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By Jeroen Gunning

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Those who were local leaders not only represented the authorities to their communities but also used their connections with the authorities to provide for their people’s basic needs. The result was a delicate balance between them and the authorities; their ability to control their communities was dependent on their prestige, which was dependent on the extent to which the authorities acceded to their requests. Thus, in order to keep the system functioning, the government was required to listen to these men and accept at least some of their demands.

He sent an infiltrator he knew, who was tied to Samwili, to visit the family, in order to see if they reported the visit to the GSS. As he expected, the family did not notify any intel34 Begin n ing a Beau t iful Frien dship ligence agency that the infiltrator had come to their home. Goldberg told the relevant GSS personnel about this, but they did not, he claimed, cut off their ties with the family. 53 The police claimed that the GSS had knowingly put their informer’s life in danger, out of spite.

During the 1948 war he tried to establish contact with Jewish forces but did not succeed. When his village was occupied, he preferred not to go to Lebanon, as most of his fellow villagers did, and instead settled in another Arab village in the Galilee, where he became a police informant. He faced economic difficulties; his extensive holdings at Sa῾sa῾ were declared absentee properties and transferred to the state. His connections proved useless in getting his land back. 32 A collaborator from the Triangle who had been in contact with Israeli intelligence prior to the arrival of the IDF also benefited from similar employment assistance.

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