Today, after 74 years of the 1948 Nakba (or ‘catastrophe’) of Palestine, some of those who remained in the Alexandroni unit in the occupation army admitted exactly what the people of Tantura, who survived the massacre, told about what the Israeli soldiers had committed in their coastal village during May 1948, according to an investigative report by Israeli daily Haaretz.
In an interview with Israeli historian Adam Raz, published by Haaretz today, they admit to the major war crime, and stressed that the car park in the Dor Coast Park on Tantura lands is based on a mass grave of the victims.
Adam Raz begins his report on Tantoura by quoting Moshe Diamont, one of the Israeli soldiers participating in the Tantoura massacre committed by the Israeli army after the establishment of Israel: “They have been silent and obscured about this issue. It is forbidden to talk about him, as this could reveal a major scandal,” Diamont said, adding, “Yes, this happened. What to do? This happened.”
Adam Raz, who revealed details of the Kafr Qasim massacre in a book a year ago, notes that Katz brought important testimonies at the time, but they were not circulated, so they drowned in discussions and debates and remained the subject of discussion among historians only. He continues, noting what is new, which has now allowed for these confessions to be revealed: “Today, when they are in their nineties, a number of Alexandroni unit soldiers admit that they committed a massacre in Tantura and describe some of its scenes, and it is inferred from them that the number of dead is much higher than what the army said at the time – about 20 people.”
According to Diamont’s testimony, after the “battle” ended, the residents of the village were shot with a machine gun by a “savage person.” He continued, “When I filed a lawsuit against Katz, the participating soldiers pretended that nothing abnormal had happened after the occupation of al-Tantura, and they said: “We have neither seen nor heard.” But in fact they all knew. Of course they knew.”
Another soldier, Haim Lavin, admits that one of the soldiers advanced towards “a group that counts 15-20 “captives” and killed all of them.” Amid a dilution of the terms of the massacre, Lavigne says that the “incident” destabilized his body, and went to his colleagues to understand what was going on. “They told me: You have no idea how many were killed.”
Another witness, Micha Vitkin, from the Alexandroni unit, recounts that an officer who became a senior official in the Ministry of Security killed one Arab after another with his pistol. Vitkin says that he did so “after they refused to reveal the location of the remaining weapons hidden in the village.”