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  • 15:41 - 3 November 2022

Palestinians mark 69th anniversary of Qibya massacre

Ramallah, (Drah-agencies)-- Sixty-nine years ago, Israeli occupation forces carried out a bloody massacre against the Palestinian people in Qibya village, northwest of Ramallah.At that time, two Israeli military units led by the Israeli war criminal, Ariel Sharon, besieged the village before starting bombing civilian houses. At least 67 Palestinian villagers were killed during the massacre, two-thirds of them women and children, while dozens of houses were destroyed.Details of the massacreOctober 14, 1953, the Israeli 101st Special Operations Unit led by Ariel Sharon and the 890 Paratroopers Unit surrounded the village at around 7.30 pm and started bombing its residential neighborhoods along the night hours, forcing the residents to stay indoors.The Israeli unit later stormed the village amid heavy and random gunfire at the local houses.Mines were also planted in the roads leading to the village, completely isolating it.Despite their small number and limited weapons, the residents and the Palestinian National Guard, led by Mahmoud Abdel Aziz, confronted the Israeli attack by all possible means till they ran out of ammunition.The National Guard commander was able to reach the neighboring Deir Qadis village, where he radioed the Jordanian military command in Ramallah, asking for help. However, the Jordanian military could not able to reach the village after being obstructed by Israeli army and clashed with the Israeli forces lurking in the roads.Meanwhile, Israeli paratroopers blew up the houses over the heads of their residents.56 houses, two schools, a mosque, and a water tank were destroyed during the Israeli shelling.The attack took place almost immediately after the signing of the 1949 Armistice Agreements. Ariel Sharon later wrote in his diary that he had received orders to inflict heavy damage on the Arab Legion forces in Qibya: “The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example for everyone.” Original documents of the time showed that Sharon personally ordered his troops to achieve "maximal killing and damage to property." Post-operational reports speak of breaking into houses and clearing them with grenades and shooting.LocationQibya is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) northwest of Ramallah. It is part of the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate. It had a population of approximately 1,635 residents and nearly 4,000 refugees.Painful facts67 Palestinians were killed during the bloody massacre, including children and women. Hundreds more were injured.Entire families were massacred during the attack, including Abu Zaid family, consisting of four members, and Mahmoud al-Masloul family, consisting of six children.Why Qibya?The attack followed a cross-border raid from Jordan into an Israeli settlement, where two Jewish settlers were killed.One day later, the Israeli Prime Minister at the time, David Ben-Gurion, ordered maximal killing and damage to property in Qibya village through which the attackers had passed on their way to the settlement. 

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