1949–1956 Palestinian exodus


1949–1956 Palestinian exodus

The 1949-1956 Palestinian exodus was the continuation of the 1948 1949 exodus of Palestinian Arabs from Israeli controlled territory after the signing of the Cease fire agreements. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/9ec4a332e2ff9a128525643d007702e6!OpenDocument Egypt Israel Armistice Agreement] UN Doc S/1264/Corr.1 of 23 February 1949] [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/71260b776d62fa6e852564420059c4fe!OpenDocument Lebanon Israel Armistice Agreement] UN Doc S/1296 of 23 March 1949] [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/f03d55e48f77ab698525643b00608d34!OpenDocument Hashemite Jordanian Kingdom Israel Armistice Agreement] UN Doc S/1302/Rev.1 of 3 April 1949] [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/e845ca0b92be4e3485256442007901cc!OpenDocument Syria Israel Armistice Agreement] UN Doc S/1353 of 20 July 1949] This period of the Exodus [Ghada Karmi (Editor), Eugene Cotran (Editor) (28 Jan 1999) "The Palestinian Exodus: 1948-1998" Ithaca Press ISBN 086372244X] was characterised predominantly by forced expulsion during the consolidation of the state of Israel and ever increasing tension along the cease fire lines ultimately leading to the Suez crisis. [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627]

Between 1949 and 1950, according to Morris Israel displaced and expelled between 30,000 to 40,000 Palestinians and Bedouin. [Morris (2004)"Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited ISBN 0521009677 p 536. "Excluding the Negev Beduoin, it is probable that the number of Arabs kicked out of, or persuaded to leave, the country in the border-clearing operations and in the internal anti-infiltration sweeps during 1948-1950 was around 20,000. If one includes expelled northern Negev Bedouin, the total may have been as high as 30,000-40,000."] Many villages along the cease fire lines and the Lebanon border area were also levelled, many emptied villages were resettled by new Jewish immigrants and demobilised Israeli military forces. [Morris (2004) Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited Cambridge University press ISBN 0521811201 pp xviii-xx; key to map 3 giving 186 former Arab villages repopulated by Jews.] ["The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Ilan Pappé (2006) Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670 p. 186: "The major activities towards the end of the 1948 ethnic cleansing operation now focused on implementing Israel's anti-repatriation policy on two levels. The first level was national, introduced in August 1948 by an Israeli governmental decision to destroy all the evicted villages and transform them into new Jewish settlements or 'natural' forests."]

Israel argued this was motivated by security considerations linked with the situation at the borders. During the consolidation period Israel was more intent on gaining control of the demilitarised zones on the Syrian, Jordanian and Egyptian fronts than on her image abroad. [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627 p 11:- Zionist mainstream thought had always regarded the Jewish State from the Mediterranean sea to the Jordan River as its ultimate goal. The vision of 'Greater Israel' as Zionism's ultimate objective did not end with the 1948 war. The politicians of the 'Right' primarily of the Revisionist Herut party, led by Menachem Begin, continued throughout 1949 and the early and mid 1950s to clamour publicaly for the conquest of the West Bank.] ["1949 The First Israelis" Tom Segev reprinted 1998 ISBN 0805058966 p 6: Ben-Gurion to aides "Before the founding of the State on the eve of its creation, our main interest was self defence. To a large extent, the creation of the state was an act of self defence...Many think that we're still at the same stage. But now the issue at hand is conquest, not self defence. As to setting the borders-it's an open ended matter.In the Bible as well as in our history there are all kinds of definitions of the country's borders, so there is no real limit. No border is absolute. If it's the desert-it could just as well be the other side. If it's the sea, it could also be across the sea. The world has always been this way.Only the terms have changed. If they should find a way of reaching other stars, well then,perhaps the whole earth will no longer suffice."] [The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World Avi Shlaim (2000) ISBN 0140288708 p69] ["David Ben-Gurion, the State of Israel and the Arab world 1949-1956"; Zakai Shalom, (2002) Sussex Academic press ISBN 1902210212 p. 60: "In the first years of Israeli independence building up the state security and power was seen by Ben-Gurion as more important than political and media-orientated matter. He believed that Israel had to understand that if it wished to stabilise its position and realize Zionist goals, it could do so only from a position of strength, together with the accompanying risk of condemnation and confrontation with the international community."]

Background

On 30 May 1948 Yossef Weitz, head of the Settlement Department of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) recorded in his Diary:

"We have begun the operation of cleansing, removing the rubble and preparing the villages for cultivation and settlement. Some of these will become parks" ["The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Ilan Pappé (2006) Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670 p 221]

Immediately after the Arab-Israeli conflict, Israel started on a process of Nation building with General elections held in January 1949. Chaim Weizmann was installed as Israel's first President and Ben-Gurion as head of the Mapai party attained the position he had held in the provisional Government of Israel that of Prime minister of Israel. Ben-Gurion emphatically rejected the return of refugees in the Israeli Cabinet decision of June 1948 reiterated in a letter to the UN of 2 August 1949 containing the Text of a statement made by Moshe Sharett on 1 August 1948 where the basic attitude of the Israeli Government was that a solution must be sought, not through the return of the refugees to Israel, but through the resettlement of the Palestinian Arab refugee population in other states. [ [http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC25IS33.pdf UN Doc. IS/33 2 August 1948] Text of a statement made by Moshe Sharett on 1 August 1948]

The Israeli government was of the view that the Armistice agreements gave them 3 indisputable rights:"The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World" Avi Shlaim (2000) Penguin Books ISBN 0140288708 p 57]
*1. That the cease fire was binding on regular armies, irregular forces and civilians.
*2. That the cease fire line should be treated as an international border, pending full "de jure" recognition in a final peace agreement.
*3. The right to settle Jews on all the land within their territory, with the right to develop the economy without having to take into account the rights of the previous owners.The Arab nations conversely also saw the General Armistice Agreements as conferring 3 rights:
*1. That the agreements were a truce and therefore did not end the state of war.
*2. That the cease fire lines were temporary and were not an international border.
*3. The Armistice Agreements did not cancel out the refugees right of return.

ecurity

Israeli security was thought of on two levels general security and daily security. [ [http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a791765701&fulltext=713240928#FN0050 Journal of Strategic Studies] , Volume 31, Issue 2 April 2008 , pages 295 - 324 'Pounding Their Feet': Israeli Military Culture as Reflected in Early IDF Combat History] The general security covered the threat of invasion while daily security was to secure Israeli territory from infiltration. This was achieved by three processes. The transfer of Israeli Arabs away from the cease fire lines to urban areas of concentration such as Jaffa and Haifa; the resettlement of the areas cleared, mainly by mizrahim (oriental Jews) in moshavim along the cease fire lines; and operating a free fire policy. [Avi Shlaim "The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World Penguin Books ISBN 0140288708 p. 82]

Once the fighting phase of the 1948 Arab Israeli war had ceased with a truce, the Israeli bureaucracy was faced with the overwhelming task of ruling effectively over dozens of severely disrupted Israeli Arab villages and towns, where thousands of displaced Palestinians had taken refuge. Since the Israeli state did not trust its Israeli Arab citizens seeing them as a potential 5th Column, it placed this entire population under a tight military regime supervised by the Central Committee for Arab Affairs. Established in 1954, the committee had representatives from the police and the domestic intelligence agency, Shabak, as well as the prime minister’s consultant for Arab affairs and the commander-in-chief of military rule. In concert, the committee presided over three regional sub-committees (south, center and north), which dealt with the daily business of governance.

The Registration of Residents ordinance of 1949 left those unregistered Palestinian Arabs without legal status and vulnerable to deportation. The abandoned Property law of 1950; where the moveable and immovable property belonging to the refugees was effectively appropriated by the state of Israel applied not just to Palestinian refugees who had left Israeli territory but also to Palestinian Arabs who had remained in Israel but who had left their ordinary place of residence. One quarter of the Arab citizens of Israel are "internal refugees," who until 1948 resided in villages that were destroyed in the war. [ [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/981354.html Ha’aretz] World Likud chief calls for cancellation of Nakba Day procession By Yoav Stern, Haaretz Correspondent Monday, 19 May, 2008]

Infiltration

The estimates for 1949 to 156 was that 90% of all infiltration was motivated by social and economic concerns. [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627 pp 49 & 412.] It was naturally difficult to prevent refugees who were living on a bare subsistence level, from crossing lines beyond which they hope to find fodder for their hungry sheep, or for scarce fuel. Additionally there occurred occasional nightly clandestine smuggling between Gaza and Hebron. The smuggling was largely motivated by the great discrepancy of prices prevailing in the two areas. Most of these complaints in 1950 concerned the shooting by Israelis of refugee civilians and livestock, said to have illegally crossed the demarcation lines. In the most serious case of this kind, Egypt complained that Israeli military Forces, on the 7 and 14 October 1950, had shelled and machine-gunned the Arab villages of Abassan and Beit Hanoun in Egyptian controlled territory of the Gaza strip. This action caused the death of seven and the wounding of twenty civilians. Israel on the other hand complained of infiltration incidents which had resulted in the death of four Israeli settlers and the wounding of twenty others.

The pejorative term infiltrator was also applied to refugee non-residents who had not left Israel as in the case in Nazareth. On the 21 November 1949 the Arab member of the Knesset Mr. Amin Jarjura (Mapai) asked in the Knesset permission for the refugees (6,000) of Nazareth to be allowed to return to their surrounding villages; at the same time the IDF were conducting a sweep through the city of Nazareth rounding up non-residents who the Palestine Post then termed infiltrators. [ [http://jic.tau.ac.il/Default/Skins/PalestineP/Client.asp?Enter=true&Skin=PalestineP&AppName=2&GZ=T&AW=1215689774750 Jerusalem Post] 22 November 1949 p. 3 col 2 and col 4]

Arab Countries anti-infiltration policies

The Israeli Government position was that the Arab countries were aiding and abetting the infiltrators in an extension of the Arab Israeli conflict by using the infiltrators as guerillas. This was grossly inaccurate.

The problem of establishing and guarding the demarcation line separating the Gaza Strip from the Israeli-held Negev area, proved a vexing one: largely due to the presence of more than 200,000 Palestinian Arab refugees in this Gaza area. [ [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/6b189672cac9e58a85256d9f006554b8!OpenDocument UN Doc S/1459 of 20 February 1950] a report on the activities of the Mixed Armistice Commissions] The terms of the Armistice Agreement restricted Egypt’s use and deployment of regular armed forces in the Gaza strip. In keeping with this restriction the Egyptian Government’s answer was to form a Palestinian para-military police force. The Palestinian Border police was created in December 1952. The Border police were placed under the command of ‘Abd-al-Man’imi ‘Abd-al-Ra’uf, a former Egyptian air brigade commander, member of the Muslim Brotherhood and member of the Revolutionary Council. 250 Palestinian volunteers started training in March 1953 with further volunteers coming forward for training in May and December 1953. Part of the Border police personnel were attached to the Military Governor’s office and placed under ‘Abd-al-‘Azim al-Saharti to guard public installations in the Gaza strip. [Yezid Sayigh (1999) Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement 1949-1993. Oxford University Press ISBN 0198296436 p 61]

On the Egyptian cease fire line and DMZ to try to avoid future incidents caused by infiltration the Mixed Armistice Commission finally decided that a system of mixed border patrols comprised of officers and enlisted men from each side would decrease tension and lessen infiltration. Initially The mixed patrols along the Egyptian demarcation line worked satisfactorily. The Egyptian Authorities maintained a policy of "incarcerating" the inhabitants of the Gaza strip until 1955.Avi Shlaim (2000) "The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World" Penguin Books ISBN 0140288708 p 84]

Free fire policy

A free fire policy was adopted by the IDF. The policy included patrols, ambushes, laying mines, setting booby traps and carrying out periodic search operations in Israeli Arab villages.Avi Shlaim "The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World Penguin Books ISBN 0140288708 p. 83] The "free fire" policy in the period of 1949 to 1956 has been estimated to account for 2,700 to 5,000 Palestinian Arab deaths. [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627 pp 412-416.] During anti-infiltration operations the Israeli forces sometimes committed atrocities with reports of gang rape, murder and the dumping of 120 suspected infiltrators in the Avara desert without water. [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627 p. 180 August 1950 Four Israeli policemen rape a Palestinian “infiltrator”, Khadija Bint Suliman Hussein of the West Bank village of Qatana at the Agu Gosh police station where she was being held. She was caught picking fruit in a grove that her family owned. The four policemen were tried by an internal disciplinary board and each sentenced to 18 months in prison.] [Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627 p 181. 2 November 1950 Three Palestinian children shot , two fatally by IDF troops near Deir Ayyub in the Latrun salient. According to subsequent Arab legion reports, whose main points were confirmed by UN observers. Ali Muhammad Ali Alyyan (12) his sister Fakhriyeh Muhammad Ali Alyyan (10) and their cousin Khadijeh Abd al Fattah Muhammad Ali (8) all from Yalu village. Had gone to gather fire wood near the demarcation line, some 400 yds inside the Jordanian territory. An Israeli patrol came upon them and Khadijeh began to run back to her village. The IDF patrol opened fire and wounded her superficially on the thigh. As the children’s father and uncle rushed to the scene they saw the patrol dragging the brother and sister away to a spot south of Deir Ayyub, in no mans land. The men looked on helplessly from a near by hill. “The two children were stood in a wadi bed and the soldiers opened fire at them. According to both [adult] witnesses only one man fired at them with a sten gun but none of the detachment attempted to interfere.]

Additionally the IDF carried out operations, mainly, in Jordanian held territory and Egyptian held territory. The early reprisal raids failed to achieve their objectives and managed to increase hatred for Israel amongst the Arab countries and the refugees. The disruptive and destabilising nature of the raids put the western plans for the defence of the Middle East in jeopardy, the western powers then applied pressure on Israeli to desist.

Continued displacement and dispossession

From November 1948 through to the summer of 1949 and the signing of the General Armistice Agreements a further 87 villages were occupied; 36 being emptied by force. ["The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Ilan Pappé (2006) Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670 p 197]

Galilee

During Operation Hiram in the upper Galilee, Israeli military commanders received the order: 'Do all you can to immediately and quickly purge the conquered territories of all hostile elements in accordance with the orders issued. The residents should be helped to leave the areas that have been conquered'. (October 31, 1948, Moshe Carmel) The UN's acting Mediator, Ralph Bunche, reported that United Nations Observers had recorded extensive looting of villages in Galilee by Israeli forces, which carried away goats, sheep and mules. This looting, United Nations Observers report, appeared to have been systematic as army trucks were used for transportation. The situation, states the report, created a new influx of refugees into Lebanon. Israeli forces, he stated, have occupied the area in Galilee formerly occupied by Kaukji's forces, and have crossed the Lebanese frontier. Bunche goes on to say "that Israeli forces now hold positions inside the south-east corner of Lebanon, involving some fifteen Lebanese villages which are occupied by small Israeli detachments". [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/a1c20f7009def4fe85256a70006891fd!OpenDocument UN Doc. PAL/370] UN Press Release dated 6 November 1948]

An example of the use to which "rumours" were put is given where Glazer comments on the use of psychological warfare against civilians and quotes Nafez Nazzal's description of the Galilee exodus:-

The villages of Ghuweir Abu Shusha were persuaded by neighbouring Jewish Mukhtars to leave to Syria...The villagers heard how ruthless and cruel the Jews were to the people of Deir Yassin and the nearby village of Nasr ed Din. They [the villagers] were not prepared to withstand the Jewish attack and decided to accept their neighbours advice and leave.

The method of planting false atrocity stories to engineer an exodus is borne out by Yigal Allon's Palmach plans to force the exodus of the Palestinian Arabs of Galilee:-

The long battle had weaken our forces and before us stood great duties of blocking the routes of invasion. We therefore looked for means which did not force us into employing force, in order to cause the tens of thousands of sulky Arab who remained in the Galilee to flee, for in case of an Arab invasion they were likely to strike us in the rear.

I gathered all the Jewish Mukhtars who had contact with Arabs in different villages, and asked to whisper in the ear of some Arabs that great Jewish reinforcements had arrived in Galilee and that it is going to burn all the villages of the Huleh. They should suggest to those Arabs, as a friend, to escape while there is still time. [http://ipsnewsite.mysite4now.com/enakba/exodus/Glazer,%20The%20Palestinian%20Exodus%20in%201948.pdf Steven A.Glazer] , "The Palestinian Exodus in 1948" in Vol 9, no. 4 (Sum. 80): 96-118.]

The villages of al Mansura, Tarbikah, Iqrit and Kafr Bir'im in Galilee were entered by IDF forces during late October early November, 1948 after Operation Hiram. The villages being located in an area, 5km deep parallel to the Israel Lebanon border, were to be evacuated of their Palestinian Arab population. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee Problem revisited, (2004) p 506] The Israeli forces wanted, for security reasons, the villages populated primarily by Jews. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited (2004) ISBN 0521009677 p 509.] On 13 November 1948 the inhabitants of Kafr Bir'im were requested to evacuated by the IDF "temporarily" in expectation of an Arab counter-attack. Emmanuel Friedman an intelligence officer of the 7th Brigade explained the evacuation orders to the villagers, the order having been issued by Bechor Sheetrit. The villagers of Kafr Bir'im initially sought protection in a near by cave. The then Minister of Police Bechor Sheetrit on seeing the elderly, women and children living in the cave suggested that the villagers move to the town of Jish, where there were 400 abandoned houses, further south "until the military operations are over". Approximately 700 of the Kafr Bir'em villagers found accommodation within Israel, the remaining 250 were encouraged to cross into Lebanon. Archbishop Elias Chacour originally a resident of Iqrit relates in his autobiography how IDF in the spring of 1949 rounded up all the men and older boys in the village (including his own father and three eldest brothers), and trucked them to the border with Jordan. There they were let out and ordered to go to Jordan. The soldiers opened fire, aiming just above their heads, meaning to drive them from their homeland for good. However, Chacour's father and brothers managed to make it back three months later. The operation to achieve a Palestinian Arab free Israel/Lebanon border zone came to an end on 15 16 November leaving Fassuta (Christians), Jish (Maronites), Rihaniya (Circassians), Mi'ilya (Christians) and Jurdiye (Muslims) within the 5-7km zone. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited (2004) p 507.] [http://ipsnewsite.mysite4now.com/enakba/exodus/Ryan,%20Refugees%20within%20Israel.pdf Joseph L. Ryan, S.J.] "Refugees within Israel: The Case of the Villages of Kafr Bir`im and Iqrit" in 2, no. 4 (Sum. 73): 55-81.]

The first legal action against the state of Israel was brought in 1951 by 5 men of Iqrit with Muhammad Nimr al-Hawari acting as their lawyer. On 31 July 1951 the Israeli courts recognised the rights of the villagers to their land and their right to return to it. The court said the land was not abandoned and therefore could not be placed under the custodian of enemy property.

In 1953 the (by now former) inhabitants of Kafr Bir'im pleaded to the Supreme Court of Israel to allow them to return to their village. Early in September 1953 the Supreme Court decided that the authorities had to answer to why the inhabitants were not allowed to return home. The result was devastating: on September 16, 1953 the Israeli air force and army in a joint operation bombed the village until it was completely destroyed. At the same time it was announced that 1,170 hectares of land belonging to the village had been expropriated by the state. (Ref. given by Sabri Jiryis: "Kouetz 307 (27. Aug. 1953): 1419")

On 16 January 1949 an attempt to move the remaining Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Tarshiha to the neighbouring towns of Mi'ilya and Majd al Kurum was prevented by UN and Christian clerical intercession. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee Problem revisited, (2004) p 510] Pressure from Kibbutz and the Military in the Galilee panhandle mounted to remove the Palestinian inhabitants of the area. On 5/6 June the inhabitants of Khisas and Qeitiya were forced into trucks and dumped near 'Akbara just south Safad. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited (2004) ISBN 0521009677 pp 511-512.]

Wadi Ara

In March 1949 as the Iraqi forces withdrew from Palestine and handed over their positions to the smaller Jordanian legion, 3 Israeli brigades manoeuvred into threatening positions in Operation "Shin-Tav-Shin" in a form of coercive diplomacy. The operation allowed Israel to renegotiate the cease fire line in the Wadi Ara area of the Northern West Bank in a secret agreement reached on 23 March 1949 and incorporated into the General Armistice Agreement. The green line was then redrawn in blue ink on the southern map to give the impression that a movement in the green line had been made. However, this replacement involved a considerable change of the lines, a change which could not be carried out without inflicting serious hardships upon the population and the affected areas. It was inevitable that thousands of people, in the course of this redrawing of demarcation lines, were cut off from the fields that were their livelihood, cut off from their only resources of water and from the meager pastures on which they used to graze their cattle. It has been estimated that 15 villages were ceded to Israel and a further 15,000 Palestinian Arabs became refugees. [Morris Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem revisited (2004) p 533. "The Military Government "informed the [permanent] inhabitants that they must not employ the refugees, [must] raise difficulties in housing them and refuse to accept their children into schools...The Government would regard it favourably it they [i.e. the inhabitants] pressured them to leave the area. the inhabitants took the hint and acted accordingly and within a fortnight close to 8,500 refugees left the area."] [The Politics of Partition; King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine 1921-1951 Avi Shlaim Oxford University Press Revised Edition 2004 ISBN 019829459-x pp. 299, 312]

During the Lausanne Peace Conference The US consul, William Burdett, reported on a meeting of the Jordan/Israel Armistice Commission which dealt with a case where 1,000 (UN estimates 1,500) Palestinian Arab inhabitants of Baqa al-Gharbiyye had been expelled and forced across the cease fire line. [1949 the First Israelis Tom Segev 1986 reprinted 1998 ISBN 0805058966 p 33. On 15 August 1949; The US consul to Jerusalem had doubts about the value of the Israeli proposal to accept 100,000 refugees. In a letter to the Secretary of State Acheson, the consul, William Burdett, reported on a meeting of the Israel-Jordan armistice commission which dealt with the case of some 1,000 villagers whom Israel had expelled from Baqa al-Gharbiyye and forced across the border. Moshe Dayan commented that the United Nations could compel Israel to take the refugees back, but if they did, "They would be sorry." The Consul felt that those words cast a new light on the true value of the Israeli proposal.] [ [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/6b189672cac9e58a85256d9f006554b8!OpenDocument UN Doc S/1459 of 20 February 1950] Report of the Mixed Armistice Commission] The Mixed Armistice Commission decided, by majority vote, that Israel had violated the General Armistice Agreement by driving the civilians across the demarcation line into the territory of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom. [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/6b189672cac9e58a85256d9f006554b8!OpenDocument UN Doc S/1459 of 20 February 1950] Report of the Mixed Armistice Commission]

In January/February 1949 approximately 700 people from Kfar Yassif were expelled across the Jordanian/Israeli cease fire line as they had moved into Kfar Yassif from the surrounding villages during the period of fighting in 1948. [1949 the First Israelis Tom Segev 1986 reprinted 1998 ISBN 0805058966 p 61]

On 17 August 1950 the remaining Palestinian Arab population of Majdal were served with an expulsion order (The Palestinians had been held in a confined area since 1948) and the first group of them were taken on trucks to the Gaza Strip. Majdal was then renamed Ashkelon by the Israelis in an on going process of de-Arabisation of the topography as described by Meron Benvenisti [ Meron Benvenisti 2000 ] . Egypt accepted the expelled civilian Palestinian Arabs from Majdal on humanitarian grounds as they would otherwise have been exposed to "torture and death". That however did not mean their voluntary movement. Furthermore, testimony of the expelled Arabs and reports of the Mixed Armistice Commission clearly showed that the refugees had been forcibly expelled. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/ffeaceabb01e7a04852562cb00569dae!OpenDocument Yearbook of the United Nations 1950] ]

From the statistics taken from the official records of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission for the period of June 1949 through December 1952 it is found that Jordan complained of 37 instances of expulsion of Arabs from Israel. For the period 1 January 1953 through to 15 October 1953 it is found that Jordan complained of 7 instances of expulsion of Arabs from Israel involving 41 people. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/f45643a78fcba719852560f6005987ad/017eefb458011c9d05256722005e5499!OpenDocument UN Doc S/PV.630 of 27 October 1953] Report of Major General Vagn Bennike, Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine to the United Nations Security Council]

In 1953 the villages of Raml Zayta who had been transported from near the city Hadera in April 1949 were again transferred when a Kibbutz moved to Zayta and took over the Israeli Arab village land. ["The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Ilan Pappé (2006) Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670 pp 190-191]

Ilan Pappé reports that the last gun-point expulsion occurred in 1953 where the residents of Umm al-Faraj were driven out and the village destroyed by the IDF. " ["The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Ilan Pappé (2006) Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670 p. 220]

Wadi Fukin

The expulsion at Wadi Fukin led to a change in the Green line where an exchange of fertile land in the Bethlehem area to Israeli control and the village of Wadi Fukin being given to Jordanian control. On 15 July when the Israeli Army expelled the population of Wadi Fukin after the village had been transferred to the Israeli-occupied area under the terms of the Armistice Agreement concluded between Israel and the Jordan Kingdom. The Mixed Armistice Commission decided on 31 August, by a majority vote, that Israel had violated the Armistice Agreement by expelling villagers of Wadi Fukin across the demarcation line and decided that the villagers should be allowed to return to their homes. However, when the villagers returned to Wadi Fukin under the supervision of the United Nations observers on September 6, they found most of their houses destroyed and were again compelled by the Israeli Army to return to Jordanian controlled territory. The United Nations Chairman of the Mixed Commission, Colonel Garrison B. Coverdale (US), pressed for a solution of this issue to be found in the Mixed Armistice Commission, in an amicable and UN spirit. After some hesitation, an adjustment in the Green Line was accepted and finally an agreement was reached whereby the Armistice line was changed to give back Wadi Fukin to the Jordanian authority who, in turn, agreed to transfer some uninhabited, but fertile territory south of Bethlehem to the Israeli authority. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/7b5942522358001885256a76006377eb!OpenDocument Press Release PAL/537 4 November 1949] ]

Northern District

Israeli forces attacked Jalbun village, with small arms, on the 5 December 1949, they then expelled the inhabitants from their village causing fatal casualties amongst the villagers. The Jordanian government strongly protested against unwarranted Israeli action and call on UN secretary General to notify the security council to take prompt and strict measures to return expelled Palestinians to their village, to hand back their looted belongings, and to compensate the villagers for all losses and damages. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/da383477088e6b6e85256da200507250!OpenDocument S/1428 6 December 1949] Telegram from Ruhi Abdul Hadi, Minister Foreign Affairs, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to UN Secretary General]

In the lake Huleh area, during 1951, Israel initiated a project to drain the marsh land to bring 15,000 acres into cultivation. The project caused a conflict of interests between the Palestinian Arab villages in the area, consequently 800 inhabitants of the villages were forcibly evacuated from the DMZ. [The Politics of Partition; King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine 1921-1951 Avi Shlaim Oxford University Press Revised Edition 2004 ISBN 019829459-x p 71] [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/eed216406b50bf6485256ce10072f637/7b0d9e1d08cc405e852560c2006ec543!OpenDocument UN Doc S/2157] Security Council resolution 93 of 18 May 1951: Noting the complaint with regard to the evacuation of Arab residents from the demilitarized zone: (a) Decides that Arab civilians who have been removed from the demilitarized zone by the Government of Israel should be permitted to return forthwith to their homes and that the Mixed Armistice Commission should supervise their return and rehabilitation in a manner to be determined by the Commission; (b) Holds that no action involving the transfer of persons across international frontiers, across armistice lines or within the demilitarized zone should be undertaken without prior decision of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission;]

In 1954 Israel "evacuated" the Palestinian villages of Baqqara and Ghannama in the central sector of the Israel/Syria demilitarized zone the Chief of Staff of the UNTSO made a report in January 1955 to the United Nations where it was decided that:- [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/a75451c1745d5941052567230071172f!OpenDocument UN Doc S/3343 of 11 January 1955] Report dated 6 January 1955 by the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in Palestine to the Secretary-General on complaints concerning the observance of the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Syria]

*"(a) Decides that Arab civilians who have been removed from the demilitarized zone by the Government of Israel should be permitted to return forthwith to their homes and that the Mixed Armistice Commission should supervise their return and rehabilitation in a manner to be determined by the Commission; and
*"(b) Holds that no action involving the transfer of persons across international frontiers, armistice lines or within the demilitarized zone should be under-taken without prior decision of the Chairman of the Mixed Armistice Commission..."

30 October 1956 When Israel attacked Egypt across the Sinai peninsula in co-ordination with an Anglo-French attack on Suez. The remainder of the Palestinians living in the DMZs were driven into Syria. The villages of Baqqara and Ghannama now lie as rubble and are empty.

Beersheba

On 7 November 1949, Israeli forces expelled two thousand men, women, children from Beersheba area into the Jordanian controlled sector. Before the Palestinian Arabs were expelled they were severely maltreated, their homes destroyed, their cattle, sheep, belongings looted. [ [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/2bc037ac57f9fc5e85256da200511d04!OpenDocument S/1420 19 November 1949] Telegram from Ruhi Abdul Hadi, Minister Foreign Affairs, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to UN Secretary General]

Negeb

20 August 1950 Israeli authorities expelled into Egyptian territory all the Bedouin living in the demilitarized zone of El Auja in Palestine. United Nations observers "found" that thirteen Arabs including women and children had died during the exodus and bodies of several more had been found crushed by armoured vehicles. By 3 September, the number of expelled Arabs had reached 4,071. These Arabs were genuine Palestinians most of them had lived in the Beersheba area of Palestine during the period of the British Mandate. Driven from their homes for the first time when the Israeli forces had occupied Beersheba. The Bedouin had gone to settle in El Auja area and had been living there for more than two years. The Bedouin made representation to return to el-Auja under United Nations protection. [ [http://domino.un.org/UNISPAl.NSF/f45643a78fcba719852560f6005987ad/ffeaceabb01e7a04852562cb00569dae!OpenDocument Yearbook of the United Nations 1950] ]

es-Sani are returned to Israel

From the signing of the General Armistice Agreements in 1949, Jordan and Egypt had complained on many occasions that Israel had been reducing the Arab population of the Negeb by driving Bedouins and even Arab villagers across the cease fire lines into the Egyptian Sinai and the Jordanian held West Bank. Israel had been condemned by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in some instances but had taken no steps to allow the return of the Arabs. On 17 September 1952, the senior Jordan Military Delegate to the Mixed Armistice Commission, Major Itzaq, inform the MAC that the Israelis had expelled ten families of the es-Sani tribe and that they were now situated inside the Jordan border south of Hebron. On 22 September Commander Hutchison USNR of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan/Israel Mixed Armistice Commission (HKJMAC) went into the area and counted over 100 families, nearly 1,000 members of the es-Sani tribe. Sheikh El Hajj Ibrahim informed the MAC that the es-Sani had been forced off their cultivated lands southeast of Beersheba, at El Sharia, to El Laqiya, north-east of Beersheba. On the new area at El Laqiya, for the next three years the es-Sani had made it productive to the extent that Israel then declared a quantity of their grain as surplus crop and demanded that it be sold to the Israeli government at a fixed price. The Military Governor of Beersheba, Lt. Colonel Hermann, informed Sheikh El Hajj Ibrahim that Israel was going to establish a settlement at El Laqiya and that his tribe would have to move to Tel Arad. Sheikh El Hajj Ibrahim had then led the es-Sani over the Jordan/Israel cease fire land rather that move to the inferior land around Tel Arad.

The Sheikh's story of the court action was true. On September 28, 1952, under the heading, * 'Bedouin Tribe Moved/' the Israel press announced that "Tribesmen of the Kiderat El Sana Teljaha tribe were last week moved from their former homes at El Laqiya, east of the Beersheba-Hebron road, to a new site at Tel Arad. ... On September 15, the High Court in Jerusalem issued an order 'nisi* against the Military Governor and the Ministry of Defence against the enforced move of the tribe."

After negotiations lasting days it was arranged for the es-Sani to return to Israel; although the Israelis wanted the es-Sani transported inside Jordan to a point opposite and closer to Tel Arad which the Jordanians refused to do this and it was finally settled that the transfer would be made at the original point of crossing, on the Hebron-Beersheba road. [Violent Truce by E H Hutchison A Military Observer Looks at the Arab-Israeli Conflict 1951 1955]

Encouraged Exodus

The Jewish National Fund under Yosef Weitz actively encouraged Palestinian Arab emigration. In the village of Ar'ara 2,500 dunums (625 acres) were purchased. The Purchase price was paid in Jordanian currency the Palestinian Arabs were then transported to the cease fire line with their luggage and from there transported to Tulkarem. [1949 The First Israelis Tom Segev p 63: Tom Segev notes that in the Israeli state archives there are scores of files with information concerning the Israeli Government's policy regarding the "minorities" and that a portion of the files are still sealed and a portion "yet to be opened". However their contents would be of interest to researchers of "population transfer" in Israel for this period as the index listing have intriguing titles such as: Expulsion of inhabitants; Transfer of Inhabitants; Concentration of Arab Residents; Complaints about Police treatment; Demolition of Arab Houses; and [Tiberias, Jaffa] Acts against Civilians.]

ee also

* 1948 Palestinian exodus
* Palestinian refugees
* Arab Israelis
* Beit Jala raid
* Qibya massacre

Foot Notes

Bibliography

* Ghada Karmi (Editor), Eugene Cotran (Editor) (28 Jan 1999) "The Palestinian Exodus: 1948-1998" Ithaca Press ISBN 086372244X
* Benny Morris (2004)"Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited" Cambridge University press 2nd edition ISBN 0521009677
* Benny Morris, (1993). "Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956; Arab Infiltration, Israeli Retaliation and the Countdown to the Suez War"; Oxford Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198292627
* Ilan Pappé (2006) "The Ethnic cleansing of Palestine" Oneworld Publications ISBN 9781851684670
* Tom Segev (1998); "1949; The first Israelis" Henry Holt and Company, ISBN 0805058966
* Avi Shlaim (2000) "The Iron Wall; Israel and the Arab World" Penguin books ISBN 0140288708
* Avi Shlaim (2004) "The Politics of Partition; King Abdullah, The Zionists, and Palestine 1921-1951" Oxford University Press Revised Edition ISBN 019829459X

External links

* [http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/e8c095f0c2069235852560c2006f824e!OpenDocument UN Doc S/3128] Security Council Resolution 100 of 27 October 1953 Suspension of Drainage/Water works
* [http://domino.un.org/pdfs/AAC25IS86.pdf UN Doc A/A25/IS.86] Letter dated 30 November 1954 Release of absentee or refugee accounts held in banks in Israel.
* [http://www.counterpunch.org/karmi07172004.html Vanishing the Palestinians] by Ghada Karmi


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