Israel poisoned wells in Palestinian villages during the Nakba

Israel poisoned wells Nakba

Israeli committing war crimes is not new, although in 1948, weapons were not as technologically advanced as those used in Gaza currently, the story of Israel has been stained of violations of human rights and International law even before its official foundation.

Some historians have recovered official documents stored in the Israel State Archive proving that Israeli soldiers poisoned wells to prevent expelled Palestinians from returning to their home villages during the 1948 Nakba, reported The New Arab, Asharq Al-Awsat and agencies.

According to International news agencies, those documents showed that Israeli political and military leaders and some scholars were partners in the decision, and had even planned to poison the waters in Cairo and Beirut, but finally, they had not.

Haaretz reported that the poisoning was partially exposed decades ago by Arab sources that reported rumors and oral testimonies in newspapers and books about an attempt by the Zionist army in 1948 to poison wells in Acre and Gaza by adding bacteria to the drinking water. However, the details of Israel’s secret use of biological weapons and poison against Palestinians during the Nakba were revealed in an article by historians Benny Morris and Benjamin Kedar in 2022.

The operation was called ‘Cast Thy Bread’.

Asharq Al-Awsat, citing newswire reports, claimed that this document by Morris and Kedar’s research is a rarity because it was researched and published against the wishes of the Israeli security establishment, which has tried for years to block any historical documents that expose war crimes against Palestinians, such as murdering prisoners, ethnic cleansing, and destroying villages, Haaretz wrote.

The operation began in April 1948, when Israel formally established as a state a month later and officially started the “Nakba”, the process of expelling 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland, and its army committed several massacres.

READ: Report leaked showing Israel contemplates resettling Gazans

Initially focused on an area between Jerusalem and the actual Tel Aviv, the poisoning operation expanded to include other areas.

The New Arab reported that it was at first ordinary soldiers who were tasked with poisoning the wells, but the job was later given to the mista’arvim, an undercover force who disguised themselves as Palestinians and specialized in sabotage operations in enemy territory, according to the documents.

The poison was produced in a unit in the army’s Science Corps that dealt with biological warfare.

The poisoning started on April 1, 1948, with the knowledge and supervision of several officials, including then Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, the documents revealed.

It was even proposed that the operation be expanded to include Beirut and Cairo, to stop Arab armies from invading, but this part of the scheme had not been concreted, reported the New Arab.

Dozens of people developed many diseases because of the poisoning, according to previous reports.

This fact was exposed in May 1948 when Egyptian authorities arrested in Gaza two Israeli soldiers with tubes containing typhoid germs in their possession,  reported “plus agency” Asharq Al-Awsat.

Much of the Israeli archives from the Nakba period remain unknown, though many new historical details from the catastrophe are slowly emerging.
The New Arab / Asharq Al-Awsat/Agencies

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