Historians retell stories of Palestinian detainees during Nakba

The Deanship of Student Affairs at Birzeit University held on March 20, 2017 a discussion on the book “Prisoners without Bayonets: The Palestinian Prisoners and the First Israeli Detention Centers, 1948-1949”, authored by Professor Mustafa Kabha and Journalist Wadih Awawdeh.

The book, published by the Institute for Palestinian Studies, documents and analyzes the issue of detention centers established by the Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians and Arabs arrested by the Israeli forces during the occupation of the Palestinian cities and villages in the 1948 war. Thousands of Palestinians who were able to carry arms were arrested for 12 to 18 months.

Kabha said that the book examined academically a number of archived documents that are available in Israel and in the International Committee of the Red Cross, books and diaries that were written by those who were in prison, in addition to their oral statements.

Awawdeh pointed out that during the years 1948-1949, thousands of Palestinians were detained, even though that most of them were without bayonets and did not participate in any military action. “Detainees and their families have been displaced after the major wave of displacement during 1948, of the process of subjugating the Arab minority who stayed within the borders of the Israeli state after its establishment

Mustafa Kabha is  a university professor and researcher in history and media. He was born in Umm Al-Qatf village in the Northern Triangle. Chair of the Department of History and Philosophy in the Open University and member of the Arabic Language Academy in Haifa. His works focus on the modern Palestinian history and the Arab press history.

Wadih Mahmoud AWAWDEH: a writer and journalist from Kafr Kanna in Nazareth. He holds a MA in Middle Eastern History from the University of Jerusalem. He has been working for more than two decades on the documentation of the oral Palestinian accounts. He is the editor-in-chief of "Hadith el-Nas" newspaper (Nazareth) since 2007, and former editor in "Kul al-Arab" newspaper (1991-2001).