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Israeli forces murdered Arab captives in war: Report

The captives were ordered to stand in a line and turned around, before they were shot in the back

17.09.2016
Israeli forces murdered Arab captives in war: Report A group of students protest Israel's occupation of Palestine and voice their support for Palestinian resistance movement Palestine Liberation Organization in Lefkosa, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on March 5,1988

By Anees Bargouthi

JERUSALEM 

Israeli forces have killed dozens of Arab captives, who were surrendered during a war in the first years of Israel’s existence, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

According to a testimony obtained by the newspaper, the prisoners were held in a courtyard where they were questioned about their military service.

A few hours later, a new group of Israeli soldiers were sent to replace their colleagues.

According to Haaretz, this change of the guards has raised questions about what to do with the captives.

“The company commander ordered his soldiers to kill them all,” it said. “The captives were ordered to stand in a line and turned around, before they were shot in the back.”

Following the murder, an Israeli army bulldozer piled the dead bodies into an improvised grave, the daily said.

Israeli authorities launched an investigation into the killings and the officer who gave the order to kill the prisoners was jailed but was released after serving seven months in prison.

His commander, however, was promoted to a high-ranking post following the murder, the newspaper said.

According to Haaretz, the murder is considered one of the serious war crimes in the history of the Israeli military, but the army whitewashed it.

Israel has fought several wars with Arab countries since the Jewish state’s establishment in 1948.

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