggression pact with the Hagana, was part of a calculated ethnic cleansing strategy, heightening terror among Palestinians and triggering the Nakba.

The massacre’s aftermath was equally chilling. Surviving men paraded through Jerusalem’s streets before being cold-bloodedly executed. The British, still in control of Palestine, chose not to intervene, paving the way for further violence. This event not only instilled fear across Palestinian communities, prompting mass exodus, but also catalyzed Arab governments’ intervention in the conflict. The Deir Yassin massacre stands as a stark reminder of the brutalities of war and the indelible scars it leaves on history. […]

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  1. Deir Yassin Massacre - wikipedia
  2. Deir Yassin - Why it Still Matters - Al Jazeera
  3. Attack on Deir Yassin - UN Palestine Commission
  4. 1948 Palestinian Expulsion - wikipedia
  5. The Saga of Deir Yassin: Massacre, Revisionism, and Reality - pdf
  6. Palumbo, Michael. The Palestinian Catastrophe: The 1948 Expulsion of a People from Their Homeland. London: Faber and Faber, 1987, pp 47 - 57
  7. Ilan Pappé, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2006), 90 - 91

1948 – Saliha Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Israel

7th Brigade massacres 100 Palestinians seeking refuge inside a mosque and destroys and depopulates an entire village.

On October 30, 1948, the Israeli 7th Brigade committed a massacre in the village of Saliha, slaughtering 100 Palestinian villagers who had sought refuge in a mosque. The villagers, deceived by promises of safety, had surrendered and were brutally gunned down by Israeli forces, led by Moshe Carmel. As tanks and armored cars encircled the village square, the unarmed and defenseless Palestinians were massacred, their bodies left to rot for several days before being bulldozed into the mosque and obliterated with explosives. This act, a stark example of the ruthless tactics employed during the Nakba, led to the complete erasure of Saliha, turning its inhabitants into refugees. […]

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1953 – Qibya Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Israel

The Qibya massacre began when Israeli troops, led by Ariel Sharon, launched a reprisal attack on the West Bank village of Qibya, under Jordan’s control at the time, during Operation Shoshana in October 1953, resulting in the deaths of sixty-nine Palestinian villagers, two thirds of which were women and children. […]

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  1. Qibya Massacre - wikipedia
  2. Giladi, Naeim. "Ben-Gurion's Scandals: How the Haganah and The Mossad Eliminated Jews." 4. Tempe, AZ: Dandelion Books, 1992

1956 – Kafr Qasim Massacre

Massacre Perpetrator: Israel

On the eve of the Suez War, Israeli Border Patrol orders a curfew without notifying Arab villagers and then opens fire on all curfew violators.

Kafr Qasim was an Arab village near the Jordanian border. From 1949 until 1966, Arab citizens were regarded by Israel as a hostile population and Arab populations were governed by the Israeli military. The Israeli government believed that Jordan would enter the Suez War on the side of Egypt, and on Octover 29, the first day of the Suez War, the Israeli military declared a curfew from 5pm until 6am, that would go into effect that very same day. Anyone violating the curfew was to be shot on sight.

The orders were alleged to have come from David Ben-Gurion himself.

“I don’t want sentimentality and I don’t want arrests, there will be no arrests,” declared IDF Colonel Yissachar Shadmi. Between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., in nine separate shooting incidents, Israeli troops killed nineteen men, six women, ten teenage boys (age 14–17), six girls (age 12–15), and seven young boys (age 8–13), who did not make it home before curfew. […]

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