Report on the razing of Emmaus, Beit Nuba and Yalou in 1967

Article/book #: 2602
Title: Report on the razing of Emmaus, Beit Nuba and Yalou in 1967
By: Amos Kenan  
Date of issue: 1970
Topic(s) addressed: Place(s) mentioned in this item: Timeline event(s) mentioned in this item:
   06 Jun 1967
to 11 Jun 1967
Ethnic cleansing and razing of Imwas, Beit Nuba and Yalu

  1. An excerpt from this book
  2. A slightly different English translation of the original Hebrew is reprinted in pages 140-142 of this book

  3. This article by Uri Avnery in Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN), published to mark Kenan's death in 2009, discusses Kenan's shock at the ethnic cleansing he reports in this article.
Commentary (by JB):

Aros Kenan, a reservist Israeli soldier, took part in the 1967 fighting in this region. This report was sent to all Knesset Members. This English version is from "Israel, a wasted Victory" Amikam Tel-Aviv Publishers Ltd, Tel-Aviv 1970, pp. 18-21. Uri Avnery was prevented from publishing it in his magazine by the military censor.

The commander of my platoon said that it had been decided to blow up the three villages in the sector -Yalou, Beit Nuba and Amwas. For reasons of strategy, tactics, security. In the first place, to straighten out the Latrun "finger". Secondly, in order to punish these murderers" dens. And thirdly, to deprive infiltrators of a base in future. One may argue with this idiotic approach, which advocates collective punishment and is based on the belief that if the infiltrator loses one house, he will not find another from which to wait in ambush. One may argue with the effectiveness of increasing the number of our enemies -but why argue? We were told it was our job to search the village houses; that if we found any armed men there, they were to be taken prisoner. Any unarmed persons should be given time to pack their belongings and then told to get moving -get moving to Beit Sira, a village not far away. We were also told to take up positions around the approaches to the villages, in order to prevent those villagers who had heard the Israeli assurances over the radio that they could return to their homes in peace -from returning to their homes. The order was -shoot over their heads and tell them there is no access to the village.

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