The Israeli Press and the Qibya Operation, 1953

First, the facts. On the night of 12-13 October 1953, a squad of infiltrators from Jordan crossed the border into Israel and lobbed a grenade into the home of a sleeping family in Yehud, a settlement east of Tel Aviv. The explosion killed the mother and two of her children, aged eighteen months and four. A third child was lightly injured. The infiltrators fled eastward, their tracks leading to the outskirts of the West Bank village of Rantis, some five kilometers north of the village of Qibya. The savage attack shocked the Israeli public.

Benny Morris is the author of a number of books, including The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949 and Israel's Border Wars, 1949-1956, which will be reissued in an expanded and revised edition in 1997.