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Alleged Israeli “massacre” of Gazan children in 1956 described on PA TV

Official PA TV program Treasures With a History, on paintings by Ismail Shammout and Tamam Al-Akhal

Painter Tamam Al-Akhal: “This is the view that I saw with my own eyes when I was in Khan Yunis, after the Three-Way Aggression (i.e., the Sinai Campaign of 1956). At that time everyone knew about the Three-Way Aggression, but they did not say what Israel did in the Gaza Strip when it got there. I went to Khan Yunis, and they showed me this wall, and there were still bloodstains on it, and they started to tell me how the mothers lost their sons. They (i.e., the Israeli soldiers) spoke with the children, and said to a child: ‘Do you speak English?’ The child told them: ‘Yes,’ and they told him: ‘Come.’ The family said: ‘Where are you taking our child?’ They told them: ‘Come.’ When they had rounded up all of the families, they arranged them in a line next to the wall opposite their children and sprayed them (i.e., the children) with bullets all at once (Palestinians claimed that 275 Palestinian men were killed in Khan Yunis, not children –Ed.). They left them tossed [on the ground] for three days. It was forbidden for anyone to take the body of their son. Scavenger birds, flies, and crows came and ate from the bodies of the children, and they did not allow anyone to take the body of their son. [This is what was said by] mothers who spoke about what they saw, about their sons. Afterwards they buried them in one well, closed it, and welded the opening [shut]. This is how I learned the story of the well where they put them, and the story of the battle, and I depicted it in paintings.”

“Khan Yunis massacre” and “Rafah massacre” - What the Palestinians call the “Khan Yunis massacre” and “Rafah massacre” refers to battles during the Sinai War (Operation Kadesh, the Suez Crisis) of 1956. Following years of terror attacks from the Gaza Strip against Israelis, and then the Egyptian nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, Israel together with Britain and France attacked and defeated the Egyptian army and took control of all of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians claim that Israeli soldiers killed 275 non-combatant men in Khan Yunis on Nov. 3, 1956, and 111 in Rafah on Nov. 12, after the war had ended. Israel reported that as the army approached Khan Yunis, armed locals joined Egyptian soldiers and attacked them, resulting in deaths in an armed battle. In Rafah, civilians broke into UN storehouses apparently thinking that the Israeli army had already left, sparking a clash. Egyptian soldiers and armed men later attacked Israeli soldiers and there too sustained casualties. The actual numbers of Egyptian soldiers and local fighters who died in these two battles are unknown.