The Fall of a Galilean Village during the 1948 Palestine War: An Eyewitness Account
This account by a Nazareth doctor describes what took place in Rama, a Galilee village, in the wake of Operation Hiram, Israel’s last major offensive in northern Palestine during the 1948 war. The operation was launched on 29 October and lasted sixty hours, during which time the area of Galilee that had not already been conquered fell. At least eighteen villages were emptied of their inhabitants and subsequently destroyed:out of the area’s estimated population of 50,000 to 60,000, only an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 persons remained in the new state after the fighting ended. Rama, which had surrendered to the Israeli forces without resistance, was one of the villages that was not destroyed, though part of its population was expelled. The rest of Galilee had already been conquered in April and May, prior to the declaration of the state, as well as in July.
Elias Srouji, a retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma, practiced medicine in Nazareth until 1967. This excerpt is taken from his memoir, Cyclamens from Galilee (forthcoming with Iuniverse Books). Another excerpt from the memoir, describing the unfolding of the war from the last months of the Mandate up to the events described here, appeared in JPS 129.