MEMORIAL on the 50th Anniversary of the Kafr Qasem Massacre
Testimony of Rose Amer, daughter of Lamumba Kafr QasemRecorded and translated by Samia A. Halaby in kafr Qasem, 1999.
November 8, 1999, in Kafr Qassem at Abu Butros Amerís home. Abu Butros had not yet arrived. Thus I recorded what his daughter, Rose Amer, told me.
Rose said that the area of the massacre was called Al-Filmaya but that she does not know what the name means or why the area is called thus. She told me exactly where the last wave of killing took place. It was exactly at the spot where I had first met her on the right side of the street which leads into the village from the main road right at the crossing of the monument. Rose Amer and her mother talked with me, Im Beatrice (Butros after Patrick Lamumba) talked to me about the massacre. Im Beatrice said that she was not in the massacre as she was born in 1948 and as a child she came to consciousness as a refugee. At one time they were in the refugee camps around Nablus.
In regards to the massacre of 1956, Rose said that her father told them that all the roads and pathways coming into the village were closed with the exception of those to the east of the town leading to Jordan. She said that they had closed everything except to the east hoping that the killing and the terror would frighten people into packing up and abandoning their homes to the Israelis.
Rose said that her father was in the same truck as abu Sameeh and that they saw the massacre. It was the truck that escaped. She said that they saw the Shepherd and his son being massacred. The father and others in the truck had talked about how the driver was afraid of being fined and that he asked some of the passengers to get out and to walk. Some did get out and decide to walk and her father being 17 wanted to do the same but then they heard the shooting and they promised the driver that they would divide the price of the fine among them and pay him if he were fined. Thus, it is told by Rose, that they got back in the truck and drove.
Rose said that they saw the sheep coming and that they saw the little boy shepherd die. First they killed the son and the sheep began running toward the truck and the father was shooing them and he did not see his son had been shot. He was only paying attention to the sheep coming suddenly at him.
Then Dihan stopped them and asked questions and he let them go and he followed them with his jeep.
The people in the truck saw the shepherds and his son die. The father had gone to get the son in the field and to get him to hurry home. And, as the boy was in the front and the father in the back shooing the sheep, the son was shot first and the father second.
She said that her father claims that Abu Sameeh is mistaken in saying that the truck drove over bodies.
Web posting: Samia A. Halaby, September 2006.