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The Massacre of April 9, 1948 at Deir Yassin

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  • Romi Elnagar
    Today is the 65th anniversary of the Massacre at Deir Yassin, an atrocity which is remembered with much sorrow throughout the Middle East.  It arguably was
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2013

      Today is the 65th anniversary of the Massacre at Deir Yassin, an atrocity which is remembered with much sorrow throughout the Middle East.  It arguably was intended to spearhead the ETHNIC CLEANSING of Palestine, at that time more than 90% Arab.  The event was broadcast on Palestine Radio and the terror it provoked resulted in thousands of Arabs fleeing their homes and farms, never to return, while the surviving residents of Deir Yassin were rounded up and paraded through the streets of West Jerusalem where they were jeered at, spat at and stoned  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deir_Yassin_massacre).

      The ethnic cleansing of Palestine is well illustrated in maps which show the distribution of the Arab population in the land before and after the Nakba (the Disaster, which is what Palestinians call the 1948 war).  See "Palestinian Loss of Land -- 1946 to 2000" at

      The following articles explain more about this tragedy.



      Deir Yassin Remembered

      Early in the morning of Friday, April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate. The village lay outside of the area that the United Nations recommended be included in a future Jewish State. Deir Yassin had a peaceful reputation and was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven out some Arab militants. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and one plan, kept secret until years afterwards, called for it to be destroyed and the residents evacuated to make way for a small airfield that would supply the beleaguered Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

      By noon over 100 people, half of them women and children, had been systematically murdered. Four commandos died at the hands of resisting Palestinians using old Mausers and muskets. Twenty-five male villagers were loaded into trucks, paraded through the Zakhron Yosef quarter in Jerusalem, and then taken to a stone quarry along the road between Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death. The remaining residents were driven to Arab East Jerusalem.

      That evening the Irgunists and the Sternists escorted a party of foreign correspondents to a house at Givat Shaul, a nearby Jewish settlement founded in 1906. Over tea and cookies they amplified the details of the operation and justified it, saying Deir Yassin had become a concentration point for Arabs, including Syrians and Iraqis, planning to attack the western suburbs of Jerusalem. They said that 25 members of the Haganah militia had reinforced the attack and claimed that an Arabic-speaking Jew had warned the villagers over a loudspeaker from an armored car. This was duly reported in The New York Times on April 10.

      A final body count of 254 was reported by The New York Times on April 13, a day after they were finally buried. By then the leaders of the Haganah had distanced themselves from having participated in the attack and issued a statement denouncing the dissidents of Irgun and the Stern Gang, just as they had after the attack on the King David Hotel in July 1946. A 1987 study undertaken by Birzeit University's Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society found "the numbers of those killed does not exceed 120".

      The Haganah leaders admitted that the massacre "disgraced the cause of Jewish fighters and dishonored Jewish arms and the Jewish flag." They played down the fact that their militia had reinforced the terrorists' attack, even though they did not participate in the barbarism and looting during the subsequent "mopping up" operations.

      They also played down the fact that, in Begin's words, "Deir Yassin was captured with the knowledge of the Haganah and with the approval of its commander" as a part of its "plan for establishing an airfield."

      Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But this horrific act served the future State of Israel well. According to Begin:

        Arabs throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of "Irgun butchery," were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede. The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be overestimated.

      Of about 144 houses, 10 were dynamited. The cemetery was later bulldozed and, like hundreds of other Palestinian villages to follow, Deir Yassin was wiped off the map. By September, Orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland, Rumania, and Slovakia were settled there over the objections of Martin Buber, Cecil Roth and other Jewish leaders, who believed that the site of the massacre should be left uninhabited. The center of the village was renamed Givat Shaul Bet. As Jerusalem expanded, the land of Deir Yassin became part of the city and is now known simply as the area between Givat Shaul and the settlement of Har Nof on the western slopes of the mountain.

      The massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin is one of the most significant events in 20th-century Palestinian and Israeli history. This is not because of its size or its brutality, but because it stands as the starkest early warning of a calculated depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and cities and the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian inhabitants to make room for survivors of the Holocaust and other Jews from the rest of the world.


      The symbol of Nakba: Deir Yassin remembered

      "I wish I had died before what happened in Deir Yassin," said Zeinab Akel, a survivor of the village whose oral history is filmed by Zochrot, an Israeli group that teaches the Nakba to schoolchildren. Akel was just 20 years old when Zionist forces threw her from her home, on April 9, 1948. The building is now an Israeli hospital and part of larger mental health clinic.
      Akel's history narrates the film "Deir Yassin: Remembered," which describes the Zionist para-military massacre of over 100 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The attack began in the early morning with the more extremist sects of the Zionist militias, the Irgun and Stern Gang, and by the afternoon, the Palmach and Haganah, had joined. There is a historical debate over Haganah’s foreknowledge of the massacre, but it is generally accepted the Zionist group and precursor to the Israeli Defense Forces knew about the attack in advance. “Deir Yassin was captured with the knowledge of the Haganah and with the approval of its commander," said former member of the Irgun and Israel prime minister Menachem Begin, continuing, as a part a "plan for establishing an airfield." Also, duplicate letters released from the IDF archives, dating from 1948 indicate Haganah’s approval for sacking the village, prior to the massacre. The letters are from the David Shaltiel the Jerusalem head of Haganah, to both the Jerusalem leader of the Stern Gang, Yehoshua Zetler and the Jerusalem head of the Irgun, Mordechai Raanan:
      I have learned that you intend to carry out an operation against Deir Yassin. I would like to call your attention to the fact that the conquest and continued occupation of Deir Yassin is one of the stages in our overall plan. I have no objection to your carrying out the operation on condition that you are capable of holding on to it. If you are incapable of doing so, I caution you against blowing up the village, since this will lead to the flight of the inhabitants and subsequent occupation of the ruins and the abandoned homes by enemy forces. This will make things difficult rather than contributing to the general campaign, and reoccupation of the site will entail heavy casualties for our men.
      During the attack, groups of around 15 Palestinians were taken to a nearby limestone quarry, lined up, and executed. In total, between 110 and 130 were killed—systematically.
      Kfar Shaul Mental Health Center built on Deir Yassin. (Photo: Dennis Fox)
      Deir Yassin sits on an access point between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and is noted by scholars for its strategic location. In the film, Jeff Halper walks by the limestone houses of the villages, once home to 750 Palestinians. The buildings were constructed with stone cuts from a nearby quarry and "the Deir Yassin village is now a mental health center," says Halper. He is juxtaposed with Akel’s story in the film. "Deir Yassin is"—like Ein Hod, another former Palestinian village, which is now an art colony, with a bar in the former mosque—"one of the few villages that remained intact after 1948," explains Halper.
      deir 2
      (Photo: Deir Yassin Remembered)
      For Palestinian, and their supporters, the massacre is a symbol. It is often remembered as the pivotal onset of the 1948 Nabka; Deir Yassin is the "other shoe that fell,” sparking over 750,000 to flee from their homes out of a fear that they too would be massacred. And for the Zionist forces, it is also a symbol. At the time,  para-military groups inflated the number of those who were killed. "They multiplied all of the numbers to 250 people who were killed […] in order to say that 'you Arabs have to run away, if not this will happen to you,'" explains in the film Eitan Bronstein, director of Zochrot. And in fact, the April 13, 1948 New York Times coverage reported Zionist forces went "house-to-house" killing 254 Palestinians.
      deir 3
      (Photo: Deir Yassin Remembered)
      Zochrot's film closes with Akel and supporters commemorating Deir Yassin on its 2005 anniversary. The camera follows their hands as they set yellow roses next to large plaques that list the names of the dead by winding the flower stems through a metal gate. The plaques are resting against this gate, this divider. And inside the enclosure, Deir Yassin's original buildings stand in pristine condition, filled with Israeli psychiatric patients.


      Deir Yassin Massacre – April 9, 1948

      April 9, 2011 by occupiedpalestine 

      Deir Yassin Remembered – video
      By Reham Alhelsi | 10 April, 2010 | A Voice From Palestine
      Since the arrival of the first Zionist to Palestine, hundreds of massacres have been committed against unarmed Palestinian civilians in the name of “Israel”, making this entity synonym to death and destruction. One of the worst Zionist massacres committed against Palestinians is the Deir Yasin massacre. Defenceless Palestinian civilians were tortured before being massacres and their bodies mutilated. Women and children were raped, babies were butchered and pregnant women were bayoneted. Deir Yassin, a Palestinian village located at the outskirts of Jerusalem, had a population of around 750 on the eve of 09.04.1948. The village was surrounded by 6 Zionist colonies, the closest being Giv’at Sha’ul, and the Zionist colonists had blocked the main access road connecting Deir Yasin with Jerusalem, placing Deir Yasin under an almost total blockade. To protect the village from the attacks of the Zionists, the villagers of Deir Yasin formed a local guard whose weaponry consisted only of a few old rifles and very little ammunition. Because the village was surrounded by several Zionists colonists, was besieged and continuously threatened by them and because the villagers had little means to protect themselves, Deir Yasin agreed to a non-aggression pact with the Zionist colonists just one month before the massacre. Nevertheless, on 09.04.1948, and in a joint operation coded “Operation Unity” the 3 terrorist gangs Irgun, Lehi (Stern) and Haganah (later Zionist terrorist army) attacked the peaceful village with the aim of killing as many Palestinians as possible and to force the rest out of their homes and lands. At 4:30 on Friday morning, 09.04.1948, and while the villagers slept, the Zionist terror gangs surrounded Deir Yasin. Palestinians woke up to the sound of loud speakers ordering them to leave the village, and the unsuspecting residents went out of their homes to investigate the situation, and it was then that the massacre began. The Irgun attacked the village from the south east, Stern attacked it from the east while the Haganah bombarded the village with mortars. The Palestinian village guard tried to protect the residents and to stop the Zionist gangs, they fought heroically but with their meagre weaponry had little chance against three fully armed terror gangs. The Zionists opened fire at whoever tried escaping the village, and then moved into the village and started their “clean up”: they moved from one house to the other raping women, slaughtering children and killing whoever was inside with machine guns and knives. Whole families were lined up against the wall and executed. Pregnant women were bayoneted and the bodies of children were mutilated. Money and jewellery were snatched from the bodies of victims and other personal belongings were stolen before houses were burnt. Of the 144 houses of Deir Yasin, at least 15 were blown up over the heads of their inhabitants by the Zionist terror gangs. British interrogating officer, Deputy Inspector General Richard Catling, confirmed that:
      “The recording of statements is hampered also by the hysterical state of the women who often break down many times whilst the statement is being recorded. There is, however, no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young schoolgirls were raped and later slaughtered. Old women were also molested. One story is current concerning a case in which a young girl was literally torn in two. Many infants were also butchered and killed. I also saw one old woman … who had been severely beaten about the head with rifle butts. Women had bracelets torn from their arms and rings from their fingers and parts of some of the women’s ears were severed in order to remove earrings.”[1]
      During the massacre; men, women, children and elderly were killed in cold blood and in a gruesome way and hundreds were wounded. The number of victims is disputed. Most sources put the number of martyrs at 254, including 25 pregnant women who were bayoneted and 52 children who were maimed in front of their mothers before being beheaded and the mothers slain.
      “A chilling account of the massacre is given by a Red Cross doctor who arrived at the village on the second day and saw himself – the mopping up – as one of the terrorists put it to him. He says that the “mopping up” had been done with machine guns, then grenades and finished off with knives. Women’s bellies were cut open and babies were butchered in the hands of their helpless mothers. Around 250 people were murdered in cold blood.[2] Of those 250 people, 25 pregnant women were bayoneted in their abdomens while still alive. 52 children were maimed under the eyes of their own mothers, and they were slain and their heads cut off. Their mothers were in turn massacred and their bodies mutilated. About 60 other women and girls were also killed and their bodies mutilated[3].
      The UN and the Red Cross, whose representatives were among the first to enter the village after the massacre, confirm that the number of the victims is in fact close to the 250 estimate. Other more recent sources name around 120 martyrs (see list of Martyrs), adding that the number of victims was exaggerated by the Zionist terrorists to spread fear amongst Palestinians everywhere. Ethnic cleansing was one of the declared aims of the massacre, and the atrocities committed at Deir Yasin were used to force residents of other Palestinian villages to flee for their lives out of fear of a similar destiny. After the massacre, Zionist terrorist gangs went from one Palestinian village to another, ordering Palestinians to leave “or meet the fate of Dayr Yassin”[4]. They would warn the residents in loud speakers: “The Jericho road is still open, fly from Jerusalem before you are killed, like those in Deir Yassin.”[5] During the expulsion of the inhabitants of Ramleh and Lydd in July 1948, Sari Nair from Ramleh recalled how they were kicked out of their home by a Zionist soldier who told them to leave “Otherwise you know what will happen. What happen at Deir Yassin will happen to you.”[6]
      In addition to those butchered in their homes, 25 Palestinian men were rounded up by the Zionist terrorists, loaded onto a truck and paraded through Jerusalem in a sort of “victory tour” before being executed at a nearby quarry and buried in a mass grave. Also, eye witnesses reported that around 150 women and children were paraded naked through the Jewish neighbourhoods of Jerusalem. “The marauders gathered the women and girls who were still alive, and after removing all their clothes, put them in open cars, driving them naked through the streets of the Jewish section of Jerusalem, where they were subjected to the mockery and insult of the onlookers. Many took photographs of those women”[7] 55 children who survived the massacre were left at the Mendelbaum gate. 6 of these orphans went knocking on the door of Palestinian Jerusalemite Hind Al-Husseini seeking shelter. After hearing about the massacre, Al-Husseini went searching for the other children and after finding them decided to take care of them all. Her family gave her the mansion of her grandfather Dar Al-Husseini (the Husseini house) where she was born and which she renamed into Dar Al-Tifl Al-Arabi (Home of the Arab Child). Hind Al-Husseini dedicated her whole life to the orphans of Deir Yasin and other Palestinian children.
      Site of the mass grave of the victims of Deir Yasin massacre
      When the news of the massacre spread, the International Red Cross Society requested permission for its representative Jaques Reynier to enter the village and investigate the matter. The Jewish Agency – which claimed it had nothing to do with the massacre and publicly “condemned” it – tried its best to prevent an investigation of the massacre and delayed granting the permission 24 hours to give the Zionist terrorists enough time to erase all traces of the massacred (something the Zionist government and its IOF have been doing since then after every massacre: public condemnation followed by a self-investigation that clears them of the massacre while preventing an independent investigation). But the evidence of the massacre was visible everywhere; it was so horrific that all efforts to erase it failed. The Zionists even tried to change the landmarks of the village so the Red Cross representative would not find the village’s cistern which they locked up. But Reynier found it and testified to finding the maimed bodies and parts of bodies of 150 women, children and elderly. Other bodies were found under the rabble of the destroyed homes, and many were scattered along the streets of the village. Scores of bodies were also found in the mass grave at the quarry. (below is the testimony given by Jaques Reynier)
      Irgun, Lehi and Haganah Zionist terror gangs attacking Deir Yasin
      As the massacre was taking place, both the British commander of the Mandate ground troops and the Jewish Agency knew about it but did nothing to stop it. But after the news of the massacre spread and the horrific details of what had happened were made public, both “denounced” the massacre and denied any previous knowledge. Also the Haganah, the armed forces of the Jewish Agency, “condemned” the massacre and denied any connection or knowledge of it. The leaders of the Haganah tried to hide their role in the massacre and claimed they only entered Deir Yasin after the massacre was over and denied the claims of Irgun and Lehi that they were part of the attack. These were enraged by the claims and published a letter proving that the Haganah commander was fully aware of the plan to attack Deir Yasin and even approved it. The leader of Irgun, Menachim Begin, “admitted on December 28, 1950, in a press interview in New York, that the Deir Yassin incident had been carried out in accordance with an agreement between the Irgun and the Jewish Agency and the Haganah”[8]. In fact, the attack on Deir Yasin was coded “Operation Unity” “to demonstrate the unity between the official Zionist leadership on the one hand and the two terrorist groups on the other”[9]. According to “Plan Dalet”, Deir Yasin was to be occupied together with other Palestinian villages. “Plan Dalet” was the master military plan of the Zionists and contained many sub-operations for the systematic expulsion of as many Palestinians as possible and grabbing as much Palestinian land as possible before the British Mandate was over. It gave Zionist military commanders and Zionist gangs a green light to massacre and to expel Palestinians and destroy their villages and towns. This Plan and its operations caused the ethnic cleansing of 213 Palestinian localities (40% of all Palestinian localities) and caused 413,794 Palestinians refugees (54% of the Nakba refugees) making it the main plan behind the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. It started on 01.04.1948 and ended on 15.5.1948 and consisted of 8 major military operations against Palestinian communities, the first being “Operation Nachshon”. This operation “was launched to carve out and hold a corridor from Tel Aviv on the coast to Jerusalem in the interior. This involved the occupation and destruction of Arab villages in this corridor. The massacre of Deir Yassin on April 10th was part of this operation. By April 12th, the Zionists had expelled about 15,000 Arab villagers from this corridor”[10]. Deir Yasin massacre was the first of at least another 17 massacres committed within the framework of “Plan Dalet”. Only two days after Deir Yassin, on 12.04.1948, Zionist terror units killed 12 residents of Khirbet Nasir Al-Din (Tiberias area). The next day, Irgun and Lehi Zionist terror gangs entered the village and killed 50 of its 90 residents, the remaining 40 managed to escape before the whole village was destroyed. “Plan Dalet” was carried out by the Zionist terrorists while Palestine was still under British Mandate, meaning under British protection, but the British army and government did nothing to stop the Zionist terror attacks and massacres against the Palestinians. Instead they supported the Zionist terrorists by providing them with weapons and military training. At the same time, they denied Palestinians the possession of weapons leaving most Palestinians defenceless.
      During the massacre, Deir Yasin was ethnically cleansed, wiped off the Zionist map and later re-populated with Zionist colonists. While its indigenous population were made refugees who are till today scattered all over the world, Zionist colonists from Poland, Rumania and Slovakia were settled in the homes of the Palestinians. The irony is that some of the old houses of Deir Yasin became part of a Zionist mental hospital and these homes which are the site of the slaughter of their inhabitants later housed a number of Holocaust survivors suffering from mental trauma. The Zionist terror militias that committed the massacre were the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi. These terrorist gangs got most of their financing from the US, just like today, and in one case, the Lehi (Stern) terror gang contacted Albert Einstein and asked his help in raising money in the US. Einstein’s reply came one day after the massacre of Deir Yasin: he refused to help “calling the Stern Gang terrorists and misled criminals”[11]. The Haganah, as the armed unit of the Jewish Agency, was headed by the political leader of the Jewish Agency David Ben-Gurion who became the first prime minister of the Zionist entity. Irgun was headed by Menachim Begin who became the 6th prime minister of the Zionist entity. Lehi was headed by Yitzah Shamir who became the 7th prime minister of the Zionist entity. According to Menachim Begin: “The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state of Israel without the victory at Deir Yassin.”[12] and after the massacre, he sent the attackers of Deir Yasin: “Accept congratulations on this splendid act of conquest. Tell the soldiers you have made history in Israel.” No one was ever punished for this and other massacres. This entity that had been headed by one war criminal after the other since its creation, and is still headed by war criminals, blatantly keeps claiming it seeks peace and is “only defending itself” when it kills unarmed civilians whether in Palestine, Lebanon or elsewhere. Deir Yasin was not an isolated incident. Hundreds of massacres followed and the Jenin massacre and the recent Gaza Genocide are only two examples of the blood-thirsty Zionist nature.
      Choosing Deir Yasin as a target for this horrific massacre only shows the nature of the Zionist entity: Deir Yasin was known as a peaceful village and had prevented Palestinian fighters from using its land to fight the Zionist terrorists, in addition to the fact that it had signed a non-aggression treaty with the Zionists. One day before the massacre, the Palestinian leader Abdel-Qader Al-Husseini had been killed while resisting the Zionists in near-by Al-Qastal. He had waited in vain for support from Arab armies who had betrayed him and betrayed Palestine as they still do. Deir Yasin had refused to assist Al-Husseini and the Palestinian fighters. The village, surrounded by several Zionists colonies maybe saw in signing the non-aggression pact the only way to protect its inhabitants from the Zionist terror. Nevertheless, the Zionists chose Deir Yasin as the site for the massacre which was to be used as example for all other Palestinian villages and towns. The Zionists chose the people who signed a “non-aggression” treaty and as a “thank you” massacred them, raped their mothers and wives, paraded their children naked before executing them. This should always be a reminder and a warning for every Palestinian about the nature of Zionists, and a warning to all those who want to negotiate with Zionists or sign agreements with them claiming the “Zionists want peace”. There is no peace with this entity and there will never be peace as long as there is Zionism. There can be no peace with an entity that has ethnic cleansing as its official policy. “Yosef Weitz, the Jewish administrator responsible for Jewish colonization and member of the Jewish Agency’s first Transfer Committee declared as early as 1940 that: “Between ourselves it must be clear that there is no room for both peoples together in this country. We shall not achieve our goal of being an independent people with the Arabs in this small country .The only solution is a Palestine, at least Western Palestine (west of the Jordan river) without Arabs And there is no other way than to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighboring countries, to transfer all of them; not one village, not one tribe, should be left. Only after this transfer will the country be able to absorb the millions of our own brethren. There is no other way out.”[13] There can never be peace with an entity that thrives on continuous aggression, oppression, numerous massacres, the theft of Palestinian and the Judaization of Palestine.
      Deir Yasin massacre is one of the most barbaric and horrific massacres committed by the ZioNazis and remains one of the many witnesses of Zionist barbarism and ZioNazi behaviour. But most importantly; Deir Yasin must always remain a warning and a reminder to every Palestinian, to every Arab as the village that signed a “peace agreement” with the Zionists and ended up being ethnically cleansed, wiped off the map and its residents either savagely massacred or made refugees.
      Testimonies of Palestinian witnesses[14]:
      Um Mahmud (born 1932): “We were inside the house. We heard shooting outside. My mother woke us up. We knew the Jews had attacked us. My cousin and his sister came running and said the Jews were already in our garden. In the meantime, fighting became heavier and we heard lots of gunshots outside. A bomb was thrown at us and it exploded close to where we were in the yard… My sister- in-law did not want to leave. She was frightened. The girl was two months old and the boy about three. I took the two and my mother said we should go to my uncle’s house. I saw how Hilweh Zeidan was killed, along with her husband, her son, her brother and Khumayyes. Hilweh Zeidan went out to collect the body of her husband. They shot her and she fell over his body… I also saw Hayat Bilbeissi, a nurse from Jerusalem serving in the village, as she was shot before the house door of Musa Hassan. The daughter of Abu El Abed was shot dead as she held her niece, a baby. The baby was shot too… Whomever tried to run away was shot dead.”
      Abu Yousef (born 1927): “…After the battle, the Jews took elderly men and women and youths, including 4 of my cousins and a nephew. They took them all. Women who had on them gold and money, were stripped of their gold. After the Jews removed their dead and wounded, they took the men to the quarry and sprayed them all with bullets. …One woman had her son taken some 40 to 60 meters away from where she and the rest of the women stood by, and shot him dead. Then they brought Jewish kids to throw stones at his body. They later poured kerosene on his body and set it ablaze while the women watched from a distance. We later collected ourselves, & checked who was missing. At Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, we were gathered by the Arab Supreme Committee. Each of us was looking for a son, a daughter, a sister or a mother. All men were busy fighting.”
      Fahima Zeidan (born 1936): “The Jews ordered all our family to line up against the wall and they started shooting us. I was hit in the side, but most of us children were saved because we hid behind our parents. The bullets hit my sister Kadri (four) in the head, my sister Sameh (eight) in the cheek, my brother Mohammed (seven) in the chest. But all the others with us against the wall were killed: my father, my mother, my grandfather and my grandmother, my uncles and aunts and some of their children.”
      Hanna Khalil (born 1932): “I saw a man took a kind of sword and slash my neighnor Jamila Habash from head to toe then do the same thing on the steps to my house to my cousin Fathi”
      Safiyeh Attiyah (born 1907): describes how she was come upon by a man who suddenly opened up his trousers and pounced on her. “I began screaming and wailing. But the women around me were all meeting the same fate. After that they tore off our clothes so that they could fondle our breasts and our bodies with gestures too horrible to describe.” … “Some of the men were so anxious to get our earrings they ripped our ears to pull them off faster”
      Mohammad Jaber: “The Jews broke in, drove everybody outside, put them against the wall and shot them. One of the women was carrying a three month old baby.”
      Halima Eid (born 1918): describes what happened to her sister. “I saw a soldier grabbing my sister, Saliha al-Halabi, who was nine months pregnant. He pointed a machine gun at her neck, then emptied its contents into her body. Then he turned into a butcher, and grabbed a knife and ripped open her stomach to take out the slaughtered child with his iniquitous Nazi knife.”
      Abu Hasan (was 22 at the time): “The Jews went from house to house and killed whoever was there. Most people fled to Ein Karem. The way out through Giv’at Shaul had already been blocked for a few months. The main attack came from the direction of Giv’at Shaul. The young men of Dayr Yasin were able initially to repulse it, and even damaged the Etzel’s two vehicles. The attackers even suffered casualties. Later the Jews attacked with greater force, entered the village and carried out a massacre.”
      Muhammad Aref Sammour: testified before the British investigating officers that the Jewish gangs: “ripped open the bellies of all the women they found straight away with bayonets”. They also took jewelry from their victims and if those items did not come off easily: “they would cut off the arm to take the bracelet or cut the finger to get the ring.”
      Abu Mahmud (born 1927): “I was in the village when the Jews attacked. I and my colleagues were on the western side of the village, opposite Al Qastal. We had our guns on us. All villagers, mainly the youths, were ready for whatever may happen after the Qastal battle was over. By 1630 on Thursday 8 April 1948, Abdul Qader Husseini was killed as we were watching the battle from a distance. After his death, we took precautionary measures in case anything would happen: We guarded the village until 0230 the next morning when the Jews started entering the village with the use of spot and search lights looking for our fighters. The Jews closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us. Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge. The battle was on three fronts, east, south and north. The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They used to enter houses and kill women and children indiscriminately. The youths in the village fought bravely against them and the fighting continued until it was around 1530 afternoon. We had no aid or support from any party. They took about 40 prisoners from the village. But after the battle was over, they took them to the quarry where they shot them dead and threw their bodies in the quarry. After they removed their dead and wounded, they took the prisoners and killed them. They took the elderly prisoners, women and men and took them out of the village, yet they killed the youths. They called on us to surrender, to throw our weapons and to save ourselves. But we did not imagine them breaking into the village. We expected the fighting to last one or two hours, after which they would retreat. But they continued the fighting (..). We had trenches. The Jews filled one of those trenches with sand and rocks in order for their tanks to cross. When we hit the tank, it started firing from its machine-guns at our positions in the western edge of the village. (..). I remember, from what my uncle’s wife told me, that an uncle of mine, who was a schoolmaster, had killed the commander of the invading gangs on the staircase of one of the houses and later he disappeared for three days. Then, they found him with his mother, originally from Latakia in Syria, they saw him with her, his name was Ribhi Atiyyeh. She disguised him in women’s clothes to make sure that she could get him out of the village. They identified that he was a man, they opened fire and killed him. That is what I heard from my uncle’s wife, but I did not see it happening before my eyes.”
      Statement of Jacques de Reynier, Chief representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross[15]
      “On Saturday, April 10, in the afternoon, I received a telephone call from the Arabs begging me to go at once to Deir Yasin where the civilian population of the whole village has just been massacred.
      “I learned that the Irgun extremists hold this sector, situated near Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency and the Haganah’s General Headquarters say that they know nothing about this matter and furthermore it is impossible for anyone to penetrate an Irgun area.
      “They advise me that I not become involved in this matter as my mission will run the risk of being permanently cut short if I go there. Not only can they not help me but they also refuse all responsibility for what will certainly happen to me. I answer that I intend to go there at once, that the notorious Jewish Agency exercises its authority over the territory in Jewish hands and that the agency is responsible for my freedom of action within the bounds of my mission.
      “In fact, I do not know at all how to do it. Without Jewish support it is impossible to reach that village. After thinking I suddenly remember that a Jewish nurse from a hospital here had made me take her telephone number, saying with a strange look that if I ever were in a difficult situation I could call her. On a chance I call her late in the evening and tell her the situation. She tells me to be in a predetermined location the following day at 7 o’clock and to take in my car the person who will be there
      “The next day on the hour and in the location upon which we agreed, an individual in civilian clothes, but with pistols stuffed in his pockets, jumps into my car and tells me to drive without stopping. At my request, he agrees to show me the road to Deir Yasin, but he admits not being able to do to much more for me. We drive out of Jerusalem, leave the main road and the last regular army post and we turn in on a cross road. Very soon two soldiers stop us. They look alarming with machine guns in full view and larger cutlasses at the belt.
      “I recognize the uniform of those I am looking for. I must leave the car and lend myself to bodily search. Then I understand that I am a prisoner. All seems lost when a very big fellow … jostles his friends, takes my hand … He understands neither English nor French, but in German we arrive at a perfect understanding. He tells me his joy at seeing an ICRC delegate, for having been a prisoner in a camp for Jews in Germany he owes his life to nothing else but our intervention and three reprieves. He says that I am more than a brother for him and that he will do anything I ask. … We go to Deir Yasin.
      “Having reached a ridge 500 meters from the village which we see below, we must wait a long time for permission to go ahead. The shooting from the Arab side starts every time somebody tries to cross the road and the Commander of the Irgun detachment does not seem willing to relieve me. Finally he arrives, young, distinguished, perfectly correct, but his eyes have a strange, cruel, cold look. I explain my mission to him which has nothing in common with that of a judge or arbiter. I want to help the wounded and bring back the dead
      “Moreover, the Jews have signed a pledge to respect the Geneva Convention and my mission is therefore an official one. This last statement provokes the anger of this officer who asks me to consider once and for all that here it is the Irgun who are in command and nobody else, not even the Jewish Agency with which they have nothing in common.
      “My (guide) hearing the raised voices intervenes … Suddenly the officer tells me I can act as I see fit but on my own responsibility. He tells me the story of this village populated by about 400 Arabs, disarmed since always and living on good terms with the Jews who encircled them. According to him, the Irgun arrived 24 hours previously and ordered by loudspeaker the whole population to evacuate all the buildings and surrender. There is a 15 minute delay in the execution of the command. Some of the unhappy people came forward and would have been taken prisoners and then turned loose shortly afterwards toward the Arab lines. The rest did not obey the order and suffered the fate they deserved. But one must not exaggerate for there are only a few dead who would be buried as soon as the `clean up’ of the village is over. If I find a bodies, I can take them with me, but there are certainly no wounded
      “This tale gives me cold chills. “I return to Jerusalem to find an ambulance and a truck that I had alerted through the Red Shield … I arrive with my convoy in the village and the Arab fire ceases. The (Jewish) troops are in campaign uniforms with helmets. All the young people and even the adolescents, men and women, are armed to their teeth: pistols, machine guns, grenades, and also big cutlasses, most of them still bloody, that they hold in their hands. A young girl with the eyes of a criminal, shows me hers still dripping. She carries it around like a trophy. This is the ‘clean up’ team which certainly has accomplished its job very conscientiously.
      “I try to enter a building. About 10 soldiers surround me with machine guns aimed at me. An officer forbids me to move from the spot. They are going to bring the dead that are there, he says. I then get as furious as ever before in my life and tell these criminals what I think about the way they act, menacing them with the thunder I can muster, then I roughly push aside those who surround me and enter the building.
      “The first room is dark, completely in disorder, and empty. In the second, I find among smashed furniture covers and all sorts of debris, some cold bodies. There they have been cleaned up by machine guns then by grenades. They have been finished by knives
      “It is the same thing in the next room, but just as I am leaving, I hear something like a sigh. I search everywhere, move some bodies and finally find a small foot which is still warm. It is a little 10 year old girl, very injured by grenade, but still alive. I want to take her with me but the officer forbids it and blocks the door. I push him aside and leave with my precious cargo protected by the brave (guide).
      “The loaded ambulances leaves with orders to return as soon as possible. And because these troops have not dared to attack me directly, it is possible to continue.
      “I give orders to load the bodies from this house on the truck. Then I go on to the neighboring house and go on. Everywhere I encounter the same terrible sight. I only find two persons still alive, two women, one of whom is an old grandmother, hidden behind the firewood where she kept immobile for at least 24 hours.
      “There were 400 persons in the village. About 50 had fled, three are still alive, but the rest have been massacred on orders, for as I have noticed, this troop is admirably disciplined and acts only on command.
      De Reynier continues that he returns to Jerusalem where he confronts the Jewish Agency and scolds them for not exercising control over the 150 armed men and women responsible for the massacre
      “I then go to see the Arabs. I say nothing about what I have seen, but only that after a first quick visit to the spot there seems to be several dead and I ask what I shall do or where to bring them … they ask me to see that a suitable burial be given them in a place which will be recognizable later on. I pledge to do so and on my return to Deir Yasin, I find the Irgun people in a very bad mood. They try to stop me from approaching the village and I understand when I see the number and above all the state of the bodies which have been lined up on the main street. I demand firmly that they proceed with the burial and insist on helping them. After some discussion, they begin actually to scoop out a big grave in a small garden. It is impossible to verify the identity of the dead, for they have no papers, but I wrote accurately their descriptions with approximate age.
      “Two days later, the Irgun had disappeared from the spot and the Haganah had taken possession. We have discovered different places where the bodies have been piled up without either decency or respect in the open air.
      “Back in my office I received two gentleman in civilian clothes, very well dressed who had waited for more than one hour. It is the commander of the Irgun detachment and his aide. They have prepared a text they ask me to sign. It is a statement according to which I have been received courteously by them, that I have obtained all the help needed to accomplish my mission and I thank them for the aide they gave me
      “As I hesitate, I begin to discuss the statement, and they tell me that if I care for my life I should sign immediately.” Calling the statement contrary to fact, de Reynier refuses to sign. Several days later in Tel Aviv, de Reynier says he was approached by the same two men who asked the ICRC to assist some of their Irgun soldiers.

      Zionist Statements[16]
      “Former Haganah officer, Col. Meir Pa’el, upon his retirement from the Israeli army in 1972, made the following public statement about Deir Yasin that was published by Yediot Ahronot (April 4, 1972): “In the exchange that followed four [Irgun] men were killed and a dozen were wounded … by noon time the battle was over and the shooting had ceased. Although there was calm, the village had not yet surrendered. The Irgun and LEHI men came out of hiding and began to `clean’ the houses. They shot whoever they saw, women and children included, the commanders did not try to stop the massacre …. I pleaded with the commander to order his men to cease fire, but to no avail. In the meantime, 25 Arabs had been loaded on a truck and driven through Mahne Yehuda and Zichron Yousef (like prisoners in a Roman `March of Triumph’). At the end of the drive, they were taken to the quarry between Deir Yasin and Giv’at Shaul, and murdered in cold blood … The commanders also declined when asked to take their men and bury the 254 Arab bodies. This unpleasant task was performed by two Gadna units brought to the village from Jerusalem.”
      Zvi Ankori, who commanded the Haganah unit that occupied Deir Yasin after the massacre, gave this statement in 1982 about the massacre, published by Davar on April 9, 1982: “I went into 6 to 7 houses. I saw cut off genitalia and women’s crushed stomaches. According to the shooting signs on the bodies, it was direct murder.”
      Dov Joseph, one time Governor of the Israel sector of Jerusalem and later Minister of Justice, called the Deir Yassin massacre “deliberate and unprovoked attack.”
      Arnold Toynbee described it as comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by Nazis.”
      “According to Shai (Israeli Internal intelligence) commander Levy reported on April 12, 1948 that the occupation of Deir Yassin went as follows: “The occupation of the village was carried with great cruelty. Whole families… women, old people, children… were killed, and there were piles of dead [in various places]. Some of the prisoners moved to places of incarceration, including women and children, were murdered viciously by their captors.” “LHI [Stern Gang lead by Yitzhak Shamir] members tell of the barbaric behavior [Hitnahagut barbarit in Hebrew] of the IZL [Irgun gang lead by Menachim Begin] toward the prisoners and the dead. They also relate that the IZL men raped a number of [Palestinian] Arab girls and murdered them afterwards (we don’t know if this true).”The Shai operative who visited Deir Yassin hours after the massacre, Mordechai Gichen, reported on April 10, 1948: Their [i.e., the IZL?] commander says that the order was: to capture the adult males and to send the women and children to Motza. In the afternoon [of April 9, 1948], the order was changed and became kill all prisoners. . . . The adult males were taken to town in trucks and paraded in the city, then taken back to the [village] site and killed with rifle and machine-gun fire. Before they were put on the trucks, the IZL and LHI men searched the women, men, and Children [and] took from them all the jewelry and STOLE their money. The behavior toward them was especially barbaric [and included] kicks, shoves with rifle butts, spitting, and cursing (people from [the Western Jerusalem neighborhood of] Giv’at Shaul took part in the torture).”
      Lest We Forget: Names of Deir Yasin Martyrs
      1 Isma’il Shakir Mustafa (1 yr old)
      2 Ahmad Hussein Omar ‘Atiyah (4 yrs old)
      3 Isma’il Al-Haj Khalil (40 yrs old)
      4 Ahmad Hussein Ahmad Jabir (45 yrs old)
      5 As’ad Ridwan (75 yrs old)
      6 Isma’il Atiyah (95 yrs old)
      7 Amnah Hussein (80 yrs old)
      8 Amnah Ali Mustafa
      9 Amnah Al-Kobari
      10 Basima As’ad Ridwan (25 yrs old)
      11 Jabir Tawfiq Jabir Jaber (27 yrs old)
      12 Jamil Issa Eid (30 yrs old)
      13 Jabir Mustafa Jabir (75 yrs old)
      14 Husniyyeh ‘Atiyah
      15 Hilwa Zeidan (50 yrs old)
      16 Hasan Ali Zeidan
      17 Hassan Ya’coub Mohammad Ali Farhan
      18 Hussein Ismail Mohammad Sammour
      19 Khalil Mustafa Jabir (35 yrs old)
      20 Khadra Al-Bituniyyah (60 yrs old)
      21 Hayat Al-Balbisi
      22 Samia Ali Mustafa (17 yrs old)
      23 Salim Mohammad Ismail (25 yrs old)
      24 Su’ad Ismail ‘Atiyah (21 yrs old)
      25 Sa’id Mohammad Ismail ‘Atiyah (7 yrs old)
      26 Samiha Ahmad Zahran (7 yrs old)
      27 Sa’id Mohammad Sa’id (15 yrs old)
      28 Samih Ahmad Zahran (9 yrs old)
      29 Sammour Khalil Ismail (11 yrs old)
      30 Said Musa Zahran
      31 Shafiq Musa Mustafa
      32 Shafiq Shakir Mustafa
      33 Shafiqa Musa Mustafa
      34 Subhiya Radwan (75 yrs old)
      35 Safiyya Mohammad Eid Al-Sheikh (70 yrs old)
      36 Salhia Mohammad Eid (20 yrs old)
      37 Tharifa Mohammad Ali Khalil (16 yrs old)
      38 Isa Ahmad Yousif (50 yrs old)
      39 Abdel Rahman Hussein Hamid (52 yrs old)
      40 ‘Ayish Khalil (70 yrs old)
      41 Aziza Ali Mustafa (17 yrs old)
      42 Abdallah Abdel Majid Sammour (23 yrs old)
      43 Ali Hasan Ali Zeidan (30 yrs old)
      44 Ali Mohammad Zahran
      45 Ali Hussein Ali (35 yrs old)
      46 Ali Al-Haj Khalil (30 yrs old)
      47 ‘Aida Ali Mustafa Al-’Amouri (40 yrs old)
      48 ‘Awni Ismail ‘Atiyah (8 yrs old)
      49 Ali Abdel Rahim Hamid (10 yrs old)
      50 Isa Mohammad Eid (15 yrs old)
      51 Omar Ahmad Zahran
      52 ‘Imran Mohammad Ismail Atiyah
      53 ‘Aziza Misleh
      54 Ali Al-Khalili
      55 Ali Hussein Hasan Misleh
      56 Yusra Musa Mustafa
      57 Yousif Ahmad Alia
      58 Fatima Sammour (45 yrs old)
      59 Fatima Mohammad Eid Al-Malhia (70 yrs old)
      60 Fatima Jum’a Zahran (6 yrs old)
      61 Fatima Ismail Atiya
      62 Fathi Jum’a Zahran (2 yrs old)
      63 Fouad Al-Sheikh Khalil (12 yrs old)
      64 Faris Dweik (30 yrs old)
      65 Faddiya Ismail Sammour
      66 Fathiya Jum’a Zahran
      67 Mahmoud Ali Mustafa (17 yrs old)
      68 Mahmoud Mohammad Judeh (25 yrs old)
      69 Mazien Ahmad Ridwan (5 yrs old)
      70 Mustafa Ali Zeidan (9 yrs old)
      71 Mohammad Al-Haj ‘Ayish (25 yrs old)
      72 Mohammad Mahmoud Ismail Sammour (35 yrs old)
      73 Mohammad Ali Khalil (25 yrs old)
      74 Mohammad Ismail ‘Atiyah (50 yrs old)
      75 Mohammad Mahmoud Zahran (14 yrs old)
      76 Mohammad Musa Zahran (17 yrs old)
      77 Mariam Mohammad Atiya (10 yrs old)
      78 Musa Mohammad Ismail Atiya (13 yrs old)
      79 Mohammad Mahmoud Ismail Atiya (15 yrs old)
      80 Mustafa Mahmoud Mustafa Zeidan (11 yrs old)
      81 Mohammad Hussein Mohammad ‘Atiyah (2 yrs old)
      82 Mohammad Khalil Jabir (5 yrs old)
      83 Mohammad Ali Mustafa (50 yrs old)
      84 Mohammad Ali Misleh (55 yrs old)
      85 Mohammad Jouden Hamdan (66 yrs old)
      86 Mahmoud Mustafa Jabir (50 yrs old)
      87 Mansour Abdel Aziz Sammour (27 yrs old)
      88 Mohammad Ali Zahran
      89 Mohammad Musa Mustafa
      90 Maysar Musa Mustafa
      91 Mohammad Said Jaber
      92 Musa Ismail Sammour
      93 Mohammad Ali Mustafa Zeidan
      94 Nijma Ismail (100 yrs old)
      95 Nathmi Ahmad Zahran (2 yrs old)
      96 Ruqayya E’lian Ahmad Zahran (30 yrs old)
      97 Ridwan As’ad Ridwan (14 yrs old)
      98 Zeinab Jum’a Zahran (4 yrs old)
      99 Zeinab Mohammad ‘Atiyah (15 yrs old)
      100 Ribhi Mohammad Ismail ‘Atiyah (16 yrs old)
      101 Rasmiya Musa Zahran
      102 Zeinab Mohammad Musa Zahran
      103 Tamam Mohammad Ali Hasan (17 yrs old)
      104 Tawfiq Jabr (40 yrs old)
      105 Watfa Abed Mohammad Ali Hasan
      106 Sara Al-Kobariyya (40 yrs old)
      107 Mohammad Zahran (65 yrs old)
      108 ‘Aisha Ridwan
      109 Khaldiyya ‘Eid
      110 Jamila Hussein
      111 Qadariyyah Zeidan (4 yrs old)
      112 Zeidan, his wife, father and uncle

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