Palestinian refugees forced out of their homes following Israeli invasion, October 30, 1948 (Source: PalestineRemembered.com)
A technical error in Israel's state archive website has revealed that David Ben-Gurion, who would become the first prime minister of the Israeli occupation, said in 1948 that some Palestinian villages must be wiped out because they "constitute a great danger", Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday.
The comments by Ben-Gurion were made during a government meeting discussing the war that led to the creation of Israel.
Ben-Gurion's statements were posted on the State Archive website as part of a document detailing meeting minutes from July 1948.
Parts of the document were censored using a digital blackout, however a technical error allowed the blackout to be removed with a click - revealing the censored segments, Haaretz reported.
According to Haaretz, the censored version showed Ben-Gurion saying "I am against the wholesale demolition of villages," but once the blackout was removed he appears to have added: "But there are places that constituted a great danger and constitute a great danger, and we must wipe them out. But this must be done responsibly, with consideration before the act."
In an earlier section of the meeting's minutes, then agriculture minister Aharon Zisling is quoted as saying he "can forgive instances of rape" committed by Jews against Palestinian women.
"Let us say that instances of rape occurred in Ramle. I can forgive instances of rape, but I will not forgive other acts," Zisling said, according to the document.
The Israeli State Archive said the document was meant to be published without censorship but a technical error led to the appearance of the blackouts.