On July 18th, we arrived at the Military Court of Appeals in Tel Aviv along with historian Adam Raz and residents of Kafr Qasim, who came to attend the final hearing in Raz’s application for the declassification of documents from the Kafr Qasim massacre trial that have been sealed ever since the trial in the late 1950s.
To this day, 62 years after the massacre, about 600 pages of transcripts and a list of documents filed as evidence in the trial of the eleven Border Police officers who were prosecuted in the case are still kept from the public. From what is known, these records largely relate to “Operation Mole”. What the operation was and what role it played in the massacre has been the subject of much speculation for decades, with no access to records that could corroborate or refute the rumors. At the hearing, the last of four held by Military Court of Appeals President Maj. Gen. Doron Piles, MK Esawi Frej (Meretz), a resident of the village, whose family was affected by the massacre, testified in the name of the victims’ and their families’ right to learn the truth, to receive all the information in state hands regarding the circumstances of the massacre and why it happened. “A democratic society faces its difficult moments too, the embarrassing, sad moments in its history”, Frej told the military court. “Sixty-two years later, the State of Israel, which is also my country, shouldn’t be afraid of the truth”.
Over the past year, Akevot Institute has been supporting Adam Raz in his research and his struggle to have the confidential material on the massacre declassified.