This is something that determines the character of the nation… Jews too have committed Nazi acts.By: Aharon Zisling
Date: December 1948
(The following information is from Walid Khalidi’s All that Remains, see site’s bibliography)
Al-Dawayima was the site of one of the larger, little-known massacres of the war. Carried out on 29 October 1948, during the Israeli army’s Operation Yo’av. About 80 to 100 people, including women and children, were killed by “the first wave of conquerors.” The following are excerpts of a description published in the Israeli daily ‘Al ha-Mishmar: “The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead… One commander ordered a sapper to put two old women in a certain house … and to blow up the house with them.(..) One soldier boasted that he had raped a woman and then shot her… “. Another description of the massacre was given by the former Mukhtar (village leader) of the village, interviewed in 1948 by the Israeli daily Hadashot. “ The people fled, and every one they saw in the houses, they shot and killed. They also killed people in the streets. They came and blew up my house, in the presence of eye-witnesses.” (..) About 75 old people (..) gathered in the mosque to pray. They were all killed (..) about thirty-five families were hiding in caves outside al-Dawayima, including some from the previously occupied village of al-Qubayba. When the Israeli forces discovered them, “They told them to come out and get into line and start to walk. And as they started to walk, they were shot by machine guns from two sides… The unit responsible for the massacre was the Eighty-Ninth Battalion, which was part of the Eighth Brigade, commanded by General Yitzchaq Sadeh, the founder of the Palmach.
In December 1948, during a general discussion of atrocities by an Israeli ministerial committee, the issue of al-Dawayima was raised. Morris writes that agriculture Minister Aharon Zisling was probably reacting to a letter he received about the massacre, when he said: “This is something that determines the character of the nation… Jews too have committed Nazi acts.” Although he complained that the investigation was not proceeding as it should, he agreed with other ministers that Israeli should admit nothing outwardly, in order to preserve its image.
The Amatzya settlement was built on the ruins ofthe village, the site has been fenced in. A cowshed, a chicken coop, and granaries have been built at its center. The southern side of the site contains stone terraces and the remnants of a house. The eastern side is occupied by the settlement’s residential area
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