Khan Yunis 1956

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What happened at Khan Yunis November 3, 1956?

Anti-Israel sources often cite a “massacre” at Khan Yunis as an example of Israeli atrocities committed against Palestinian Arabs. Here are two typical claims:

  • During the short invasion of Sinai and Gaza October 29, 1956, the Israelis committed atrocities against the refugees of Khan Yunis camp. They lined hundreds of civilians against the walls and killed a great number in cold blood.
  • November 3, 1956 before Israel withdrawal following its invasion of the Sinai, the Israeli army commits a massacre in Khan Yunis, killing scores of Palestinian men, women and children. The massacre occurs while the camp was still under curfew.

The Gaza area was occupied and controlled by Egypt between the 1949 armistice that ended the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 war. Therefore dates outside that period are highly suspect. However, between early November 1956 and March 1957 Israel was in administrative control of Gaza due to operations of the Sinai Campaign.
On November 3, 1956 Israeli troops entered Khan Yunis and took control. Reports differ about exactly what happened but there were civilian casualties. One reasonably objective on-line source is the report of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the period, referenced in the Sources below. Paragraph 23 of that report states:

  • The town of Khan Yunis and the Agency's camp adjacent thereto were occupied by Israel troops on the morning of 3 November. A large number of civilians were killed at that time, but there is some conflict in the accounts given as to the causes of the casualties. The Israel authorities state that there was resistance to their occupation and that the Palestinian refugees formed part of the resistance. On the other hand, the refugees state that all resistance had ceased at the time of the incident and that many unarmed civilians were killed as the Israel troops went through the town and camp, seeking men in possession of arms. The exact number of dead and wounded is not known, but the Director has received from sources he considers trustworthy lists of names of persons allegedly killed on 3 November, numbering 275 individuals, of whom 140 were refugees and 135 local residents of Khan Yunis.
The "conflict in the accounts" will not be resolved since those with an anti-Israel bias will insist that much more happened while Israeli participants will say the numbers are inflated and there were valid military reasons for any shooting and casualties. UNRWA and other UN agencies are often biased against Israel, but even so the report above does not describe a "massacre". Note: Alternate spelling: Khan Younis

2 thoughts on “Khan Yunis 1956”

  1. 275 dead civilians does not constitute a massacre? I hadn’t heard about this event until I ran across it through a link (so I have never heard “the other side”) but it is already clear that YOU are biased, and do not believe that non-Israelis are human.

  2. BS. You don’t mention that the Sinai campaign was an unprovoked invasion of Egyptian territory by Israel with the stupid intent of seizing the Suez Canal. Eisenhower forced Israel to withdraw from all territories “conquered” by the IDF. There is documentation to show that Khan Younais was a massacre perpetrated by the IDF as was Rafah. The IDF has nothing honorable to fix on in its sordid history, not a single thing of value, nothing. Israel is no longer any kind of accomplishment, it is a disgrace to Judaism worldwide.

    The UN is not biased even though the creation of the state of Israel was a thinly passed fix by the US, not a triumph as it is depicted. Israel corrupted the UN at its inception, assaulted its basic principle that territory aggrandizement by war was “unacceptable.” Israel and its Lobby have now corrupted the US Congress and the current Israeli government is assaulting free speech and democracy with a relentless passion.

    I was never ashamed of being a Jew until I started asking questions about Zionism and Israel. The, the answers were overwhelming and obvious (obvious — right before our eyes!), not squirreled away, not some sophisticated judgement of a “complicated” affair. It was plain as day. Zionists sold a troubled people phony “rights” to a land occupied and owned by other people. Foreigners came to Palestine and kicked the occupiers out and confiscated their property. They attempted to hide their crimes by planting trees and telling wild stories about how inhabitants fled to other countries. The process of stealing land and kicking out inhabitants continues apace in the West Bank.

    Fortunately, Israel will expire due to demographic circumstances over which it has no control. American Jews, fervent Zionists many, will not move to Israel even if it is “their” land. Not on your life. And Israelis are leaving in meaningful numbers and not reproducing the valued Jewish genome quickly enough. Israel has even embarked on a program to accept as Jews, some peoples are best described as “near-Jews”. Desperate. Two generations and Israel will be diluted by an Arab population and Arab pressure, like South Africa before it.

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