Quotation from Eliezer Bauer “When adult males were discovered hiding...-they were killed” — Apr. 14 1948

Describing how members of several kibbutzes killed the unarmed peasants of Abu Zureiq without a second thought. No investigation was ever decided upon and the number of Palestinians massacred remains unknown.

Author : Thematic :

Of course in a cruel war such as we are engaged in, one cannot act with kid gloves. But there are still rules in war which a civilized people tries to follow... [Bauer focused on events in Abu Zureiq a day or two earlier.] When the village was conquered, the villagers tried to escape and save themselves by fleeing to the fields of the [Jezreel] Valley. Forces from nearby settlements sortied out and outflanked them. There were exchanges of fire in which several of these Arabs were killed. Others surrendered or were captured unarmed. Most were killed [i.e., murdered]. And these were not gang members as was later written in [the Mapam daily] Al Hamishmar but defenceless, beaten peasants. Only members of my kibbutz Hazorea took prisoners... Also in the village, when adult males were discovered hiding hours after the end of battle -they were killed... It is said that there were cases of rape, but it is possible that this is one of those made-up tales of "heroism" that soldiers are prone to. Of the property in the houses and farm animals left without minders, they took what they could: One took a kettle for coffee, another a horse, a third a cow...One may understand and justify, if they took cows from the village for Mishmar Ha'emek for example, or if soldiers who conquered the village would slaughter and fry chickens for themselves. But if every farmer from a nearby moshav [the allusion is to Yoqneam] takes part in looting, that is nothing but theft...


Bauer to Galili, Moshe Mann, Baruch Rabinov and Yaakov Riftin, Eliezer Bauer Papers. Cited by Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Problem Revisited, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005, p. 242

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