60 years on, Palestinians recall Kafr Qasim massacre

49 Palestinians in the village, including women and children, shot dead by Israeli forces in bloody 1956 incident

60 years on, Palestinians recall Kafr Qasim massacre

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Palestinians in Israel on Saturday commemorated the 60th anniversary of a bloody massacre in which dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Arab Israeli village of Kafr Qasim.

The deadly event took place on October, 29, 1956 when Israeli forces shot dead 49 Palestinians in the village, including women and children.

"On that day, Israeli authorities issued a curfew on several villages in the Triangle area including Kafr Qasim," mayor Adel Bdir told Anadolu Agency.

At the time, Israel, along with Britain and France, was preparing to launch an attack against Egypt in an effort to regain the western control of the Suez Canal.

Fearing of a possible conflict with Jordan, the Israeli army decided to move up the start time of a curfew in the village without warning local residents in advance.

"Around 400 local residents were outside for their work, unaware that the village was put under the curfew hours earlier," Adel Bdir said.

"Some 49 Palestinians were killed in cold blood that night by the Israeli forces,” he recalled.

Israeli authorities launched an investigation into the killings and the border policemen who were involved in the shooting were brought to trial and sentenced to prison terms ranging between 8-17 years. 

However, all were released two years after the massacre, while the brigade commander was ordered to pay a fine of one piaster. 

Unforgettable

Marking the anniversary, local residents and a number of Arab-Israeli leaders on Saturday took part in a march from the cemetery to the village's main square.

The marchers held banners with names of the victims amid calls for Israel to apologize and take responsibility for the massacre.

"Today, we commemorate the memory of our ancestors so our grandchildren would not forget them,” Mohammed Barakeh, chairman of the Supreme Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, told Anadolu Agency.

"Although 60 years have passed, we still remember our people who were murdered in cold blood," he said.

"Israel must bear the full responsibility for that horrific event and apologize to the Palestinian people," he added.

In 2015, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, rejected a bill, under which Israel would have officially acknowledged its full responsibility for the massacre.

"We do not want their apology," Karim Issa, a 20-year-old Palestinian from Kafr Qasim, told Anadolu Agency.

Issa said his grandfather had been killed during the massacre as he returned from his field.

"He was a brave and good man with a shining smile on his face," he added.

Mohamed Frieg, 17, said he participated in all activities marking the massacre since he was six.

"I am here today to commemorate the memory of my ancestors and tell them that their cause is still alive," he said.

"This march is our message to the murderers that we do not forget and will never forgive," he added.

Last Mod: 29 Ekim 2016, 17:43
Add Comment