The internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians in Israeli-run prisoner of war camps is a relatively little known episode in the 1948 war. This article begins to piece together the story from the dual perspective of the former civilian internees and of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Aside from the day-to-day treatment of the internees, ICRC reports focused on the legal and humanitarian implications of civilian internment and on Israel's resort to forced labor to support its war effort. Most of the 5,000 or so Palestinian civilians held in four official camps were reduced to conditions described by one ICRC official as “slavery” and then expelled from the country at the end of the war. Notwithstanding their shortcoming, the ICRC records constitute an important contribution to the story of these prisoners and also expose the organization's ineffectiveness—absent a legal framework as well as enforcement mechanisms beyond moral persuasion, the ICRC could do little to intervene on behalf of the internees.

ENDNOTES

1

Charles Kamen's 1987 study on the situation of Palestinians inside Israel in the years following the 1948 war includes a brief discussion of civilian detainees based on files from Israel's former Ministry of Minority Affairs. Charles Kamen, “After the Catastrophe I: The Arabs in Israel 1948–51,” Middle Eastern Studies 23, no. 4 (1987), pp. 453–95. The most extensive account to date is found in Aharon Klein's study of Arab POWs from the 1948 war based on Israeli military archives, Ben-Gurion's war diaries, and press reports from the period. Aharon Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War during the War of Independence” [in Hebrew] (MA Thesis, Hebrew University, 2001). (Klein's work also provides a comprehensive review of Israeli archival sources.) The issue of civilian internment is also addressed in Ilan Pappé's seminal study, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oxford: Oneworld, 2006). The most comprehensive study of ICRC involvement in Palestine during the 1948 war, Dominique-Débora Junod's The Imperiled Red Cross and the Palestine-Eretz-Yisrael Conflict 1945–1952 (London: Kegan Paul International, 1996), is largely silent on the issue of civilian internment and forced labor.

2

Kuhne, ICRC Geneva, to ICRC Cairo, 9 December 1947, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 90. The ICRC dates its official involvement in the conflict to this period. ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin International des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge 30, no. 353 (1948), p. 329.

3

Frederic Biéri (ICRC delegate in London) to ICRC Geneva, 8 January 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 91. Most of the patients admitted to government-run hospitals were Arab Palestinians. Jewish patients were largely taken care of in Jewish-run hospitals, part of the social infrastructure that the Jewish Agency had built up in order to create a Jewish state in Palestine. See also ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” pp. 329–40.

4

Report by Roland Marti, Jacques de Reynier, and Jean Munier, Palestine Mission, Jerusalem, 15 February 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 109. The ICRC plan of action is also reprinted in ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” pp. 332–33.

5

Except for de Reynier, who was stationed in Palestine as of January 1948, ICRC staff arrived in Palestine between 14 April and 13 May 1948.

6

David Forsythe and Barbara Ann Rieffer-Flanagan, The International Committee of the Red Cross: A Neutral Humanitarian Actor (London: Routledge, 2007), p. 17.

7

Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, pp. 50–74.

8

Draft International Convention on the Condition and Protection of Civilians of Enemy Nationality Who Are on Territory Belonging to or Occupied by a Belligerent, Tokyo, 1934, ICRC web site, http://www.icrc.org/applic/ihl/ihl.nsf/INTRO/320?OpenDocument.

9

ICRC, Report on the Work of the Conference of Government Experts for the Study of the Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, April 14–26, 1947 (Geneva: ICRC, 1947), pp. 8, 103, and 272, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 35. Specifically, the participants agreed that the revised conventions would include provisions making them applicable “in case of civil war, in any part of the home or colonial territory of a Contracting Party” on condition of reciprocity.

10

ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” p. 333. Emphasis added.

11

“Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armies in the Field” and “Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.”

12

“Application in Palestine of the Principles of the Geneva Conventions, Appeal by the ICRC in Geneva,” Geneva, 12 March 1948, ICRC archives, CP 312, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 117. The appeal is reprinted in ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” p. 334. Emphasis added.

13

Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, pp.118–9. In drafting the appeal, the Red Cross also drew upon a number of precedents from the committee's interventions in previous conflicts. In the 1930s, for example, the ICRC had called upon and obtained the agreement of all sides in the Spanish Civil War “to respect the Geneva Convention, despite the absence of any draft convention or provision.” During World War II, moreover, the ICRC had managed to secure agreement among belligerents to apply, on condition of reciprocity, draft provisions for the protection of enemy civilians under their jurisdiction. It was unable, however, to secure similar agreement for the protection of enemy civilians in occupied territory. Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 34.

14

See Hussein Fakhri Khalidi (AHC Jerusalem) to ICRC in Palestine, 3 April 1948, ICRC archives, G59I/GC; and Golda Myerson and Itzhak Ben Zevie [sic], Tel Aviv, to ICRC in Palestine, Jerusalem, 4 April 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 123. The brief text of each statement is reprinted in ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” p. 335.

15

Myerson and Ben Zevie [sic] to ICRC in Palestine.

16

See Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 123.

17

See chapter on de Reynier's visit to Dayr Yasin excerpted from his memoir, A Jerusalem un drapeau flottait sur la ligne de feu (1960), reprinted in Walid Khalidi, ed., From Haven to Conquest (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1971), pp. 761–66.

18

Jacques de Reynier, “Report on the Dayr Yasin Fighting (Jerusalem),” 13 April 1948, ICRC archives, G59/1/GC, p. 3, and cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 131.

19

Untitled memorandum, Paul Ruegger (resident of the ICRC), 24 May 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 125. The text of the appeal is reprinted in “Le conflit de Palestine: Appel du Comité international de la Croix-Rouge aux belligérants,” Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin international des sociétés de la Croix-Rouge 30, no. 353 (1948), p. 341–42. The appeal was addressed specifically to Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan, and Israel.

20

Telegram from Azzam Pasha (Secretary of the Arab League), Cairo, to ICRC, Geneva, 26 May 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC; and telegram from Shertok (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Provisional Government of the State of Israel) to Ruegger, Geneva, 27 May 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, and Israel State Archives (ISA), MEA/1987.7, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 126.

21

Egypt and Iraq signed on in the 1930s, and Israel in August 1948. Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon did not sign the treaty.

22

See Theodor Meron, “The Geneva Conventions as Customary Law,” American Journal of International Law 81, no. 2 (1987), pp. 348–70.

23

For an overview of the ICRC Palestine war files, see Jalal al Husseini, Palestinian Refugee Archives (1948–1950): ICRC, Geneva, Overview and Analysis (Jerusalem: Institute of Jerusalem Studies, 1999); and Salim Tamari and Elia Zureik, eds., Reinterpreting the Historical Record: The Uses of Palestinian Refugee Archives for Social Science Research and Policy Analysis (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Jerusalem Studies and the Institute of Palestine Studies, 2001).

24

Jean-Francois Pitteloud, “New Access Rules Open the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross to Historical Research and to the General Public,” International Review of the Red Cross 36, no. 314 (1996), pp. 551–53.

25

The summaries contained in the Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin international des sociétés de la Croix-Rouge appear incomplete, and the documents reviewed for this study include only a sample of the ICRC reports on visits to the camps that were made during the 1948 war. Some indication of their frequency can be gleaned from the Report on General Activities (1 July 1947–31 December 1948) (Geneva: ICRC, 1949), p. 110, cited in Junod, Imperiled Red Cross, p. 224.

26

Another source of information about conditions in the camps are the weekly reports that the elected representative of the POWs (“homme de confiance”) in each camp were required to prepare. Copies of these reports were sent to both the camp commandant and the ICRC. They were not, however, among the documents reviewed for this article.

27

Part 1(a) of the “General Section” of Plan Dalet, dated 10 March 1948, states the plan's objective: “to gain control of the areas of the Hebrew state and defend its borders. It also aims at gaining control of the areas of Jewish settlement and concentration which are located outside the borders [of the Hebrew state]” (emphasis added). See appendix B of Walid Khalidi, “Plan Dalet Revisited: The Zionist Master Plan for the Conquest of Palestine,” Journal of Palestine Studies 18, no. 1 (Autumn 1988), p. 24. The article was originally published in Middle East Forum 37, no. 4 (November 1961).

28

Acre fell three days later. Of these cities, only Haifa and Tiberias were mixed.

29

Pappé, Ethnic Cleansing, p. 26.

30

The extent to which Israel was eager to be rid of the Palestinians is clear in the testimony of a prisoner captured much later, in autumn 1948, who recounts that the Israeli soldiers told a group of 450 Palestinian men who had been rounded up and herded into a cage that “anyone who wants to go to an Arab country will be released immediately.” The prisoner added that he and the others had “stayed because we knew our expelled families” had remained in the country, hiding in the hills. Kamal Ghattas, interview, 3 July 2002.

31

“Prisoner of War: Yusif Sayigh, 1948 to 1949, Excerpts from His Recollections,” as told to and edited by Rosemary Sayigh, Jerusalem Quarterly, no. 29 (2007), pp. 13–32; and Walid Ragheb Khalidi, Ramla Speaks (Amman: n.p., 1991), pp. 168–78. The “unofficial camp” Sayigh was first taken to in Jerusalem may have been Neve Sha'anan.

32

Pappé, Ethnic Cleansing, pp. 133–37.

33

Statement by Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya published in Muhammad Nimr al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin (Beirut: Dar Maktabat al-Hayat, 1951), pp. 203–14. A further clarification was made by al-Yahya in a typed statement to the writer and in a telephone interview from his home in California on 11 July 2002.

34

In his first report, dated July 1948, ICRC delegate André Durand reported that Palestinians held at Neve Sha'anan appeared to have been transferred to a second camp near Tel Aviv (i.e., Ijlil) on 2 and 3 of July 1948. ICRC, André Durand, “Monthly Report No. 4,” Jerusalem, 11 July 1948, p. 6.

35

ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin international des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge 30, no. 356 (1948), p. 554.

36

New York Times, 12 October 1948, quoted in Walid Khalidi, ed., All That Remains: The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948 (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992), p. 242.

37

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 22.

38

Atlit camp is now maintained by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites. Information about the camp, however, makes no reference to its later use as a detention camp for Palestinian civilians and Arab POWs. See the web site of the Society for the Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites, http://eng.shimur.org/Atlit/. Another prison near Sarafand had been used during the Mandate to intern Palestinian political prisoners.

39

Land of Israel Archives, 580/56/246, 75, and 324/50/24, 28, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 570.

40

Land of Israel Archives, 580/56/246, 75, and 324/50/24, 12, 27, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 569. Sixty dunams is equivalent to 6 hectares or 14.8 acres.

41

Land of Israel Archives, 6127/49/105, 48, and 580/56/246, 75, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 571.

42

Land of Israel Archives, 6127/49/105, 48, and 580/56/246, 75, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 571.

43

Review of Aharon Klein, “The Arab POWs in Israel's War of Independence,” in Alon Kadish, ed., Israel's War of Independence 1948–1949 (Tel Aviv: Ministry of Defense, 2004), in American Veterans of Israel (AVI) Newsletter, Summer 2004, p. 21.

44

Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 570.

45

Land of Israel Archives, 324/50/24, 23, 32, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 569.

46

ICRC, Maximilien de Meuron, “Report No. 1,” Haifa, 2 May 1948, ICRC archives, G59/1/GC, p. 3.

47

De Meuron, “Report No. 11,” Haifa, 30 June 1948, G.59/1/GC, G.3/82, p. 1.

48

Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 4: June 1948,” Jerusalem, 2 July 1948, p. 5. Klein notes that Israel detained civilians between the ages of 14 and 70, the age of military inscription. Klein, p. 574.

49

ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin International des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge 30, no. 356 (1948), p. 556.

50

ICRC, Emile Moeri, “Report on the Situation of the POWs in Jewish Hands,” Tel Aviv, 6 February 1949, p. 2.

51

ICRC, Dr. Moeri, “Report No. 20, Visit of Ijlil camp 9 November 1948,” 12 November 1948, ICRC archives G59/I/GC G/82 p. 3.

52

ICRC, Dr. Moeri and Dr. Lehner, “Report No. 19,” Tel Aviv, 11 November 1948, ICRC archives, G59/I/GC, G3/82, p. 1.

53

ICRC, Rapport Général d'Activité de la Délégation ICRC (Janvier 1948–Juillet 1949) (Beirut, 6 July 1949), p. 22.

54

De Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 4 for June 1948,” p. 5.

55

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 23.

56

See Kamen, “After the Catastrophe I,” p. 478, table 14, “Percent of Adult Male Populated in Selected Localities Held in Prisoner-of-War Camps.” In Ramla, Israeli forces rounded up several thousand Palestinian civilians and transferred them to a nearby prison camp; see Pappé, Ethnic Cleansing, p. 169.

57

A number of prisoner accounts mention the influx of prisoners after Operation Dani. Yusif Sayigh, for example, noted the arrival in Ijlil of hundreds from Lydda and Ramla at the time. Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 25.

58

Tawfiq Ahmad Jum‘a Ghanim, interview, Amman, 6 July 2002.

59

Shimoni to Sasson, Paris, 12 November 1948, ISA, FM2570/11, quoted in Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 226.

60

Morris, Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, p. 228.

61

Nadim Musa, interview, Abu Sinan, Galilee, 3 July 2002.

62

Lt. Colonel Sore (French army), “UNTSO Summary of Interrogation Report,” 16 November 1948, UN DAG 13/3.3.1:10, 1st file.

63

ICRC, Emile Moeri, and Roland Troyon, “Report No. 21,” Tel Aviv, 12 November 1948, G59/I/GC, G3/82, p. 1. Other ICRC reports also described the deleterious impact of the men's detention on their families. See, for example, de Meuron, “Report No. 9,” Haifa, 6 June 1948, G59/I/GC, p. 1. See also Kamen, “After the Catastrophe I,” p. 477.

64

Ibrahim ‘Abd al-Qadir Abu Sayf, interview, Amman, 6 July 2002.

65

UN Military Observer Group, “Report of Incident submitted on 19 October 1948 by Major Lemoine and Captain Bossuyt attached to Nablus Headquarters,” Nablus, Palestine, 22 January 1949.

66

Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 14: April 1949,” Beirut, 2 May 1949, p. 5.

67

Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 11: January 1949,” Beirut, 12 March 1949, p. 3.

68

ICRC, Maximilien de Meuron, “Report No. 11,” Haifa, 30 June 1948, p. 1.

69

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 25.

70

The figures in the Israel State Archives differ slightly: 4,999 Palestinians interned in Israel's POW camps in early 1949, of whom 160 were irregulars and 6 were soldiers. ISA, 324/50/15, 15, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” pp. 26, 574.

71

ISA, 67/51/29, 6, 8 and 4224/49/197, 12, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 6. Israel's former Ministry of Minorities mentions five thousand prisoners as of January 1949, although Kamen notes that the total number for this period was probably greater. Kamen, “After the Catastrophe I,” p. 1, citing Government of Israel, Ministry of Minorities, Activities, May 1948–January 1949, Jerusalem, 1949 [in Hebrew].

72

David Ben-Gurion, Diary, 3:829 (entry for 17 November 1948), cited in Pappé, Ethnic Cleansing, p. 201.

73

ICRC, Moeri and Lehner, “Report No. 19,” Tel Aviv, 11 November 1948, G59/I/GC, G3/82, p. 2. See also ICRC, Maximilien de Meuron, “Report no. 11,” p. 1.

74

ICRC, de Meuron, “Report No. 9.”

75

ICRC, de Meuron, “Report no. 11.”

76

ICRC, Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 8: October 1948,” Beirut, 5 November 1948, p. 3.

77

Jacques de Reynier (chief delegate), Rapport Général d'Activité de la Délégation CICR pour la Palestine, (Beirut, 6 July 1949), pp. 19, 22.

78

David Ben-Gurion, War Diary, 1947–1949 [in Arabic] (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1993), p. 598 (entry for 27 October 1948).

79

Ben-Gurion, War Diary, p. 694 (entry for 5 January 1949).

80

Muhammad al-Batrawi, interview by Fatma ‘Asi under Salih ‘Abd al-Jawad's supervision. See S. Abdel Jawad, “Why Our History Cannot Be Written without Oral History: 1948 War as a Case Study” (presented in Arabic at Oral History Workshop, Amman, May 2005). The private libraries of many well-known figures in the western neighborhoods of Jerusalem as well as others ended up at the National Library of the Hebrew University. See Gish Amit, “Salvage or Plunder? Israel's ‘Collection’ of Private Palestinians Libraries in West Jerusalem,” Journal of Palestine Studies 40, no. 4 (Summer 2011), pp. 6–23; and Hannah Mermelstein, “Overdue Books: Returning Palestine's ‘Abandoned Property’ of 1948,” Jerusalem Quarterly 11 (2011), pp. 46–64.

81

Mustafa al-Wali, ed., “Eye Witnesses Described the Tantura Massacre” [in Arabic], Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filistiniyya 43 (2000), p. 127.

82

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya, statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, pp. 203–14.

83

According to the web site www.mapisrael.info, Mitzpe Ramon (Ramon Lookout) is situated high on a ridge 2,800 feet above sea level in the Negev Desert and was “founded originally as a camp for workers building a road to Eilat in [before] 1951.” See also Carta's Official Guide to Israel and Complete Gazetteer to All Sites in the Holy Land (Jerusalem: State of Israel, Ministry of Defence Publishing House, 1993), p. 336.

84

Private information from the Abu Sbayh family.

85

Private information from the families of the two prisoners.

86

Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, 1929, Geneva, Art. 31.

87

In her discussion of the protection of POWs since World War II, Beaumont notes that “the 1929 prohibition on labor that had ‘a direct relation with war operations’ had proved to be inadequate and ambiguous in 1939–45. In the modern ‘total war’ what economic activity was not related to the war effort?” Joan Beaumont, “Protecting Prisoners of War, 1939–95,” in Bob Moore and Kent Fedorwich, eds., Prisoners of War and Their Captors in World War II (Oxford: Berg, 1996), p. 281.

88

ICRC, Procès-Verbal d'Entretiens, Tel Aviv, 20 June 1948, G59/1/GC, G3/82, p. 2.

89

Article 31 of the 1929 Geneva Convention states: “In particular, it is forbidden to employ prisoners in the manufacture or transport of arms or munitions of any kind, or on the transport of material destined for combatant units.”

90

Memorandum, “Jewish Atrocities in the Holy Land,” enclosure with letter from Issa Nakleh (representative of the AHC for Palestine) to the Secretary General, 28 July 1948, UN Doc. S/925, p. 4.

91

Al-Wali, “Eye Witnesses,” pp. 118–40; and Kamal Ghattas, interview.

92

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 25.

93

Tawfiq Ahmad Jum‘a Ghanim, interview, p. 30.

94

“When Beersheba Fell: An Eyewitness Account” [in Arabic], Akhbar al-Nagab, 8 November 2004.

95

“When Beersheba Fell.”

96

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya, statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 206-207.

97

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya, statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 211.

98

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya, written testimony, by facsimile, 11 July 2002, p. 5 of 7.

99

Ibrahim ‘Abd al-Qadir Abu Sayf, interview.

100

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 207.

101

Nadim Musa, interview.

102

Kamal Ghattas, interview.

103

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 211.

104

Al-Wali, “Eye Witnesses,” p. 127. See also the testimony of Mahmud Nimr ‘Abd al-Mu'ti, Yusuf Mustafa Bayrumi, Muhammad Kamil al-Dassuki, and ‘Abdullah Salim Abu Shukr, pp. 63, 128, 131, 135, 137 respectively.

105

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 209.

106

Kamal Ghattas, interview. The same story is told in Hanna Ibrahim, The Tree of Knowledge: The Memoirs of a Young Man Who Did Not Travel 2nd ed. [in Arabic] (Acre: al-Aswar, 1996), pp. 96–98, 118–20.

107

Tawfiq Ahmad Jum‘a Ghanim, interview.

108

Marwan ‘Iqab al-Yahya statement in al-Khatib, Nakbat Filastin, p. 213.

109

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 23.

110

Nadim Musa, interview.

111

Kamal Ghattas, interview.

112

ICRC, Moeri, “Situation of the POWs in Jewish Hands,” p. 2.

113

ICRC, de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 13,” p. 5.

114

ICRC, de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 14,” p. 5.

115

Nadim Musa, interview.

116

ICRC, Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 7: September 1948,” 17 November 1948, p. 3.

117

ICRC, Rapport General, p. 19.

118

De Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 4: June 1948,” p. 5.

119

De Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 8,” p. 3.

120

De Reynier, “Monthly Report no. 11: January 1949,” p. 3. Also in January 1949, the Israeli government amended its classification of civilian internees from “civilians” to “others” or “unclassified” (Land of Israel Archives 7335/49/416, 73, and 324/50/15, 51, cited in Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 7).

121

S. P. Mackenzie, “The Treatment of Prisoners of War in WWII,” Journal of Modern History 66, no. 3 (1994), p. 489.

122

ICRC, Rapport Général, p. 20.

123

“Suggestions Presented by the United Nations Mediator on Palestine to the Parties on 28 June 1948,” part 2, para. 9, UN Doc. S/863.The mediator would elaborate provisions for the return of refugees in his September report to the United Nations. UNGA, Progress Report of the United Nations Mediator on Palestine Submitted to the Secretary-General for Transmission to the Members of the United Nations. UN GAOR, 3rd Sess., Suppl. No. 11, UN Doc. A/648, 16 September 1948. Bernadotte was assassinated by members of the Stern Gang (Lehi) the day after he submitted his report to the UN.

124

Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 5: July 1948,” Jerusalem, 3 August 1948, p. 5.

125

De Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 14,” p. 6.

126

Jacques de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 9: November 1948,” 14 December 1948 p. 3.

127

De Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 9,” p. 3.

128

ICRC, de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 13,” pp. 4–5. There was not a separate armistice agreement for Iraq, which was included in the Israel-Transjordan agreement.

129

ICRC, de Reynier, “Monthly Report No. 4: June 1948,” p. 5.

130

The photographs taken by the ICRC of the Palestinians being transported subsequently became a symbol of the 1948–49 ethnic cleansing.

131

ICRC, “Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge en Palestine,” Revue Internationale de la Croix-Rouge et Bulletin International des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge 30, no. 356 (1948), p. 556.

132

See Klein, “Arab Prisoners of War,” p. 11.

133

Ibrahim ‘Abd al-Qadir Abu Sayf, interview.

134

The reference appears to be to Dr. Emile Moeri.

135

Sayigh, “Prisoner of War,” p. 23.

136

On the other hand, the ICRC delegates were not immune to the kind of racism and cultural bias prevalent at the time. In his June 1948 monthly report, for example, Jacques de Reynier referred to Palestine as “this country of savages” (p. 7), while Emile Moeri, in his “Rapport Sur la Situation des PG's en Mains Juives (G59/I/GC, G3/82, 9 February 1948) noted that the camps' hommes de confiance were “sincere, courageous and intelligent [men] … in whom we have complete confidence,” adding in parenthesis, “Don't forget we are in the Orient” (p. 4).

137

Dr. R. Pflimlin (ICRC Southern Sector, Gaza) to M. de Reynier, ref. no. 350 ICRC archives Em/?GS/9, 14 January 1949, G59/I/GC, G3 /82, 9 February 1948.

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