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.

After the massacre, on January 7, 1948, many families fled the village. By late April of that year, Zionist forces had occupied it.

Before the massacre, in 1945, the village was the second-largest in historical Palestine in terms of population. It was famous for the tomb of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, a preacher whose death in action against British forces sparked a revolt against the British occupation in 1936. Today the cemetery, which lies in what was renamed the Nesher township, is in a state of neglect.

From Al-Jazeera