Hagana Archives: Nahraiya and Tarshiha

Ilan Pappe, as posted on Facebook 5 June 2019.

Recently, Israeli historians, including Morris, continue to argue there were no direct orders for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The Israeli archives on the other hand, are not accessible as they were in the past. So here is a reminder of what a military order of ethnic cleansing looks like. It is from May 19, 1948 and it is the order to occupy three villages in the north of Palestine. 

Here is a translation of parts of the document.

“In the villages lying between Nahraiya and Tarshiha there are no foreign troops for the time being. The villages are armed and ready for action [Pappe: villagers had no proper arms of course, only for hunting purposes and people who served in the police; without Arab troops that were absent they stood no chance].

Your orders are to occupy, kill the men [Pappe: in April 1948, the Intelligence of the Hagana defined men as any one above the age of 10], destroy and burn down the villages of Kabri, Umm al-Faraj and al-Nahr.”
Hagana archives, 100\35 [the original reference appears on the photo]

Ilan Pappe is the author of numerous books, professor of history and director of the European Centre for Palestine Studies at the University of Exeter. Find his work in the IHRC Bookshop & Gallery.