Discussions on other historical eras.
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For decades, rumors and testimonies
swirled about Jewish troops sent to poison wells in Arab villages. Now, researchers have located official documentation of the ‘Cast Thy Bread’ operation.
The operation began in April 1948, when fears of an invasion by Arab armies were mounting. The plan was to poison wells in abandoned Arab villages as well as in Jewish locales that were due to be evacuated by the state-in-the-making. The idea was to prevent Arabs from returning to their villages and from settling in Jewish locales that would fall into their hands.
The operation initially focused on the area between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and later expanded to Acre in the north and Gaza in the south. The evidence indicates that it later included – either in planning or in effect – other communities such as Jericho, Be’er Sheva, Ilaboun, Bidu, Beit Suriq, Beit Mahsir and Har-Tuv (after the Jews were evacuated). The possibility of adding targets outside of Israel such as Cairo and Beirut was also proposed, but nothing came of it.
The documents show that Ben-Gurion was at the top of the pyramid. Below him was Yadin, who oversaw the military side of the operation. The operation was commanded by Yohanan Ratner. Initially, the top man in the field for the group was Dayan, who went on to become the IDF chief of staff and defense minister. The documents indicate that Dayan served as the smuggler who conveyed the bacteria from the Science Corps to different points throughout the country.
On the scientific side, the production of the poison, were people from the IDF Science Corps Bet, a subunit in the Science Corps that dealt with biological warfare.