This article explores the relations between inhabitants of the Upper Galilee village of Mi'ilya and soldiers of the Arab Salvation Army (ASA) in the months leading up to the conquest of the village in October 1948. Using interviews conducted in Arabic with surviving elders from Mi'ilya as well as contemporaneous Hebrew documents preserved in the archives of the Israeli army, the article aims to construct an integrated historical narrative of events. Throwing light on little-known figures of the ASA, the study uncovers the complex web of relationships that emerged in the day-to-day interactions of the ASA volunteers with the Palestinian villagers they were sent to defend. Particular emphasis is placed on the battle of Red Hill, now mostly forgotten, which took place almost three weeks before the fall of the village, mobilizing ASA troops, members of the local militia, and residents of Mi'liya in a joint effort to fend off encroaching Israeli forces.
The Battle of Red Hill: A Little-Known Episode of the 1948 War
Kobi Peled is an architect and a historian who studies the social and cultural history of Palestinian Arab society in Israel. He is a senior lecturer at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the author of three books (in Hebrew): Architecture of Collective Memory: Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in Kibbutz Yad-Mordechai, 1943–1951 (Givat Haviva: Moreshet & Yad Ya'ari Press, 2008); Architexture: The Arab House as a Social Text (Tel Aviv: Resling, 2012); and Noura's Dream: A Historical Portrait of a Bedouin Tribe (Haifa: University of Haifa Press & Miskal, 2015). The author is indebted to the people of Mi'ilya who generously opened their homes and shared their memories.
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Kobi Peled; The Battle of Red Hill: A Little-Known Episode of the 1948 War. Journal of Palestine Studies 1 November 2016; 46 (1): 20–33. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jps.2016.46.1.20
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