Kafr Qasim Massacre: Knesset Refuses to Take Formal Responsibility

Today marks the 65th anniversary of Kafr Qasim, in which 49 Palestinians were massacred by Israeli troops. (Photo: File)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

On this day, 65 years ago, Israeli troops (Magav) entered the Arab village of Kafr Qasim, located inside the so-called Green Line, and killed 49 unarmed Palestinian citizens of Israel, including 23 children and six women, one of whom was pregnant.

At the time, Israel had placed Palestinian villages bordering the West Bank under curfew. However, many residents of the village were working in the fields outside the town when the curfew was declared. Upon their return, they were brutally massacred by Israeli police officers.

On Friday, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog participated in the annual memorial and asked forgiveness on behalf of his country, according to Israeli media. 

“I am standing here before you today with my head bowed and my heart pained, on the sixty-fifth anniversary of one of the saddest events in the history of our country,” Herzog was quoted as saying by The Times of Israel.

“I bow my head before the memory of the forty-nine victims. I bow my head before you, their families and before the inhabitants of Kafr Qasim throughout the ages, and on behalf of myself and the State of Israel, I ask for forgiveness,” Herzog reportedly said.

Israel, however, has never taken formal responsibility for the massacre. On Wednesday, the Israeli Knesset voted down a bill proposed by Aida Touma-Souleiman, Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif from the Joint Arab List. 

The draft law, which proposed that the Israeli government recognized its responsibility for the massacre and introduced its commemoration as part of Israeli school curricula, was opposed by a majority of 93 deputies and only supported by 12, according to The Times of Israel.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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