Massacre at al-Dawayima

Events around time of this event

Show later events
29 Nov 1948
Israel makes first application for UN membership
20 Nov 1948
Expulsion of the villagers of Kafr Bir'im (Biram)
8 Nov 1948
Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics conducts a population census
5 Nov 1948
Israeli forces kill five young Arabs in Majdal Krum
end of Ethnic cleansing of Barbara
4 Nov 1948
start of Ethnic cleansing of Barbara
Nov 1948
South African government refuses to extend de jure recognition to Israel
Ethnic cleansing of Iqrit
Occupation of Biram (Kafr Bir'im)
31 Oct 1948
Israelis massacre 82 people at Hula in Lebanon
end of Operation Hiram
Occupation of Iqrit (Ikrit) -- which was ethnically cleansed a few days later
30 Oct 1948
Massacre at Saliha
Massacre at Sasa
Massacre at Eilabun
Massacre at Majd al-Kurum
Massacre at Safsaf
29 Oct 1948
Massacre at Jish
Massacre at al-Dawayima
start of Operation Hiram
24 Oct 1948
Massacre at Hula in Lebanon
23 Oct 1948
Israeli attack on al-Zakariya
22 Oct 1948
end of Operation Yoav
late Oct 1948
Israeli soldiers massacre Bedouin women and children in courtyard of great mosque in Bir el-Sabe
21 Oct 1948
Imposition of Martial Law on Palestinians remaining in Israeli-controlled territory
Israeli army captures Biʾr as-Sabe
15 Oct 1948
Israeli attack ends 2nd truce
Israeli army fabricates pretext to break truce
start of Operation Yoav
end of Second truce
14 Oct 1948
Israeli Air Force bombs Gaza City
Israeli air force bombs Majdal and Hanoun
8 Oct 1948
Israeli government announces agreement with Shell and Socony oil companies
5 Oct 1948
King Abdallah of Transjordan demands dissolution of Palestine Arab Government at Gaza
4 Oct 1948
Huge crowd of Russian Jews greet first Israeli ambassador to Soviet Union at Choral Synagogue in Moscow on first day of Rosh Hashana
1 Oct 1948
Proclamation of Palestinian independence
30 Sep 1948
Palestinian National Council meeting in Gaza approves government headed by Ahmad Hilmi Pasha
Show earlier events

Massacre at al-Dawayima

Date: Friday, 29 Oct 1948
<<Previous day                 ^This day                 Next day >>

On 28 October the 89th Battalion of the Israeli army, now under the command of Dov Chesis, captured the town of al-Dawayima.

100-200 villagers in al-Dawayima (also transliterated as al-Dawayma, Duwayma, Ed-Dawayimeh), near Hebron, killed by Israeli army.

"Ben-Gurion, quoting General Avner, briefly referred in his war diary to the 'rumours' that the army had 'slaughtered 70-80 persons.' What happened was described a few days later by an Israeli soldier-witness to a Mapam member, who transmitted the information to Eliezer Pra'i, the editor of the party daily Al Hamishmar and a member of the party's Central Committee. The party member, S. (possibly Shabtai) Kaplan, described the witness as 'one of our people, an intellectual, 100 percent reliable.' The village, wrote Kaplan, had been held by Arab 'irregulars' and was captured by the 89th Battalion (8th Brigade) without a fight. 'The first [wave] of conquerors killed about 80 to 100 [male] Arabs, women, and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead,' wrote Kaplan. Kaplan's informant, who arrived immediately afterwards in the second wave, reported that Arab men and women who remained were then closed off in their houses 'without food or water.' Sappers arrived to blow up the houses. 'One commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain house ... and to blow up the house with them. The sapper refused ... The commander then ordered his men to put in the old women and the evil deed was done. One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her. One woman, with a newborn baby in her arms, was employed to clean the courtyard where the soldiers ate. She worked a day or two. In the end they shot her and her baby.' The soldier-witness, according to Kaplan, said that 'cultured officers ... had turned into base murderers and this not in the heat of battle ... but out of a system of expulsion and destruction. The less Arabs remained--the better. This principle is the political motor for the expulsions and the atrocities.'"

Source: Morris, Birth, pp. 222-223. The letter from Kaplan to Pra'i is dated November 8, 1948, and found in Kibbutz Meuhad Archives, Aharon Zisling Papers, 6/6/4.

David Gilmour, Dispossessed: The Ordeal of the Palestinians 1917-1980, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1980, pp. 68-69, quotes much of this same letter. His citation is: Letters of 8 November 1948. Quoted in Eyal Kafkafi, "A Ghetto Attitude in the Jewish State," Davar [Israeli newspaper], September 6, 1979.

Simha Flapan, The Birth of Israel: Myths and Realities, New York: Pantheon, 1987, p. 94, says that the Dawayma massacre was "revealed by the Israeli journalist Yoela Har-Shefi in 1984." Flapan's citation is: Nimrod, Al-Hamishmar, April 10, 1985.

"Another publicized massacre of which the author [Hadawi is speaking of himself] personally became aware in 1951 in the course of his official duties with the Jordan government occurred in the village of Ed-Dawayimeh, in the Hebron Sub-District. There, about 200 persons--mostly aged inhabitants who could not run away--took refuge in the village mosque, and when the Israelis entered the village, they massacred the entire crowd.

Many of the reports that the author inspected at the police station in Hebron gave the ages of the victims as between 70 and 90 years. ..."

Source: Hadawi, Bitter Harvest, p. 89.

People/entities cited in reports on this event: Add a rogue or hero Places involved in this event:

Material about this event in the database

Number of related articles: 11
Number of related maps: 0
Number of related audio/visual clips: 1
Number of related quotations: 0


To refer someone else to this item, use this URL: 

A disclaimer applies to this page. This page is not part of the official UCC website. This page is part of a research database of opinions on Palestine and related topics which is maintained by members of the UCC Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which comprises a group of students and staff in the university. The emphasis in this research project is on provenance -- we aim to provide as much information as possible on the background of the people whose opinions are in the database, so that readers can make up their own minds on the credibility that they wish to attach to these opinions.