Memorial on the mosque of Kafr Qasim (Kfar Qassem, etc) marking the massacre of people of the town in 1956.
"I bow my head before the memory of the 49 victims. I bow my head before you, their families, and before the inhabitants of Kafr Qasem throughout the ages," Herzog said, "and on behalf of myself and the State of Israel, I ask for forgiveness," he added.
Although he gave his address in Hebrew, the president then repeated the apology in Arabic.
"The killing and injury of innocents are absolutely forbidden. They must remain beyond all political arguments," Herzog said.
"On this day, 65 years after the catastrophe, we shall pray and hope that the memory of the victims will stay with us as a lesson and a compass, and that from the depths of the pain we shall sprout forth together a shared future, one full of hope," he added.
Israeli Border Policemen carried out the massacre in the village on October 29, 1956. Forty-eight men, women and children were murdered, including a pregnant woman. Her fetus is counted in the village as the 49th murder victim.