According to testimony obtained by Haaretz, captives were ordered to line up and turn around, before they were shot in the back. The officer who gave the order was released after serving seven months in prison, while his commander was promoted to a high-ranking post.

Israeli soldiers murdered dozens of captives during one of the wars the IDF fought in the first decades of Israel’s existence. The officer who gave the order to kill the prisoners was tried, but got off with a ridiculously light sentence. His commander was promoted to an extremely senior post and the entire affair was hushed up.

The dozens of prisoners were soldiers in one of the enemy armies. They had surrendered after the battle and thrown down their weapons. Some of them were seriously wounded.The Israeli soldiers who initially took control of the place where they surrendered gathered them into an interior courtyard surrounded by a wall, gave them food and talked with them about their lives and their military service.

A few hours later, these soldiers were assigned a different mission, and another Israeli force was sent to replace them at the site where the captives were being held. This changing of the guard prompted questions among the officers at the site as to what to do with the captured enemy soldiers, because the new force refused to accept responsibility for them, while the departing force had no means of transporting the prisoners.

The company commander who was the officer in charge at the site then ordered his soldiers to kill the captives. According to testimony obtained by Haaretz, the captives were ordered to stand in a line and turn around, then shot in the back. An enemy officer who had been serving as a translator fled, but was shot to death by soldiers from the new force, who were in a jeep. Following the murder, an army bulldozer piled the bodies into an improvised grave.

Two eyewitness accounts of the prisoners’ murder were given to a Haaretz reporter many years ago …continue reading at Signs of the Times

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