The Massacre
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MEMORIAL on the 50th Anniversary of the Kafr Qasem Massacre

The Kafr Qasem Massacre of 1956

Excerpts from the documnet of Tawfiq Touby published on Nobermber 23, 1956*

The Witness of Samir Budeir**

At Five minutes till five, I reached the entry point to the village near the school with three other workers riding our bicycles. It was five minutes before the beginning of the curfew. A unit of the border police stopped us. There were approximately twelve of them in their vehicles with one sergeant. The workers said “Shalom” to the captain who then asked them “Are you happy?” They replied “yes.” At that moment the policemen left their vehicle and ordered the workers to line up. Their captain gave the order, “harvest them!” As the police were firing on us, I Samir Budeir, tumbled myself into a depression on the side of the road, screaming all the while even though I was not hit. I stopped my screaming allowing the police to think me dead. The Police continued shooting at the fallen workers. At that point the captain told the policemen “enough, they are all dead, it’s a shame to waste bullets on them.” I remained still. Afterwards, a wagon reached the place carrying three workers. The police stopped this wagon and fired on the workers and killed them directly.

The police then distanced themselves from the place by some tens of meters leaving behind them the dead workers on the roadway. They positioned themselves on another spot. By the, more workers had arrived arrive on their bicycles. A truck full of workers came. I exploited the distance of the police and stood and began struggling toward the village. At that instant, the police fired on me, but I was not hit. I hid in the first house on the road as it enters the village. I stayed there until the curfew was over.

And among the trucks that the police stopped at the entry to the village, was the truck currying the women and girls who had been picking olives. There were thirteen of them. With them were two workers from the village and the driver of the vehicle, Mahmoud Habib from the village of Al-Taybe.

The witness of Hana Amer***

The girl, Hana Suleiman Amer, who was between 15 to 16 years of are at that time, was the only one to survive among all those riding the truck that she was on. She is now wounded and is in Belenson Hospital. This girl said the following to some of those who visited her in the hospital: "The border police stopped the truck in which I was riding at the entrance to the village. They forced the driver and other workers to descend and informed them of the intention to kill them. So the women began to scream and yell at that moment and plead with the police to leave the workers alone. But the police replied to the women saying, ‘We are going to kill you also.’ After the police killed the workers they began to hesitate about what to do with the women."

This girl said that she heard the captain talking with his superiors in Ras Al Ein via wireless seeking their directions as to what to do with the women. And immediately the police began firing on the women and killed them all. Twelve died. Among the dead women were those who were pregnant, and one of them was in her ninth month. Her name is Fatme Dahoud Sarsour. There were also a number of elders between the ages of 50 and 60. And among the dead there were two children, Latife Isaa and Rashika Budeir. Both were 13 years of age. Hana Amer, who gives this account, was wounded and fell among the dead and the police took her for dead.

Web posting: Samia A. Halaby, September 2006.

* From the original document published by Tawfik Toubi, Knesset member and member of the Communist Party, on November 23, 1956. Distributed internationally it finally broke open the silence and the blockade imposed by the government on the village of Kafr Qasem. The document is available in the book: Kafr Qasem: The Massacre and the Exposition
subtitled: Forty Years After -- 1956 to 1996,
Published by The Local Committee of The Communist Party, 1996, Kafr Qasem. Pages 34-47.
** The witness statement embedded in Touby's document is quoted here in its entirety. Page 36.
*** Same book page 37

Copyright, Samia A. Halaby, 1998, All rights reserved. To request permission to reproduce any part of these words, or pictures, or to express your opinion CLICK HERE.

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