text by Scott Ritter


The Gates of Gaza

“The attackers came at dawn, quickly occupying the town. The men were separated from the women and shot. One of the attackers, opening the door of one of the homes, found an old man standing there. He shot him. ‘He enjoyed shooting him,’ an eyewitness to the attack said afterwards.

Soon the town was empty—the entire population of 5,000 had either been killed or expelled, those who survived put on trucks, and driven to Gaza. The empty homes were looted. ‘We were very happy,’ one of the participants said afterwards. ‘If you don’t take it, someone else will. You don’t feel you have to give it back. They were not coming back.’

It sounds like a narrative torn
from the front pages of today’s newspapers

One of many such stories—too many to count—describing the atrocities inflicted on the civilian populations of Israeli towns and Kibbutzes adjacent to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

But it is not. Instead, it is the recollections of Yaakov Sharett, the son of Moshe Sharett, one of the fathers of Israel, a signatory to Israel’s Declaration of Independence, and Israel’s first Foreign Minister, and second Prime Minister. Yaakov Sharett was recounting the seizure of the Arab town of Bersheeba, in 1948, by Israeli soldiers, during Israel’s War of Independence.


11 Point plan (1946)

As a young soldier serving in the Negev Desert in 1946, Sharett was appointed mukhtar—or chief—of one of eleven teams of soldiers—part of the secret “11-Points Plan” designed to establish Jewish outposts in the Negev Desert that would serve as a strategic foothold in the region when the anticipated war between Israeli Zionists and Arabs broke out.

Zionism, as it existed before 1948, was a movement for the re-establishment of a Jewish nation on the territory of Biblical Israel. It was established as a political movement, Zionist Organization, in 1897 under the leadership of Theodor Herzl. Herzl died in 1904, and the Zionist Organization was later taken over by Chaim Weizmann as a reward for pushing for the adoption of the Balfour Declaration, which committed the British government to the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine. Weitzman remained as the head of the Zionist Organization until the establishment of Israel in 1948, after which he was elected as Israel’s first President.  


The UN roll in the creation of Israel

In 1946, a United Nations partition plan dividing the British Palestinian mandate into Arab and Jewish sections had apportioned the Negev region to the Arabs. The Zionist leaders of the future state of Israel, led by David Ben Gurion, Moshe Sharett, and others dedicated to the principles of Zionism, devised the “11-Points Plan” as a means to alter the status quo then in existence in the Negev, where 500 Jews in three outposts lived amongst 250,000 Arabs residing in 247 villages and towns.

The 11 new outposts would boost the Israeli presence in the Negev, creating the condition where, as Palestinian historian Walid Khalidi noted, “an indigenous majority living on their ancestral soil” would be “converted overnight into a minority under alien rule.”

On the night of October 5, 1946—just after Yom Kippur—Yaakov led his team into the Negev. “I remember when we found our piece of land on the top of a barren hill,” Yaakov recounted. “It was still dark, but we managed to bang in the posts and soon, we were inside our fence. At first light, trucks came with prefabricated barracks. It was quite a feat. We worked like devils.”

When Yaakov was part of the Zionist Youth Movement, he would travel throughout the Negev on foot, familiarizing himself with the Arab villages, and learning their Hebrew names as they existed in the Bible. Next to Yaakov’s hilltop settlement, which became the Hatzerim Kibbutz, was an Arab village named Abu Yahiya. One of the missions given the Kibbutzniks of Hatzerim was to collect intelligence on the local Arabs that would be used by Israeli military planners who were at the time preparing for the large-scale expulsion of the Arabs from the Negev.

The Arabs of Abu Yahiya provided Yaakov and his fellow Zionists with fresh water and would often guard the property of the Kibbutz while the men were away on work. There was an understanding between the leaders of Abu Yahia and the Hatzerim Kibbutz that they would be allowed to remain once Israel took control of the Negev. Instead, when war came, the Kibbutzniks from Hatzerim turned on their Arab neighbors, killing them and driving the survivors away from their homes forever.

Most of the survivors ended up living in Gaza.


The slaughter and physical eradication

of the village of Abu Yahiya, the town of Bersheeba, and the 245 other Arab towns and villages in the Negev by Israeli settlers and soldiers has gone down in history as the Nakba, or “Catastrophe.” The Palestinians, when speaking of the Nakba, do not only address the events of 1948, but everything that has transpired since then in the name of the post-1948 sustainment, expansion, and defense of Zionism that defines modern-day Israel. Israelis do not talk about the Nakba, instead referring to the events of 1948 as their “War of Independence.”

“Silence on the Nakba,” one contemporary scholar on the subject has observed, “is also part of everyday life in Israel.”

extended source text



Israeli Arkady Itkin has also some interesting opposite questions and statements in the video below, on the view on Gaza/ Palestinians vs Terrorist organization Hamas

Scott Ritter worked in the Israeli intelligence.

Hamas is an terrorist organization which mainly exist on the suffering of Palestinians.

It's really a very interesting discussion between Scott Ritter and Arkady Itkin, later in the video.

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