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Lubya a palestinian demolished Village in Galilee Memory-History-Culture-Identity Mahmoud Issa Preface

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Appendix III
The names of Lubyans who died to defend the village against the British and the Jewish military forces in 1936-1939 revolution:
1. Younis Rashid

2. Mufaddi Hassan

3. Suluman Mustafa

4. Muhammad Abdulla

5. Abd al-Latif

6. Muhammad Muhsen

7. Mahmoud al-Khatib

8. Ali Ahmad

9. Ahmad Muhammad

10. Ahmad Muhammad

11. Abd al-Kadir Shahabi

12. Muhammad al-Gharibi

13. Said Abd al-Ruhman

14. Husayn Muhammad Saleh

15. Fatima Muhammad

16. Fad’ous Muhammad Saleh

17. Mahmoud Suleman Muhammad

18. Hafiz Suleman’s son

Appendix IV
The names of Lubyans who died to defend the village against the attacks in 1948:
1. Mohamad Ibn Mofaddi

2. Said Mofaddi

3. Ahmad Mofaddi

4. Hassan Alabid

5. Shahadi Hassan Nijmi

6. Said Saleh Yihya

7. Muhammad Said Yihya

8. Ibrahim Salami

9. Ismael Aldiib

10. Mohammed Hassan Humayid

11. Said Hassan Humayid

12. Kalid Ahmed Kalid

13. Mohammed Abu Graibi

14. Ahmed Gbaish

15. Abid Allatiif Ibrahim Rashdan, known as "Kokash".

16. Youssef Hassan Hamid208

17. Ali Alattab, Abu Fakri, from Albiani, a near by village, came to support the villagers against the attack.

18. Dawas Uthman, the last martyr

19. Ibrahim Mansour

20. Aref Muhammad Abid Alruhman

21. Ahmad Muhammad B’Akkar, killed in Bir Zeit, while he came to join the Palestinian fighters at Alkastal battle, near Jerusalem.

23. Ragda Rashdan, died in Almutirdi while collecting corns from the fields.

24. Nasra Alisa209

25. Amina Alrashid

26. Muhanna Alshiri, from the Sammallots.

27. Harbi, handicapped, killed by knives while crawling on the ground.

28. Tamam Albakrawi

29. Knaifis Karzon, blind.

30. Muhammad Mudairis

31. Ahmad Awad

Appendix V

Total inhabitants from Lubya in denmark
In my research until now I registered 794 persons from Lubya, living in Denmark. This number includes all the original inhabitants from Lubya, their sons, daughters and grandchildren. It is for sure that there are more families which I didn't find until now. I suppose that the total number is exceeding 1000 now.
City names, number of families, number of persons and percentage are located as follows:

City name

No. of Families

No. of Persons






































Appendix VI
Administration Under Mandate Period:
Palestine is divided into the Northern and Southern Districts, under British District Commissioners with their headquarters at Haifa and Jaffa respectively, and the Division of Jerusalem under a Deputy District Commissioner having their headquarters at Jerusalem.

The Northern and Southern Districts are divided into areas and sub-districts under the administration of British and Palestinian officers respectively.

Local Government
(a) Municipalities:

Provision is made for the establishment of Municipal Councils under the Ottoman Wilayet Municipal Law dated the 5th of October, 1877 - 27th Ramadan 1294 A.H.

No municipal elections have been held since the Occupation.

(b) Local Councils

The Local Councils Ordinance Nos. 1 and 2 published in the Official Gazettes of the ist of May and the 15th of November, 1921, provide for the establishment of local councils in the villages, group of villages, and in any quarter of a town which has a distinctive character, with a view to the development of Local Government.

Councils are invested with juristic personality, and may raise a loan secured on their property and revenues, with the approval of the High Commissioner.
Councils can levy rates on the property of the village or quarter with the section of the District Commissioner, and may impose, also, a poll tax on the inhabitants and certain fees for licenses or otherwise which are authorized by the Law of Municipal Taxation in force from time to time. The rates and fees which may be imposed or charged by any Council are set out in the Order constituting each Council. Under the Regulation of Trades and Industries Ordinance, 1927, a Local Council is given the same powers as a Municipal Council with regard to the regulations of trades and industries carried on within its area which affect health and public security.
Thirty Local Councils have been declared in Palestine,
17 in the Northern District.

9 in the Southern District.

4 in the Jerusalem Division.

Loubieh was one of the biggest Local Councils in the Northern District as shown in the diagrams in appendix V1.

Then the British mandate introduced another law in the year 1926 under the name of: the Municipal Franchise Ordinance, 1926210
The qualifications of the voters are:

a. Palestinian citizenship

b. Not less than 25 years of age

c. Not to have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or upwards.

d. A payment, within 12 months preceding the date of the preparation of the Register of Voters, of tax to an annual amount of at least 500 mils on immovable property owned within the Municipal Area...
The qualifications of members of the councils are:

a. A place of residence within the Municipal Area

b. Not less than 30 years of age.

c. A payment, within 12 months preceding the date of the Ordinance, of taxes of at least P. 1(Pound) on immovable property owned within the Municipal Area...

d. Not being an undischarged bankrupt.

e. Not to have an interest directly or indirectly in any contract with, by or on behalf of the Municipality.

f. Not being a paid officer of the Government of Municipality.
The functions, powers and duties of Municipal Councils are derived from and imposed by the Wilayet Municipal Law, 1877 (principally Sections 3 and 63) as amended by the Municipal Councils Validation Ordinance, 1925 and certain Ordinance enacted since the British Occupation in 1920.
Constitution of a local council (maglis mahalli) in Lubya
In the official Gazette of the Government of Palestine, No.166, 1st. July, 1926,211 the following order concerning the Local Councils Ordinance 1921was published:
1. It is hereby ordered on the recommendation of the District Commissioner. Northern District, that a Local Council shall be constituted in the village of Lubieh.
2. The council shall consist of nine members to be elected from amongst the leading Hamoulehs of the village in accordance with the following provisions:

(a) Every male person of the village of 20 years of age and over shall be entitled to a vote in an open election, by a show of hands, of the members of the Council. A list of candidates shall be previously drawn up by the District Officer, Tiberias, in consultation with the notables and villagers. Candidates shall be bona fide residents of the village and owners of immovable property therein.

(b) The district Commissioner shall appoint the President.

(c) The President and members may hold office for a period not

exceeding two years, and shall be eligible for re-election; provided that the District Commissioner may remove from the Council the President or any member who is convicted by a court or Magistrate of a breach of the peace or of any other misconduct which in the opinion of the District Commissioner disqualifies him for his office……

Appendix VII
Lubya’s Occupation in the Archives
“We have to remember that the Lubyans have always been brave fighters, and took pride in the name of their village. The loss of other Arab villages didn’t enfeeble their morale; on the contrary, it gave rise to a feeling of superiority over the others and that they had no one who resembled them”.

Official Israeli Assessment

The battle of al-Shajara and the occupation of Lubya, 9-10/6/1948212
To verify the accuracy of certain facts, it is important for both Lubyans and Jews to learn what really happened in 1948, and how each side reacted, both locally and nationally, to the events that took place in Lubya in particular and in Palestine in general. We have heard the accounts of Lubyans through oral testimonies of the elderly people and written reports.213. Now I am gathering most of the Jewish written material concerning the plans to conquer Lubya.
I spliced together different statements from different Hebrew books to give more coherence to the accounts. Justification for the conquering of Lubya appears in the following introduction to the chapter on the village’s occupation. It is not clear whether the following paragraph was written by the leader of the regiment, Yaakov Dror, or another. Lubya was depicted from the very beginning as one of “the main strongholds of the enemy in central and lower Galilee”. The reasons for this enmity are pure military reasons, according to the military analysis. No care what so ever about the inhabitants of the village or their livelihood- Lubya was a merely military area that should be occupied. Three different plans were put on paper from the 6th of May 1948 until the final execution of the plan on the 18-21 of July. According to military estimation: “the main reason for the Jewish military forces to occupy Lubya was a tactical one: to open the road between Kfar Tabur and al-Shajara to Tiberias”; and to prevent the ASA forces to use Lubya as a buffer between the north and centre of the land. Very simple and direct reason, without mentioning any word about the uprooting of the village, and the huge ethnic cleansing operation that didn’t stop even after the establishment of Israel. The following was the military written documentation of Lubya’s occupation. Few accounts will be presented in details, while other accounts were put as footnotes to those who are more interested in the details of the military events and its reflection on the Jewish forces involved:
“Lubya was located at the east of the crossroads of Nazareth-Tiberias-Afula. We saw it as one of the main strongholds of the enemy in central and lower Galilee, and it was used as a buffer against the Jewish triangle: Afula -Tiberias, Afula-Beit She’an [Bissan], and Kineret-Jordan Valley. Lubya could therefore be a spearhead for the Qawuqji forces stationed in central Galilee in their attempt to separate the upper Galilee and Jordan Valley from the centre of the land. There was a real fear [and in fact it later turned out that this was well founded] that the enemy would try to approach from three different directions. Qawuqji would advance from the north [from Lubya] towards the south, while the second force of the Iraqi army would advance from the south towards the north through Jenin-Afula, and Syrian forces would advance from the east. [Had they used this plan, it might have been possible to cut off the upper Galilee and Jordan Valley from the center of the country]. In addition to its geographic importance, Lubya had a tactical and practical function. Its location, only a few hundred metres from the crossroads, allowed the village to completely control the traffic movement from Kfar Tabur to Tiberias. This control was also made possible due to the location of the enemy [the Arab Salvation Army] in Khirbat Maskana. As a result of their situation the Jewish traffic towards the eastern Galilee and Jordan Valley was forced to use the only road, which was the Yavnael [Yama; a Jewish settlement south of Lubya] road. The main reason for our forces to occupy Lubya was a tactical one: to open the road between Kfar Tabur and al-Shajara to Tiberias. At the same time the main traffic vein of the enemies from the north to the central support base in Nazareth would be cut off.”
The account of the leader of the regiment, Yaakov Dror, reveal's the different steps that were taken in preparation for the occupation of Lubya.
“The decision to conquer Lubya was crystallised in the first days of May [1948]. The operation was to be carried on the 6 May, but because of lack of forces we decided temporarily to give up the plan to occupy Lubya. We limited our operation to simply disturbing the enemy so as to trap their forces in one place, and to prevent them entering the zones of al-Shajara and Arab al-Subeih that were being attacked and occupied at the same time.”
“At the beginning of June, it was again found necessary to occupy Lubya. But in the very last moment difficulties were discovered concerning gathering the necessary powers for the attack, therefore, 'we decided to postpone the operation for a week.' This time the practical aim of the attack was to ensure that the Lubya road was opened before implementing the first truce.”214
“In Lubya there were several hundred armed Arabs, most of them civilians, though no actual organized army. The Qawuqji army was stationed much further to the north of the village. Precautions were taken to enlist the probable participation from other villages nearby at the moment we began our operation, especially against northern villages such as Nimrin, Hittin, ‘‘Aylabun, and al-Maghar; and western villages such as Tur’an, Kufr Kanna, Raini, and Nazareth. It could be said that since February-March, these villages were even more ready to prepare quickly and participate in common attacks. They were still faithful to the influence of the [Mufti] al-Husayni band.”
“The fortification lines of Lubya were based on the front lines of the village, a few hundred metres south of the main block of houses and Khirbat Maskana, which had the role of controlling the cross roads. There was a military platoon located there. An automatic machine gun had been placed there to prevent any movement on the road to al-Shajara. In the northern direction, the defence was depending on support from the internal Arab front. [The Dror regiment, under Jaakov Dror, consisted of different military troops, but many of the troops were not well trained and equipped. Only one company was well trained.]”
“Following my demand, a company from Barak battalion was added to the regiment and two platoons from the local infantry consisting of inhabitants of the area; and in addition to the supporting power there were a few machine guns, four 3-inch rocket launchers, and two 65 mm canons. There was also another power of 4 Sandwich tanks, a bus and one truck. All this force came under the leadership of the regiment. Its aim was to leave Tiberias to participate in the battle. We limited the use of advance intelligence parties so as not to attract attention to our planned attack, and satisfied ourselves with long distance observation, which we did from three different areas: from the east, Sheikh Kaddoumi hill (al-Mu’tirda); from the south, Sharona (near Sirin), and from the west, al-Shajara. For this we depended heavily on people from the area who knew the battlefield well. The leader of the company and other platoon officers also participated in the intelligence gathering.”
“The plan for the attack was simple and relied on previous experience at two other places: first was to control the front lines from the south, and then to attack inside the village from the same direction. At the same time the military armoured vehicles were to enter the village from the east.”
This was the classical model used by the Haganah forces to occupy the villages and towns from three sides, leaving one side open to let the population flee so as to minimize the Jewish casualities. The fight would be fierce if they surrounded the village from all sides.
“The attack with the armoured vehicles was meant to scare the village resistance and let them feel that they were isolated. [That wasn’t the case with Lubyans who fortified their lines and fought bravely against the first attack against the Jewish military expectation]. Of course, the armoured vehicles were expected to help in any way they could. Another group, although not well trained, was set aside to defend al-Shajara, since there was reason to expect a counter-attack from the Arab forces. We decided that reinforcements would come to the aid of the village from two directions: from the north, parallel to the Maghar-’’Aylabun street; and from the west from the Kufr Kanna - Nazareth direction. In case of expected support of the villagers from the north, we intended to stop it by our canons in al-Shajara. And the expected support from the west would be dealt with by planting anti-tank mines under the tunnel, west of the crossroads junction, as well as with the help of a rocket launcher known as Shortsaloza”.
“It was planned that the attack should start in the early hours of the morning to allow time to gain control of the village during the day. The company that was sent to support us arrived in the evening just before the start of the operation. In the final hours we prepared and distributed all the necessary weapons, because the troops who joined our battalion were unarmed. It was not an easy job for us to supply all their needs. The atmosphere was good because we had already had a few triumphs, especially in occupying many enemy villages [see here again the term that all Palestinian villages were classified as “enemy villages”] almost without resistance. This time, we felt that we had enough forces and weapons: canons, rockets, middle-range machine guns, all of this against a few hundred unorganised villagers with their guns.”
“From my leadership headquarters we overlooked the whole battlefield. At first light, we noticed villagers fleeing from Lubya to the north. Since I did not yet have any information about the tank215 attack, because of lack of communication, I expected that this escape was a result of the tank attack. After a while we saw Arab horsemen coming from the Nimrin direction accompanying the fleeing people to the village. We were certain that we had won the battle, and that the resistance to the company in the south would soon end. After a while, support from Nazareth began to arrive. One of the buses hit a mine planted in the road, and machine-gun fire was opened on the bus. The support troops gave up the attack from that direction, and split into two groups: one went north towards Tur’an mountain and from there they marched to Lubya along a stony road; the second advanced through the series of hills in the south and attacked our forces in al-Shajara.”
“The enemy attack between 8 and 9 o’clock in the morning was not serious. It was obvious that the forces were not as organised as they could have been, and that the enemy did not have any clear plan of attack. Their plan was apparently much more humble: it was to disturb our forces and foil our main attack on Lubya. Our new company soldiers defended al-Shajara, and our main defending forces took two lines of defence: the first front line against the enemies, and the other, interior line. The Arab forces occupied al-Teriis (al-abajour) point. They tried to advance, but we succeeded in turning them back.”
Armoured Jewish vehicles Leaving Tiberias the 8th of June at 2.30
Ifraim Bin Natan, leader of the armoured vehicles force (mokhorionot moshorionot, p.235): writing his own account of the failure to occupy Lubya:
“I received the leadership of the armoured forces at the last moment on the day before the operation [to occupy Lubya], and I found that the 6 units were ready. In Tiberias I began to acquaint myself with the platoon and its weapons: automatic machine guns and rifles.
“According to the proposed plan, we were to leave Tiberias by road and co-ordinate our attack on the village by wireless. We agreed previously that we would send light signals to the rest of the attacking forces so they could discover our places. According to the timetable we would begin at four o’clock in the morning. At about 2:30 in the morning on 8/6/1948, the armoured vehicles left Tiberias. We expected that we would have to remove some barriers from the road. The darkness was overwhelming, and the tanks moved slowly without headlights. There were men in the front of the tanks to direct the drivers. The first barrier we confronted belonged to our forces, near Mitzpeh settlement (‘Ayn Kathab). The barrier consisted of iron vehicles and stones. We worked for about one hour to remove the barrier and open the way for the convoy.”
“We were obliged to remove 5 or 6 enemy barriers during the next two kilometres. These barriers were simple heaps of stones, and relatively easy to remove. It was clear that the Arabs didn’t expect an attack from the Tiberias direction. Those barriers could only serve one purpose, to delay the advance of a convoy. We didn’t meet anyone on the road. Immediately after we left Tiberias we had contacted the headquarters of the regiment in al-Shajara, but later we lost contact and did not regain it. At about 3 a.m. we were 2 kilometres from Lubya. I stopped the convoy and waited. [Here is the point where a communication problem took place between Izra, the leader who was supposed to occupy Lubya from the South, as he said in the interview, and the armoured vehicles of Ifraim bin Natan, who was supposed to occupy Lubya from the east]. I hoped that when the attack began as agreed upon, we would hear the exchange of fire and then we would open fire as well.”
“The time for the attack passed without hearing any sounds. We waited an extra half-hour. Then we decided to enter the village. I thought that the sound of bullets had not reached us. We had no alternative except to follow the agreed timetable of the attack, since no radio contact was possible. We fired a few flares in the air in hope that the forces in the village would react, but it was in vain. I ordered the front vehicles to switch on their lights and advance. The time was 4:30 a.m. when we arrived one kilometre from the village. We faced no resistance at all, and did not hear even one bullet. Again we stopped and waited while daylight strengthened. I was afraid that our forces had already entered the village and we had lost the opportunity of participating in the battle. We started to advance again.”
“At this time, sniper bullets began to be fired at us from the hill north of the street, N.S.311. And later on, gunfire was directed from the valley, east of the village hill. We fixed all the machine guns and started shooting at the village. We immediately saw people fleeing from the houses near the road to other houses higher up, and villagers fled to the north to Nimrin. Because I had no wireless I did not dare to enter the village for fear of attacking our own troops. I decided to wait to see how the situation would develop.”
“The snipers’ bullets steadily intensified, especially from the north and the north-east. I realised that the enemy had an anti-tank weapon, because the bullets opened holes in the body of the vehicles, and some of our forces were injured. I estimated that the enemy forces did not exceed 20 to 30 men. But their shooting was precise. Our only sniper was among the first wounded. The Arabs hid between the rocks and directed their intense fire at the wheels of the cars, and because of their higher position they succeeded in hitting the roofs and the bodies of the vehicles that were not well-armoured. I gathered the wounded in the armoured bus and returned them to Tiberias, and I asked those in charge to find out the news from headquarters in al-Shajara. The time was 9 a.m. and all the efforts to contact our forces in the village failed. We tried to advance, but this caused increased reaction from the snipers. I realised that something wrong had occurred, and that our plan had failed. I had no one as a reference to receive orders from. I decided unilaterally to withdraw to Tiberias at approximately 9.30 a.m. and I gave orders to all the vehicles to turn back. I noticed that a few of the vehicles were destroyed. Several vehicles’ petrol tanks, motors and wheels were hit by bullets. We drove the wrecked vehicles back and continued on our way to Tiberias. On the hill north of the road the Arab snipers were dispatched to intercept our withdrawal. After half a kilometre we confronted a barrier that had just been placed in the way. We started shooting at the enemy after we jumped from the vehicles. Then we encountered four other barriers, 50 metres apart. We cleared the road and succeeded in moving away from the enemy’s fire. When we were 3 kilometres from the enemy, I realised that I had lost 2 armoured vehicles [those are the two vehicles that were taken by Lubyans and given as a present to the ASA, and exhibited on the military museum in Damascus]. I returned with two squads of soldiers to see what happened. On the way back we met the squad who had fled from the Sandwich tank which was totally destroyed. When we approached the tank we saw that it was turned upside down and on fire. Isaac Lavi, [the brother of Izra Lavi who was interveiwed earlier] a driver from Tiberias, was killed, burned in the truck.”
“We retreated to Mitzpeh. We arrived there about 1:30 p.m.. We met a car coming from Tiberias with instructions that we should occupy Hittin Horn. Another two squads and a platoon officer joined our forces for the new mission. The main aim of this operation was to draw attention away from the attack on Lubya. From Hittin Horn we could stop the [Arab] aid convoys from the north. The aim of this manuevre was to occupy the highest points to the north, and as a consequence destroy Lubya’s strategic role. When we retreated, the Hittin Horn was not under the control of Arab forces. Anyway, we didn’t face any resistance from there. We used the cars along the road until we reached near the Horn, and from there we marched on foot. When we arrived at about 600 metres from our goal we came under fire. The officers couldn’t move their men forward. Then signs of fatigue began to show themselves among our forces. In the meantime, enemy airplanes opened fire on us. We aimed all our weapons against the airplanes to prevent them from approaching us. That no causalities occurred to our forces was due either to our fire or to their imprecise aim. I tried to fire our 2-inch artillery, but the shells fell short of the objective. I realised that it was difficult to gain victory over the enemy. I sent a message through the wireless to inform headquarters to give up the mission to occupy Hittin Horn.”
“The regiment leader’s answer was to stay where we were facing the enemy. A new leader arrived from Tiberias with two other groups to surround the area from the east and launched another attack. But the enemy forces opened fire heavily and the operation did not succeed, and I remained alone with my group. At about five in the afternoon I realised suddenly that an Arab group was approaching from the east, and that our situation was desperate. I fired my machine gun and withdrew with my group to the place where the others were waiting. At the last moment someone realised that one of our men was left on the battlefield. He returned running to collect him; then we continued on our way to Tiberias without further problems. During the night another group left Tiberias and occupied the Hittin Horn without any resistance.”
Shimon Mardiks, Tiberias216: reflecting also on the battle to occupy “the big village Lubya”. He lost his sight and Lubya was freed from the”killers” according to his account:

“After the occupation of Tiberias and after its Arab inhabitants had left, there was concern that the Arabs in the area would attack the city. It therefore became necessary to draft a plan to deal with this eventuality, and especially against the big village of Lubya. One night, we gathered ready for action, in the police building which was occupied by our forces, and in the morning a lorry came and took us to the main Nazareth road. When we arrived at a point facing Hittin Horn, we left the lorry and took up positions; another two military groups had arrived and were already positioned there with the intention of attacking the band in Hittin Horn. In the morning the Arabs discovered us and opened intensive fire. We tried to advance but were unsuccessful due to heavy Arab machine gun fire. We asked for the help of the 52-inch artillery, but it unfortunately didn’t arrive. The hot weather and the intensive fire obliged us to dig holes in the earth and hide. We then realised that some of our men were injured, so I tried to advance concealed behind a heap of stones towards my friend Mordechai Vax, who was near me. Suddenly I felt something hit my head and I could not see anything any more except for red colours. I started to shout and to call my friend Mordechai who then gave me first aid and together we withdrew from the intense and ferocious fire.”

“I didn’t loose consciousness despite my wound, and all the casualities were removed from the battle field. After the operation I realised why our artillery had not given us the support we needed so desperately. The reason was simple, the man responsible for the artillery had forgotten to bring the launching pad. He didn’t realise that without the base the artillery would not work. I also discovered that our operation against the Arabs in Hittin was only a tactical one, designed to draw attention away from the main attack on Lubya by the Barak battalion, from the direction of al-Shajara….The moment I was injured and moved to the hospital was, for me, the end of the war. I lost sight in one of my eyes, and that was the extent of my role in the victory of Israel.”
“The decisive and bloody battle ended with the occupation of Lubya, the village which menaced all the neighbourhood. Its men were “guerrilla fighters”, “killers”, who had participated in killing the Jews in Tiberias in 1938 in Kiryat Shemueil. When the village was occupied and the killers were kicked out, the road was opened again, and Tiberians were able to use the road now that the Lubyan menace had been removed. The situation returned to normal, without fear, and so the circle was closed.”
Another officer from the attacking company:217 gave his version of the atack on Lubya from the south. At 4.50 minutes in the morning, the shelling should start at the village. Platoon 4 didn’t succeed in infiltrating the lines of resistence.
“Although I did not belong to the battalion, I participated with my company because I knew the battlefield. The company was comprised of three platoons: one from the working battalion, one from the people of the area, and the third from my own company. The last two platoons were bigger than the official number, so I split them into two. In practice, I then ended up with five platoons.
“There was no harmony in the attacking force. The officers didn’t know one another, and I didn’t know the NCOs. I knew neither their personal competence nor their capacity, who was confident and who was hesitant. The men themselves were not trained enough. A few of them had participated in chasing an enemy who didn’t resist. The weapons were of different kinds, from the battalion weapons to the guns of villagers...”
“The preparations took a long time, more than expected. Our march began later than at one o’clock on the 9th of the month, which was appointed as the signal for the start of the operation. We did not start from Khadouri School until 2:20 in the morning. We moved slowly and without lights, until we reached the Khan market, which is about 5 kilometres north west of the village. Then we moved on feet. At the front was platoon 4, which formed a spearhead, behind it platoons 2 and 3, and then platoons 1 and 5 in the rear. In addition, we had two middle machine guns, one being Shortsaloza, with platoon 1, and the second a Biza, with platoon 5. We marched until we arrived at the crossroads of Kufr Kama and al-Shajara. From there we left the road and started ascending towards the heights of Lubya. We approached from a side road that led to the village. From our right was a local toon (for burning trees). We arrived at a place a few hundred metres from the enemy location. I informed the other commanders that we had arrived and they should start shelling the area before the planned attack that would start at 4:50 a.m. exactly.”
“The preparatory shelling by two 65 mm canons and two or three inch rocket launchers was not enough, as we had expected, to conquer as big a village as Lubya, which comprises two hills and many local places around it. The enemy houses were built of stone and I suspected that we had not done any harm whatsoever as a result of the shelling. The main result of this shelling was warning the villagers, so 20 minutes after our attack started, we found all of them in place - to defend the village; ibid: p220.
“Every one knew his role: platoon 1 in the north-east to control the stony area [al-Sanasil], and covered the right wing so as to draw attention to the other direction by using the Sholtzloza machine gun. Platoons 2 and 3 should advance north and clean the field that was used as a forefront for the enemy and the houses nearby. Platoon 4 should move to the north west and control the western side of the village and thereby hold the western zenith. In that way platoons 2 and 3 would cover the main attack on the center of the village. Platoon 5 should remain in the forest in a stand-by state as a supply power to interfere with the company’s leadership. The south and west parts were secure and under Jewish control. In addition to that there was a middle machine-gun in al-Shajara to prevent any attack from the western side.”
“In the beginning the advancement went as planned. The time was five o’clock and the light of the morning emerging. Platoon 1 arrived at the stony heaps [al-Sanasil], and fixed the machine-gun Shortsaloza with its role to split the eastern and western part of the village. The two front platoons were faced with snipers’ fire from the fields and houses in front of them. But after we opened fire on the enemy two or three from the enemy forces were wounded and the rest fled.”
“The two platoons located their forces and waited for platoon 4 to control the western part, before they should enter the village. The western platoon succeeded in controlling one of the main parts, which had been in enemy hands. But when they tried to continue controlling other parts, they were faced with fierce resistance. From that time on, the plan began to fail. After platoon 4 faced resistance and was stopped, I tried to send platoon 3 to help them. The platoon advanced until it was 500 metres from the village. Our plan was to advance in a broad line in an open area. Snipers opened fire and injured a few of our men, including the officer [who was Izra Lavi]. The platoon failed in the operation and withdrew to the field and the few buildings beside it. After I knew what happened I decided to send the reserve platoon.” (p. 221)
So was the sergeant’s account, platoon 4 and the leaders of Platoon 5 and 1 gave a detailed account of their defeat to occupy the village.
“The platoon I was responsible for comprised two different squads: newly trained soldiers and members of settlements in the area.... On our way to occupy the west zenith and before the dispersion of the platoon, we were faced with fire. I divided the squad, and we advanced from one heap of stones to the next under covering fire from one another.... The area was rocky. In that location was a squad of Arabs. We opened fire on the squad while we advanced. The enemy we did not kill left the spot and retreated to Lubya’s hill. We found dead bodies as we ascended (Here was the people who died from Shihabis, and referred to by many interviewees, and butired later in a cave known until now as the martyrs cave). The enemy gathered in a defensive position in the west hill near the big (butm) tree. The distance that separated us was 300 m.; we tried to advance but it was in vain, because there were 20 to 30 Arabs facing us with rifles. The daylight made any movement dangerous. I had a few wounded and I saw no possibility of advancing without assistance. A squad of 10 Arabs tried to encircle us from the western side. I had a single 2-inch rocket launcher, but after firing one rocket the launcher broke. I feared that the Arabs would come up on us from behind without our knowledge. I relocated my troops in another position, and while moving we met with more enemy troops. I threw a hand grenade and they fled. I told the headquarters that without the support of more men, ammunitions and weapons I could not occupy the hill. The answer was: platoon 5 was on the way to support us.
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