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Israel Court of Appeals Confirms Guilt of Kfar Kassem Commanders

The Israel Court of Appeals closed this weekend the Kfar Kassem case by confirming the conviction on murder charges against three of the members of the Israel border patrol who killed 47 Arab men, women and children during a curfew in 1956. At the same time, the Appeals Court reduced the sentences of all the defendants.

The term of Major Shiud Maims, commander of the border police battalion, which opened fire on the Israel Arabs on the eve of the Sinai campaign, was reduced from 17 years to 14. That of Lt. Gabriel Dehan, company commander, was cut from 15 to 10 years, and that of Cpl. Shalom Ofer from 15 to 10 years.

Five other members of the patrol unit, sentenced to seven years, were released after the Appeals Court changed the charge to “attempted murder” and sentenced them to three years on that charge The court said that, since they had already served two and a half years, they were being released immediately, with six months granted for good behavior.