La Palestina era «già» un giardino, prima dell’arrivo degli eletti. Era raro trovare un terreno lasciato incolto: dappertutto orti, palme, agrumeti, oliveti assediavano le città e i villaggi, frutto di una agricoltura intensiva e specializzata. I palestinesi avevano mercati internazionali ben consolidati, rubati poi dagli ebrei nel 1948 con la nazionalizzazione. Scuole di Stato, squadre di calcio, spirito nazionale, boy-scout, lavoro specializzato e mercati affollati. Commenti e smentite degli slogan sionisti più ripetuti e universalmente presi per oro colato.
Trovo sul web un albo di vecchie foto sulla Palestina. Mi paiono interessanti da tradurre come commento – e smentita – degli slogan sionisti più ripetuti e universalmente presi per oro colato.
«Un popolo senza terra per una terra senza popol»
La propaganda ebraica ripete da oltre un secolo che la Palestina era disabitata prima dell’arrivo dei sionisti. Apparentemente, un po’ di popolo c’era: questa foto scattata a Giaffa nel luglio 1908 mostra una immensa folla radunata davanti agli uffici del governo locale (Grand Serai) per festeggiare la rivoluzione laica dei Giovani Turchi e l’esautoramento del sultano ottomano Abdul Hamid ad Istanbul. Nella provincia dell’impero ottomano che era allora la Palestina, la rivoluzione turca suscitò grandi speranze: di un governo costituzionale e di elezioni parlamentari.
L’affollato mercato (bazar) di Giaffa nel 1896, in un dagherrotipo stereoscopico. Posto in un apposito apparecchio, il dagherrotipo forniva un’immagine tridimensionale.
Veduta di Giaffa dal mare, foto scattata tra il 1898 e il 1914. Una città palestinese linda e civile, vibrante di attività, che contava allora 70 mila abitanti, tutti arabi.
«Gli ebrei hanno trovato un deserto e ne hanno fatto un giardino»
Raccolta degli agrumi, Collezione Matson (1898-1914)
Veduta generale degli agrumenti di Giaffa, prima del 1914. Sembra proprio che la Palestina fosse «già» un giardino, prima dell’arrivo degli eletti. Di fatto, era raro trovare un terreno lasciato incolto, a parte le dune e le rocce: dappertutto orti, palme, agrumeti, oliveti, alberi da frutta assediavano le città e i villaggi, frutto di una agricoltura intensiva e specializzata.
«Gli ebrei hanno introdotto coltivazioni pregiate con tecniche avanzate»
Primi anni ‘20: cernita degli agrumi
Gli agrumi sono avvolti in carta velina per la commercializzazione
Le cassette di agrumi, su barconi, raggiungono le navi da carico che le attendono nel porto di Giaffa per l’esportazione. Già dai primi del ‘900 gli agrumi erano la principale voce di esportazione per la Palestina, arance limoni e pompelmi di Giaffa erano apparizioni regolari nelle prime colazioni britanniche. I palestinesi avevano mercati internazionali ben consolidati: ragion per cui, nel 1948, lo Stato ebraico «nazionalizzò» gli agrumeti – ossia li rubò ai palestinesi – e ne fece la prima voce d’esportazione per il nuovo Stato di Israele.
«Beduini arretrati, vivevano sotto le tende, ignari della civiltà»
Una classe elementare della Scuola Nazionale Cristiana Ortodossa, 1938. Ovviamente le scuole cristiane erano frequentate da bambini musulmani, perchè davano una istruzione prestigiosa.
Gli allievi della scuola ortodossa avevano una banda musicale.
«Non è mai esistita una nazione palestinese»
Il corpo docente della scuola superiore di Stato, Giaffa 1923 (liceo e istituto tecnico). Il professore al centro, in abiti occidentali, cravatta e fez, è Salim Katul, autore di molti libri di testo di scienze naturali in arabo. Se non c’era una nazione, come mai c’era una scuola di Stato?
«Belve stupide, che capiscono solo la forza»
La classe di falegnameria alla scuola secondaria statale di cui sopra, 1924. C’è una scritta sulla porta che dice: «Chi impara poco, vale poco».
Boy scouts e lupetti della scuola secondaria statale, 1924.
La squadra di calcio della scuola secondaria di Stato di Giaffa, 1923.
«Non avevano una coscienza nazionale, prima…»
Polizia britannica a cavallo, nella piazza centrale di Giaffa, stronca una manifestazione di protesta contro la politica inglese che favorisce l’immigrazione ebraica in palestina, 27 ottobre 1933.
Giaffa, 27 ottobre 1933 la polizia inglese bastona Muza Kazim Pasha al-Husseini, rispettato uomo politico palestinese, durante la manifestazione contro l’immigrazione ebraica. Il dignitario morirà sei mesi dopo per le percosse ricevute, senza mai essersi ripreso, all’età di 81 anni.
L’inizio della «Arab Revolt», 1936-39, contro la politica britannica filo-sionista; la Polizia inglese si scontra con i dimostranti arabi nella piazza centrale di Giaffa.
Le truppe inglesi perquisiscono i passanti sul lungomare di Giaffa durante la Rivolta Araba, 1936.
«Ci odiano per la nostra libertà»
Rappresaglia britannica contro la Rivolta Araba del 1936: soldati inglesi isolano con transenne la città vecchia di Giaffa, preliminare per la demolizione punitiva delle case arabe.
I risultati della rappresaglia: la città vecchia ridotta in macerie dagli inglesi, 1936. In fondo, gli israeliani non hanno fatto che continuare la tradizione.
«Sono soltanto terroristi. Non c’è nessuno con cui trattare»
Le macerie del palazzo del governo locale (Grand Serai), distrutto da un attentato della Lohemai Herut Israel, meglio nota come «Banda Stern». Il 4 gennaio 1948 membri della Banda Stern parcheggiarono davanati al palazzo un autocarro carico di esplosivo e ricoperto di arance. Oltre a distruggere dalle fondamenta il palazzo, l’esplosione uccise 26 civili palestinesi. Così «non c’è nessuno con cui trattare».
24 aprile 1948: militanti ebraici dell’Irgun irrompono attravreso le brecce che hanno aperto con esplosivi nelle case palestinesi. Quel giorno l’esercito clandestino sionista, comandato dal Menachem Begin, cominciò un attacco – durato quattro giorni e quattro notti – contro il quartiere residenziale di Manshiyeh, sul mare e circondato da Tel Aviv, con un fitto e indiscriminato fuoco di mortai.
Gli effetti del bombardamento ebraico contro Manshiyeh. Il rapporto ufficiale sui fatti davanti al Parlamento britannico (5 maggio 1948) parlava di «bombardamenti indiscriminati con mortai, all’evidente scopo di creare il panico tra la popolazione civile. Le forze britanniche sono intervenute con supporto aereo, e nel corso del pomeriggio gli ebrei si sono ritirati sulle loro posizioni precedenti. (…) La sera del 30 aprile l’ordine di cessate il fuoco (imposto dai britannici) è stato rotto dalla parte ebraica (…). Secondo una stima approssimata, 30 mila arabi hanno abbandonato Giaffa, ed altri stanno lasciandola anche ora. Il sindaco arabo è ancora a Giaffa e i servizi municipali funzionano, sia pure con difficoltà…» (Hansard, Camera dei Comuni, 5 maggio 1948, pagina 1.238).
Fine aprile 1948: migliaia di arabi cercano scampo dall’attacco ebraico a Giaffa per via mare, essendo le strade bloccate dai terroristi rabbinici dell’Haganah; finiranno a Gaza, in Egitto, in Libano come profughi (si noti nella foto il campanile cristiano ortodosso).
«Finalmente, un popolo senza terra si sistema in una terra senza più popolo»
Giudei provenienti dall’Europa, sorridenti. E’ l’inizio del 1949, e le povere vittime si sono stabilite nei quartieri di Giaffa dopo la pulizia etnica.
Those People in Gaza: Where Do They Come From, And Why Are They So Mad?
“We tend to believe abroad that Palestine is nowadays almost completely deserted,
Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinians gather at the Grand Serai (local government offices) in July 1908, to celebrate the al-Hurriyah Revolution (i.e. the Young Turks Revolution) against Sultan Abdul Hamid and in favor of the restoration of the constitution and the holding of Parliamentary elections. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora).
a noncultivated wilderness,
and anyone can come there and buy as much land as his heart desires.
But in reality this is not the case.
It is difficult to find anywhere in the country Arab land which lies fallow;
the only areas which are not cultivated are sand dunes or stony mountains,
which can be only planted with trees,
and even this only after much labor and capital would be invested
in clearance and preparation…
Jaffa, Palestine: Boxed Jaffa oranges being loaded for export, early 1920’s. Jaffa oranges were Palestine’s leading export. After 1948, Jaffa’s nationalized orange groves and the established markets for their products provided the major source of income for the new state of Israel.
We tend to believe abroad that all Arabs are desert barbarians,
Jaffa, Palestine: The staff of the Government Secondary Boys’ School (al-Ameiryah High School) in 1923. Seated center is Salim Katul, author of a series of textbooks in Arabic on the natural sciences.
an asinine people who does not see or understand what is going on around them.
This is a cardinal mistake…
[When] the day will come in which the life of our people in the Land of Israel
will develop to such a degree that they will push aside the local population by little or by much,
then it will not easily give up its place…
One thing we certainly should have learned from our past and present history,
and that is not to create anger among the local population against us…
We have to treat the local population with love and respect, justly and rightly.
Jaffa, Palestine: The beginning of the Arab Revolt of 1936-39. British riot police clash with Palestinian demonstrators protesting Britain’s pro-Zionist policies (specifically increasing Zionist immigration into Palestine), Central Square, Jaffa, 12 June 1936. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora).
And what do our brethren in the Land of Israel do? Exactly the opposite!
[T]hey behave toward the Arabs with hostility and cruelty,
The Punishment of Jaffa, Palestine: British soldiers cordon off Jaffa’s old city in preparation for the punitive demolition of Palestinian buildings in reprisal for the Arab Revolt against British policy in Palestine; 1936.
infringe upon their boundaries,
hit them shamefully without reason, and even brag about it.
1 JANUARY 1948 During the afternoon of 1 January, a bunch of Irgun Z’vai Leumi thugs dressed in battledress and steel helmets drove at speed through Jaffa and fired at Arabs sitting outside a cafe. They killed two and wounded nine others before crashing through an Arab road block and disappearing into Tel Aviv. To emphasize the illusion that the British are responsible for all disorder in the country, they were wearing the flashes of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. WO 275/64
1 JANUARY 1948 Small party of Jews entered block of flats 40 yards in rear Shell Petrol Station, Jaffa, and placed a bomb which demolished the block of flats. So far, 1 Arab injured by flying debris. WO 275/64
4 JANUARY 1948 At 12:25 p.m. two Jewish terrorists, one driving a truck loaded with time bombs and the other driving a jeep, both as usual in British uniforms, drove to the end of a lane between the Arab welfare and relief centre in Jaffa housing children and the Barclay’s Bank. The truck was driven in the lane and left there, and the driver was picked up by the jeep driver who was waiting for him. As they drove away, the whole town was rocked by a powerful explosion and many distant buildings were damaged by the concussion. The welfare centre was demolished. Seventeen Arabs were killed in this coldblooded murderous attack and 106 were wounded. Among those killed and seriously wounded were women and children. (United Nations Security Council Official Records, Supplements – 1948).
4 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1240 hours, Jaffa. The Old Serrai in Clock Tower Square which houses the offices of the Arab National Committee, was completely destroyed by an explosion which killed 15 and injured 98 persons. Buildings nearby including Barclay’s Bank, the Central Police Station and several shops and houses were also extensively damaged. Full details of how the attack was carried out are not yet available, but it is believed the attackers arrived at the scene in two vehicles? a 3-ton truck laden with orange boxes and a saloon car. Proceeding up Bustros Street towards Clock Tower Square? the truck turned left into the narrow lane between Barclay’s Bank and the Old Serrai. The saloon car was seen to park some 20 metres north of Central P.S. near the road leading to the port area. The truck was parked at a point about 20 yards along the above mentioned lane. Two persons, dressed as Arabs, were seen to alight from the truck and walk across the square. They got into the waiting car which drove off in the direction of the Ajami Quarter. Almost immediately following the departure of the car, the explosion occurred. Tons of masonry from the Old Serrai building completely blocked the land running beside it, A fire subsequently broke out in Barclay’s Bank but was extinguished. A strong-room situated in the upper storey of the bank was blown in and a considerable amount of money was salvaged and taken into police custody. The entire area was wired off to facilitate salvage operations and to prevent looting. It is reported from TeI Aviv that Irgun Z’vai Leumi have claimed responsibility for this outrage. Tension has risen to a high pitch in Jaffa as a result of this attack, and a certain degree of anti-Government feeling has been expressed.
Details of the casualties are as follows:- Dead: 1) Mohammed Abdul Hallak (aged 12); 2) Abudul Sattah Wahab Jaber (20); 3) Ali Kastika; 4) Mohammed Said Abu Hassan (40); 5) Ahamad Derdanji (45); 6) Ahmad Hawari; 7) Yusef Abu Sheikh (25); 8) Ahmad Faris Shehadi (25); 9) Sa’ad Abil Majid Zein (25); 10) 15 unidentified. Injured: 1) Said Kheber Said (25) – serious; 2) Abed Ahmad Duknak ( 10) – serious; 3) Abed Mahmoud Shulayeh (17) – serious; 4) Ashraf Tewfik Lufti (28) – serious; 5) Naji Said Mughrabi – serious; 6) Mohammed Ibrahim Mughrabi – serious; 7) Taha Abu Rabah (35) – serious; 8) Mohammed Hassan Ibrahim (20) – serious; 9) Rasmiyeh Saba (22) – serious; 10) Abed Mustafe Abu Wazni (30) – serious; 11) Hishan Alami (35) – not serious; 12) Ibrahim Mustafa Najar (25) – not serious. All the above named are in the Dajani Hospital. 13) Huda Abu Labm (20) – not serious; 14) Said Afif Atout (19) – not serious; 15) Rafik Salami (27) – not serious; The above three are in the Government Hospital, 16) Ahmad Mahmoud Taher (30) – serious; 17) Ahmad Ahmad Nel(25) – serious; 18) Ali Hassan Ashoura (20) – not serious; 19) Ahmad Ismail Abu Shabayeh (22) – not serious; 20) Rais Hassan Abu Chouleh (70) – not serious. The above-mentioned five are in the French Hospital. Seventy-eight other persons were treated in hospitals for slight injuries but were not detained.
8 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0245 hours, Jaffa. Unknown persons placed a bomb against the house of Haj Abed El Jaber Lahloub, situated at the western side of Beit Dajan village. The bomb exploded causing extensive damage to the house? but no casualties.
9 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Near Jaffa Railway Station; two ‘buses conveying Arab railway employees to Lydda were fired upon from automatic weapons from Jewish houses overlooking their station. Hassan Hilu of Jaffa sustained a slight bullet wound in the leg, and two other Arabs were slightly injured by glass splinters.
10/11 JANUARY 1948 Gaza, 2130 hours. Shots are reported to have been fired from a passing vehicle into an orange grove on Sawafir Sharki lands near the main GadJaffa road. At 0800 hours on 11 January, 1948, the body of a labourer, Abdul Khader Mohammed En Nasri of Jaffa, was found in the grove. He has sustained bullet wounds.
14 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Abdul Fattah Hassan Khalil, an employee of the Palestine Railways, was shot and injured in the foot while walking in Jaffa Railway Station. The bullet came from the direction of a house occupied by Jews and situated north of the station. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. His condition is not serious. CO 537/3855
14 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1000 hours, Jaffa. Two unidentified Arabs were shot and killed by unknown persons in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter.
20 JANUARY 1948 1430 hours, Jaffa. On the Manshieh beach, Abed Mohammed Jerieh (25) and Khader Mohammed El Jaber (201, both of Manshieh, were hit by bullets fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. The first named was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, but was found to be dead on arrival. Jaber was admitted to the Dajani Hospital in serious condition.
20 JANUARY 1948 1430 hours, Jaffa. On the Manshieh beach, Abed Mohammed Jerieh (25) and Khader Mohammed El Jaber (201, both of Manshieh, were hit by bullets fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. The first named was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, but was found to be dead on arrival. Jaber was admitted to the Dajani Hospital in serious condition.
20 JANUARY 1948 1630 hours, Jaffa. In Salameh Road, a woman, Sisteh Nesrameh (33, of Jaffa, was hit in the arm by a bullet fired from the direction of Tel Aviv. She was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. Her condition is not serious.
21 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 0001 hours, Jaffa. A party of Jews opened fire on the Municipal Slaughter House on the Jaffa/Jerusalem road, causing no known casualties or damage. A quantity of first aid kit and bottles containing what is believed to be an incendiary liquid were left behind by the attackers.
21 JANUARY 1948 0900 hours, Jaffa. Following a report that armed Jews, who had arrived in a truck, had been seen digging holes north of Jaffa Railway Station, police found four gun emplacements and an unexploded mortar bomb.
21 JANUARY 1948 1100 hours, Jaffa. Ten Arab houses in Arlin Street were blown up by Jews, the explosions being followed by heavy firing. No casualties have been reported.
21 JANUARY 1948 Jewish terrorists were seen trying to enter certain Arab houses in the border area of Jaffa-Tel Aviv.
22 JANUARY 1948 1100 hours, Bassa Lands, Jaffa. The following persons were shot on BassaLands by Jewish snipers, believed to have been positioned in the vicinity of the Spirit Factory in Abu Kebir on the JaffaIJerusalem road: Dead – Sulieman Hassan Nattar (25), of Trans-Jordan. Seriously injured – 1) Abdul Khadar Nattar (28), of Trans-Jordan; 2) Harned Naher Saleh Tadder (25), of Trans-Jordan; 3) Mohammed Hajeh Hijaz, of Bassa; 4) Mohammed Zafer Hijazi, of Bassa.
22 JANUARY 1948 1800 hours, Jaffa. The body of Abdul Natif Omar (25), of Nablus, was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. He had been shot dead by Jewish snipers near the Spirit Factory in the Abu Kebir area.
23 JANUARY 1948 1345 hours, Jaffa. At Salama village, Sheikh Ibrahim Moghrabi, aged 21, of Salama, sustained severe bullet wounds in the back when fired upon by Jewish snipers.
23 JANUARY 1948 1511 hours, Jaffa. Arab traffic was fired upon from one of the Miqveh Israel Colony orange groves, and the fire was returned by the crew of an armoured car. No casualties have been reported.
25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1145 hours, Jaffa. Two Arab houses in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter, were blown up by Jews and completely destroyed. No casualties have been reported.
25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1300 hours, Jaffa. The body of Mohammed Khalil Khalaf, aged 20 of Manshieh Quarter, who is stated to have been killed by a bomb thrown from the Manshieh Quarter during the morning, was admitted to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
25 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. The following casualties were caused when a bomb exploded in an Arab house in Jabaliya Quarter: Dead – Shafic El Asfar (25); Sami El Asfar (30).
27 JANUARY 1948 Lydda. 1745 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Mohammed Khalil Omar, aged 20 of Qalqiliya, was seriously wounded in the stomach by a bullet fired by a Jewish sniper from the direction of Tel Aviv.
1 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1645 hours, Jaffa. Hula1 Salim (451, of Jaffa, was admitted to the Government Hospital with a bullet wound in his side. His condition is serious. He was shot from the direction of Tel Aviv while walking on Bassa Lands.
1 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. Ismail Salmi Hussein (43, of Jaffa, was shot on Bassa Lands by a bullet from the direction of Tel Aviv. He was removed to the Government Hospital, where his condition is not serious.
2 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. Approximately 1645 hours, Jaffa. Unknown persons blew up the houses of Mohammed Natour and Ali Sambo, the bakeries of Abu Sbuhi El Asfour and Subhi El Asfour and an Arab Girls’ School, all situated in Hassan Bey Street. Damage is roughly estimated at LP, 70,000.
4 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0730 hours, Jaffa. Whilst walking near an Arab road block on the Jerusalem road on the outskirt of Jaffa, Ibrahim Hanna Bamdah, aged 20 of Jaffa, and a thirty-yearold Arab woman from Jaffa named Hameeni were shot and killed by unknown persons.
8 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1450 hours. In the Manshieh Quarter, Naif Yusef Saleh Ed Din of Syria, who was living in Jaffa, was shot and slightly wounded by snipers. He was removed to the Government Hospital where his condition is reported to be not serious.
10 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. The house of Mohammed Salim Kalha in the Manshieh Quarter of Jaffa was burnt and completely destroyed by Jews. The damage is estimated at LP.8,000.
11 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 2200 hours, Jaffa. In Ajami Road, Jaffa, Yousef Salah Ed Din (30) of Beit Rima, Ramallah Sub-District, was shot in the head and killed by unknown persons.
12 FEBRUARY 1948 Cemeteries of all the Christian communities in Jaffa are grouped in one locality, each having its own guard. Zionist terrorists from the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Bath Yom opened fire and hurled hand grenades on the Christian cemeteries. Five Christian Arabs were killed, including three girls aged five, eight and eleven.
United Nations Security Council Official Records, Supplements – 1948.
12/13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. Night, 12/13 February, 1948, Jaffa. It is reported that the house of Eid Hasim Esh Shatra in Jebaliya Quarter was destroyed by Jews. The damage is estimated at LP. 7,200.
13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1030 hours, Jaffa. A party of Jews directed fire from three mortars at the Jaffa Railway Station Goods Yard. The bombs exploded causing no damage or casualties. The attack was accompanied by small arms fire for approximately five minutes.
13 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1300 hours, Jaffa. The following persons were ! injured when a mortar bomb struck their house in Jabaliya Quarter: Seriously Injured – Fattah Sawan (20). Slightly injured – Othman Sawan (12); Ina’am bint Mahmoud Sawan; Mafeedem bint Mahmoud Sawan (10). All were removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
15 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1230 hours, Jaffa. Three of four mortar bombs, believed to have been fired from Tel Aviv, exploded in the area of Jaffa Railway Station. There were no casualties. Municipal Police replied with rifle fire with no known results. CO 537/3856
16 FEBRUARY, 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliya Quarter, Ihsan Said Masri (35) of Jaffa was shot dead by a Jewish sniper from Holon.
17 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0030 to 0600 hours, Jaffa/T.A. border area. Numerous explosions and automatic fire were heard from the Abu KebirJSalameh Road and Tel Er Rish areas. No casualties were reported. Jews were alleged to be firing from the Hatiqva Quarter to Holon under cover of this fire.
20 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 21 30 hours, Jaffa. Abdul Mahdi El Azzar (23) of Jebeliya Quarter was shot and killed by Jewish snipers.
22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1130 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Ali Abu Adwan (35) of Manshieh Quarter was shot in the head by a Jewish sniper firing from Tel Aviv. He died in the French Hospital at 1430 hours.
22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1200 hours, Jaffa. At Tel Er Rish, Kassim Mohammed Saleh (20) of Tel Er Rish was shot by a Jewish sniper and died from his wounds upon admission to the French Hospital.
22 FEBRUARY 1948 1230 hours, Arab bus fired on between Jaffa and Ramle. 2 Arabs wounded.
22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Othman Khalil Boutanji (22) of Dura village was shot and slightly wounded by unknown persons on Bassa lands. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
22 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1600 hours, Jaffa. In Manshieh Quarter, Amneh bint Sulieman El Ashi (12) of Manshieh Quarter was shot in the abdomen and seriously wounded by unknown persons. She succumbed to her injuries at 2130 hours in the Dajani Hospital.
23 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliya Quarter, Hassan Hussein Saleh (3 1) of Jabaliya was wounded in the right hand by a bullet from the direction of Bat Yam brewery. He was slightly injured and discharged after treatment at the Govemment Hospital, Jaffa.
23 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 1515 hours, Jaffa. In Jaffa Port, Abed Abdullah Halabi (30) of Jaffa was shot and slightly wounded in the leg by unknown persons. He was removed to the Government Hospital. His condition is not serious.
25 FEBRUARY 1948 Lydda. 2200 hours, Jaffa. The body of Samis Khorub (27) of Jabaliya Quarter was admitted to the Government Hospital. He had been killed when a mortar bomb exploded in the Jabaliya Quarter. Two other Arabs were at the same time admitted to the hospital, suffering from shock caused by the same explosion.
1 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Morning, Jaffa. In Tel Er Rish, Ahmed Mustafa Ahmed (27) of Tel Er Rish was shot and killed by unknown persons. His body was taken to the French Hospital, Jaffa.
2 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0940 hours, Jaffa. Jewish snipers positioned in a house between the Migdem Chocolate Factory and a distillery on the Assem Bey Road commenced firing into the area between the Jaffa/Jerusalem road and the Abu Kebir track. An Arab woman, Aisha Hassan Sadem (45) of Jaffa, was seriously wounded. She was removed to the Government Hospital. A military armoured car in the vicinity was fired on. A police armoured car returned the fire with no known result.
2 MARCH 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Ahmed Taher of Manshiya Quarter, complains that during recent disturbances, his house and shop in Carmel Street were blown up and completely destroyed. The value of the property is estimated at LP. 5,500.
4 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0200 until 0230 hours, Jaffa. Several explosions and heavy firing were heard from the Bassa lands area. It was subsequently revealed that an Arab owned textile factory on Salameh Road was blown up and completely destroyed. There were no known casualties.
5 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1645 hours, Jaffa. A police armoured car patrolling the Abu Kebir area reported that a low-flying monoplane opened fire with automatic weapons into Abu Kebir. Arab witnesses state that this machine also dropped two grenades in the vicinity of the Iron Foundry on the JaffaIJerusalem road.
Mohammed Ibrahim Berbasi was admitted to the Dajani Hospital with a bullet wound in the thigh which he stated was caused by fire from a low-flying plane over Tel Arish. A later account described the ‘plane as being light grey or white with R.A.F. markings on both wings, and the letters ‘VOL’ and some figures on the fuselage.
8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0700 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Arhan Abu Fammad (32) of Tell Er Rish, who was admitted to the French Hospital at 0500 hours, suffering from wounds received from an exploding mortar bomb in the Tell Er Rish quarter, succumbed to his injuries. The bomb is said to have been fired from the direction of Holon.
8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Abdullah Yanani (30) of Jaffa, was shot and fatally injured in Arlin Street, Manshieh, by a Jewish sniper. The body was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
8 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Approximately 2200 hours, Jaffa. Hassan Khalil Sarkoury (26) of Jebeliya Quarter was injured in the right shoulder when a bomb was thrown by Jews on the Bat Yam/Jebeliya border. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa. His condition is not serious.
9 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0930 hours, Jaffa. In the Jabaliyeh Quarter, Shafiq Ahmed (22) was wounded in the head by splinters believed to have been caused by a mortar bomb. He was removed to Government Hospital, condition not serious.
10 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1510 hours, Jaffa. Arabs employed at the iron foundry situated on the JaffaIJerusalem road near Holon were fired upon by Jews from the direction of Miqve Israel colony. The Arabs returned the fire, which ceased when police armoured cars appeared on the scene. There were no casualties.
13/14 MARCH 1948 Jerusalem. Night, Jaffa. On Bassa lands, the ice factory of Hassan Tewfic Abu Ghazaleh, of Jaffa, was attacked by Jews, with mortars and small arms fire. The factory watchman, Ibrahim Getani (22) of Jaffa, was slightly injured and removed to the Dejani Hospital. The building was partly demolished, damage being estimated at approximately LP. 6,000.
14 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0130 hours, Jaffa. In the Abu Kebir Quarter, Ali Hassan el Weish (23) of that quarter was killed by snipers. His body was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
16 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1530 hours, Jaffa. In Tel er Rish Yousef Ali Abdul Khalil(26), of Mi’ilya village, was shot and fatally wounded by snipers from the Holon area. His body was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1430 hours, Jaffa. On Bassa lands, Ahmed Hussein Tustani (35), of Hebron, was shot and fatally wounded by a sniper from the direction of Tel Aviv. The body was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. The body of Said Butros (25) of Tel er Rish was admitted to the French Hospital in Jaffa. He had been killed by snipers’ bullets in Tel er Rish.
18 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1630 hours, Jaffa. Jews blew up eight unoccupied Arab houses in Arlin Street, Manshieh Quarter. They also fired at the Manshieh Police Station and at a police armoured car which approached the scene. The fire was returned by the police, but there were no known casualties.
19 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1030 hours, Tel Aviv. A Jewish snipers’ position in Abu Kebir Quarter directed moderate automatic fire into Salama Road, Jaffa. A police arrnoured car proceeded to the scene at approximately 1 100 hours, and the area then became quiet. No casualties have been reported.
22/23 MARCH 1948 Lydda. Between 2350 hours 22 March, 1948, and 0145 hours 23 March, 1948, Jaffa. Jebeliya Quarter was attacked by Jews. During the course of the attack, eleven houses and a small mosque were demolished, believed by mortars. The following casualties were admitted to the Government Hospital from the quarter on the morning of 23 March, 1948: Seriously Injured- Dahiel Eissa Ed Dibis (45); Mohammed Marouf El Kaban (35); Abdul Fattah Samara (27).
23 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1130 hours, Jaffa. Jewish snipers near Bassa lands commenced firing into King George Avenue, Jaffa. Two Arabs were killed, Ali Darwish Wazieh (12) of Jaffa and Hassan Muharram (30) of Jaffa. At approximately 1230 hours, the Jewish snipers post was silenced by military using two pounders.
24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 0230 hours, Jaffa. Several heavy mortar bombs fired from the direction of Tel Aviv in the area of the Hassan Bey Mosque. Some damage was caused to the surrounding wall of the Mosque and to a nearby house. No casualties have been reported.
24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1500 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Sabri el Rehawi (20) of Syria, was slightly wounded in the leg by a bullet fired by unknown persons near the Bat Yam Mental Home. He was admitted to the Government Hospital.
24 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1935 hours, Jaffa. Jews from Abu Kebir opened fire with mortars on the flour mill in Salama Road. Arabs replied and firing was still continuing at 2000 hours. No further details are yet available.
25 MARCH 1948 Lydda. 1600 hours, Jaffa. Ali Morffi el Rahidi (35) of Egypt was admitted to the Government Hospital suffering from a bullet wound in the back which he sustained when a Jewish armoured car fired at him in Zarmuqa village. His condition is serious.
25 MARCH 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. The house of Farid Jaber in Karton Quarter was destroyed by fire in unknown circumstances. The damage caused is estimated at L.P. 5,000. On the same day at Jaber’s orange grove, situated in Salameh village, damage estimated at L.P. 13,000 is stated to have been caused by Jews using explosive charges.
1 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 0955 hours, Jaffa. A mortar bomb, believed to have been fired from Bat Yam, exploded on the house of Assad El Dejani, near Ajami P.S. Slight damage was sustained by the building, but no casualties were caused.
1 APRIL 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Salim Rajab Sha’aban El Moghrabi reports that his house on the Bat YamlJebeliya border was demolished by Jewish mortar fire.
2 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1700 hours, Jaffa. Ali Abu Hajas (30), of Manshieh Quarter, was shot and seriously wounded by Jewish snipers in Arlin Street. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
3 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 0700 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Ahmed Eissa (291, of Egypt, was shot and slightly injured by Jewish snipers in the Karm Et Tut area. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa.
3 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1100 hours, Jaffa. Four mortar bombs, believed to have been fired from Tel Aviv area, and one mine exploded in the Suq El Yehud causing damage to unoccupied property. The exploding of the mine is believed to have been detonated by one of the bombs. No casualties have been reported.
3 APRIL 1948 Lydda. Night, Jaffa. An Arab house, situated in the Jebaliyeh Quarter of Jaffa, was blown up and extensively damaged by Jews and an occupant, Fathmi Shlean (68), was killed.
3 APRIL 1948 Lydda, Jaffa. Mohammed Ahmed Eissa, of Kami Et Tut, was shot and seriously injured, by unknown persons, whilst in his village. He was removed to the Government Hospital, Jaffa, where he died shortly after admission.
6 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1630 hours, Jaffa. Jews opened fire on swimmers near the Jaffa Club. The following casualties were caused: Dead – Subhi Ibn Adib Jabour (27), of Jaffa. Serious – Mohammed Ibn Akawi (12), of Jaffa. Slight – Mohammed Mahmoud Kana’an (20), of Jaffa. CO 537/3857
8 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 0 100 hours, Jaffa. Jews opened mortar fire on the Manshieh Quarter and bombs fell near the Manshieh Police Station and in the Jaffa railway yard. A municipal policeman, No. 1 13, Abdullah Eissa Salim (26), of Jaffa, was slightly injured by splinters whilst on duty in the Suq el Yehud. A house in the railway yard was destroyed, and Hassan Abu Shimes (35), of Manshieh, was seriously injured. Three mortar bombs exploded in the vicinity of the C.S. Jaffa, and the following two Arabs were injured: Deeb Ahmed Hamed (60), of Jaffa – serious; Yousef Abu Jabrin Bader (25), of Jaffa – not serious.
10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1445 hours, Jaffa. Ahmed Abu Kalim (23), of Manshieh Quarter, was shot and seriously wounded by Jewish snipers whilst in Qaswan Street. He was removed to the Dajani Hospital.
10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1730 hours, Jaffa. Moussa Madon (23), of Ajami Quarter, was shot and killed and Lutfi Ghawi (25), also of Ajami, was slightly wounded while they were walking in El Lisaf Street. Both were hit by shots fired from the direction of the Railway Station and were removed to the French Hospital.
10 APRIL 1948 Lydda. 1810 hours, Jaffa. Mohammed Abdul Rahman Jainaf (55), of Jaffa, was shot and slightly injuredin Manshieh Quarter by a Jewish sniper. He was removed to the French Hospital, Jaffa.
14 APRIL 1948 0230 hours to 0600 hours, 14 April, Jews mortared Jaffa, particularly Manshiya Quarter. No known casualty.
25 APRIL 1948 Irgun Z’vai Leumi attack Jaffa. Army intervenes and fighting stops. Approximately fifty Arab casualties. Jews blow two gaps in the bridge at Jisr al Majami. Army reoccupies Sheikh Jarrah, meeting initial resistance from Hagana, but later a truce is negotiated and both sides ordered cease fire. Two Jews killed and two wounded. Four British Soldiers slightly wounded. Jews attack At Tireh, south of Haifa.
26 APRIL 1948 1030 hours, 26 April, 2 R IR F road block at Jaffa congested by Arab lorries and buses carrying refugees. Congestion cleared and traffic passing road block estimated at rate of 20 vehicles per hour. Refugees fired on by Jewish sniper as they moved off. No casualty.
26 APRIL 1948 At 1135 hours, 26th April, there was heavy mortaring of Manshieh Quarter, Jaffa, and Manshieh Police Station was attacked by Jews with arrnoured cars, grenades and small arms. No casualties yet reported.
26 APRIL 1948 Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Jews attacked Arab quarter Jaffa with mortars and automatics and penetrated as far as the railway station. The Mayor of Tel Aviv was told that unless attack was stopped, military would employ force. This had the desired effect, and the situation is now quiet. Fifty Arab civilians are believed killed.
Our brethren are right when they say that the Arab honours only those who show valour and fortitude;
On 24 April 1948, the Irgun militant Zionist organization opened an attack on the Manshiyeh residential quarter of Jaffa, a narrow Palestinian suburb located beside the sea and largely surrounded by Tel Aviv. For four days and nights, under the direction of Menachem Begin, the Irgun indiscriminately shelled the quarter with mortars.
Hansard, the official record of proceedings in the U.K. Parliament, reported:
“On the 5th of May, 1948, the question of the attack by the Irgun Z’vai Leumi on Jaffa was raised. The Secretary of State for the Colonies was asked whether he had any statement to make on the present situation in Jaffa. Mr. Rees-Williams, the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies answered as follows:
In the early hours of 28th [sic] April a heavy attack on the Arab town of Jaffa was made by the Irgun Zvai Leumi, the method adopted being an indiscriminate mortar bombardment, apparently designed to create panic among the civilian inhabitants. British forces intervened, supported by aircraft, and in the course of the afternoon the Jews retired to their original positions. By nightfall the border was quiet except for occasional sniping. A cease-fire was ordered for both sides by the military commander and was observed. British troops then occupied a line between Arabs and Jews on the Tel-Aviv- Jaffa border. On the evening of 30th April, the cease-fire order was broken by fire from the Jewish side, which was quickly silenced by military action. Latest reports indicate that the town is now quiet. As a rough estimate, some 30,000 Arabs left Jaffa and more are leaving. The Arab mayor is still in Jaffa and municipal services are functioning, although with difficulty… “. (Hansard, House of Commons Debates, May 5, 1948, p. 1238).
The day after the Irgun offensive began, Haganah troops launched Operation Chametz against Jaffa, to isolate and conquer the city.
but this is the case only when he feels that the other side has justice on his side.
It is very different in a case when [the Arab] thinks that his opponent’s actions are iniquitous and unlawful;
“We all heard about the massacre. I remember that I read extensive coverage of the horrors in our press, which republished a story from the New York Times. Besides this terrifying news, the Arabs in Jaffa feared they would not be able to defend their honour if they were attacked by the Jews. They were afraid that their women would be subject to the humiliation of Deir Yassin. I was young, but I sensed just how much this worried the people in Jaffa. Having four sisters was enough reason for us to leave, as the Jews considered everything and everyone in the villages they invaded as theirs”.
in that case he may keep his anger to himself for a long time,
Jaffa, Palestine: Palestinians driven into the sea at Jaffa Harbor, late April 1948. With the land routes cut off by the Haganah, tens of thousands of the citizens of Jaffa and neighboring villages fled by boat: south to Gaza and Egypt, and north to Lebanon. (via Walid Khalidi, Before Their Diaspora)
but it will dwell in his heart
and in the long run he will prove himself to be vengeful and full of retribution.
1. The text, “We tend to believe abroad…”, is from the work of the Zionist writer Ahad Ha’Am, (Truth from the Land of Israel, 1891). Reproduced in Complete Works of Ahad Ha’am, (Tel Aviv, 1946), pp. 24-29. (h/t Angry Arab)
2. Unless otherwise noted, the photos are from Palestine Remembered, and should not be reused without attribution to that site.
3. Details of attacks on Jaffa, Jan to Apr 1948, are taken from the Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem; available on-line here. The alphanumeric reference number at the end of each report refers to the file number under which the original source material is archived at the U.K. National Archives (formerly the Public Records Office) in Kew, London:
- CO 537/3855 = Confidential reports from the British Criminal Investigation Dept (C.I.D.) to the U.K. Colonial Office on Outrages in Palestine, 1947-48.
- CO 537/3856: Confidential reports from the British Criminal Investigation Dept (C.I.D.) to the U.K. Colonial Office on Outrages in Palestine, Feb-Mar 1948.
- WO 261/573: Confidential quarterly reports from British Army H.Q. in Palestine to the U.K. War Office, Jan-Mar 1948.
- WO 275/64: Confidential fortnightly newsletters from the H.Q. of the British Sixth Airborne Division in Palestine to the U.K. War Office, Mar 1947-May 1948.
- CO 537/3857: Confidential reports from the British Criminal Investigation Dept (C.I.D.) to the U.K. Colonial Office on Outrages in Palestine, Mar-Apr 1948.