KAFR QĀSIM, Muslim-Arab village on the southwestern rim of the Samarian Hills, Israel, northeast of Petaḥ Tikvah. The longest bridge in Israel is located nearby as part of Route6, the Trans-Israel Highway. In 1968 Kafr Qāsim had 3,720 inhabitants, rising to 15,700 in 2002, on an area of 3.5 sq. mi. (9.2 sq. km.). Its farming was based on field and garden crops and fruit orchards. Income in the village was about half the national average. On the eve of the *Sinai Campaign (1956), the literal execution of a curfew order resulted in the shooting of 47 people, including women and children, by Israel border police. The military personnel responsible were tried and convicted of murder. The court also decided that obedience to an order from above (the defense counsel's argument) does not excuse military personnel from responsibility in the execution of crimes. During the trial, a public board, headed by the mayor of Petaḥ Tikvah, Pinhas Rashish (d. 1978), was set up to determine compensation to the families of the victims and decided to pay out IL500,000 in reparations. At the end of 1957, a reconciliation ceremony (sulḥa) was held between the families of the victims and a representative of the Jewish community (Avraham *Shapira).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.