Hagana Archives – April 1948 (no day)

Ilan Pappe, as posted on 6 June 2019 on Facebook


I am very happy to see that the document I have published generated such interest. This is part of documents, a student of mine succeeded in getting out of the Hagana archives in 2003 (I was already a persona non grata in those days). I doubt whether one can find these documents now, and I am glad we xeroxed quite a lot.

Another document from this batch, probably from few days before, tells you how many hours the army thought it would take to destroy five villages, with thousands of people in them. Here are two pages, I pencilled the part I translated:

The first marked part says: Attack the villages of Kabri, Nahr, Basa, A-Zib, destroy the gangs, the men, sabotage the properties and pillage (literally, take the loot)

Second page is the most telling one:
4 hours after hour zero [Pappe: the beginning of operations]: complete the mission in villages, Kabri, Nahr, Ghabisyyeh by inflicting maximum destruction; the Kabri platoon moves to Um al-Faraj and destroys the village; the Nahr platoon destroys [the village] al-Tel.

The document is date April 1948 without a specific day. It claims that each village was defended by volunteers from the Arab world, but that they had no heavy guns or armoured vehicles. Although in the first document I published, it turned out that most of these villages did not have that kind of protection as predicted here, and indeed it took less than four hours to complete the ethnic cleansing of that part of Palestine, as the villagers were defenceless.

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.