This week marked 63 years since the Kafr Qasim massacre. In 1956, the Palestinian Arab population in Israel lived under military rule that began with the establishment of the state and ended in 1966. In many Arab localities, there was a 9 P.M. curfew. On October 29, the curfew was changed to 5 P.M. without any notice. The vast majority of those in the village were working outside the village. They did not and could not know about this sudden change in policy. As the residents re-entered their villages, they were forced to dismount from the carts and vehicles, and were shot in cold blood.
48 unarmed, Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli Border Police (Magav), including 19 men, 6 women (one of whom was pregnant), and 23 children.
Issachar (Yissachar) “Yiska” Shadmi — the highest ranking official prosecuted for the massacre — stated, shortly before his death, that the curfew and the massacre were planned as phases within an operation to ethnically cleanse Israeli Arabs from the region, and that his trial was staged to protect Israeli political and military elite, including Prime Minister Ben Gurion, from taking responsibility for the massacre.
Earlier this week, hundreds marched in the city to commemorate the victims of this crime and to demand justice and compensation. The border policemen involved in the shooting , despite being put on trial and found guilty, were all granted pardons after serving only one year in prison. The brigade commander was only sentenced to pay the symbolic fine of 10 prutot (old Israeli cents). As one placard read, “The wound still bleeds”. The Mossawa Center stands in solidarity with those demanding justice and accountability.
(Picture via Documenting Palestine)