Between eighteen and twenty Jews were killed, eighty were wounded, and some two hundred Jewish homes were burned down in Safed on this date in 1929 when Arabs in Palestine were incited by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem to attack Jewish communities. “Advancing on the street of the Sefardi Jews from Kfar Meron and Ein Zeitim,” wrote David Hacohen, a resident of Safed who would later become a member of the Israeli Knesset, the Arabs “looted and set fire to houses, urging each other on to continue with the killing. They slaughtered the schoolteacher, Aphriat, together with his wife and mother . . . Bursting into the orphanages, they smashed the children’s heads . . . . Throughout the whole pogrom the police did not fire a single shot.” Jews had lived in the town since about 1000 BCE.
“Riots had been taking place for the past seven days, seven whole days since the Hebron massacre. Incitement to violence in the Safed mosques and provocative stone throwing and threats in the streets had been daily occurrences. The warship and troops had already arrived by then. The looting, destruction, burning, and killing had begun already on Thursday evening and continued all that night and all the next day. Why, then, had the government put out its falsely reassuring announcement?” —David Hacohen