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|The Original Massacre - Full Account|
|10/06/00 at 22:07:04|
|DEIR YASSIN MASSACRE:|
The first major most notorious massacre in the 1948 War was the massacre of Deir Yassin, a small village near Jerusalem, on April 9/10, 1948. It was designed to spread terror and panic among the Palestinian population in every city and village of Palestine in order to frighten the defenseless people into fleeing their homes out of fear for their lives, so that their homes and land could be confiscated for the use of Jewish colonialist settlers.
Two hundred and fifty people were slaughtered. Mutilating the bodies, even before death, the culprits cut off parts and opened the bellies of others. Nursing babies were butchered on the bosoms of helpless mothers.
Of those 250 people, twenty-five pregnant women were bayoneted in their abdomens while still alive. Fifty-two children were maimed under the eyes of their own mothers, then slain and their heads cut off. Their mothers were in turn massacred and their bodies mutilated. About sixty other women and girls were also killed and their bodies mutilated. Such are the historical facts concerning the horrible crime perpetrated against the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin.(Encyclopedia of Palestine, Vol.I,.p.271).
The marauders were not satisfied with what they had committed. They gathered the women and girls who were still alive and after removing all their clothes, they put them in open cars, driving them naked through the streets of the Jewish section of Jerusalem, where the onlookers were cheering and jeering. Many even took pictures as souvenirs.
Jon Kimche, author and correspondent who was in Jerusalem at the time, described the attack as “the darkest stain on the Jewish record” He added, “...it is historically important because it was to become the beginning of a second legend with which the terrorists sought to serve their cause and justify their deeds. Just as they claimed credit for the British decision to leave Palestine as being the result of terrorists’ attack on British troops, so later they justify the massacre of Deir Yasin because it led to the panic flight of the remaining Arabs in the Jewish state and so lessened the Jewish casualties.” (The Seven Pillars, [New York Times: F.A. Praeger, 1953] p.228, quoted in Bitter Harvest by Sami Hadawi,p.85.)
Dov Joseph, one-time Governor of the Israeli sector of Jerusalem and later Minister of Justice, called it a “deliberate and unprovoked attack,”(The Faithful City: The Seige of Jerusalem, 1948(NYT:Simon and Schuster,1960)p.71. Meanwhile British historian Arnold Toynbee described it as “comparable to crimes committed against the Jews by the Nazis.” (A study of History,[London, Oxford University Press, 1953-54, Vol. VIII, p.290.) Quoted in Sami Hadawi’s Bitter Harvest,p.85)
Yet the great perpetrator of this massacre, Menachem Begin who in the 70s became Prime Minister of Israel, glorified the act saying, “The massacre was not only justified, but there would not have been a state without the victory of Deir Yassin.” (Jewish Newsletter, October 3, 1960) quoted in Sami Hadawi’s Bitter Harvest,p.85)
Other unpublished massacres similar to the massacre of Deir Yassin, later came to light through an article written by Ariel Yitzhaqi, historian and researcher, published by Yediot Aharanot in its issue of April 14, 1972, in which the writer accuses the Palmach of similar operations that he states were not restricted to ETZEL and LEHI. “If we assemble the facts,” writes Yitzhaqi, “we realize that, to a great extent, the battle followed the familiar pattern of the occupation of an Arab village in 1948. In the first months of the War of Independence, Haganah and Palmach troops carried out dozens of operations of this (Deir Yassin) kind, the method adopted being to raid an enemy village and blow up as many houses as possible in in. In the course of these operations, Yitzhaqi then listed the Arab villages raide and the number of Arabs killed as follows:
1. The village of Balad Esh-Sheikh was attacked. “In this operation, more than 60 of the enemy, most of them non-combatants, were killed in their houses.”
2. The village of Sa’sa’ was attacked.. “In this operation, which was for many years to be regarded as a model raid because of the high standard of its execution, 20 houses were blown up over their inhabitants, and some 60 Arabs were killed, most of them were women and children.”
3. In the battle for Kattamon Quarter of Jerusalem, “Arab women working in the St. Simon Monestry as servants were killed.”
4. In Lydda town, the Palmach claim that “the local population rose in revolt, and to suppress the revolt, orders were given to fire on anyone seen in the streets. Yeftah troops opened fire on all passers-by and suppress the revolt mercilessly in a few hours, going from house to house and firing at every moving target. According to the commander’s report 250 Arabs were killed in the fighting.”(Sami Hadawi, p.88. The Journal of Palestine Studies. Vol.I, No.4, Summer 1972, pp.142-46)
Another massacre of Arab civilians occured in October 1948 in the Lebanese-border village of Hula, and only recently came to light as a result of the appointment of Shamuel Lahis as the new Secretary-General of the Jewish Agency who had been convicted for his part in the crime.
According to a report by Dov Yirmaya, “there had been no resistence in the village, that there was no enemy activity in the area, and that about a hundred people were in the village. They had surrendered and had requested to be allowed to stay.”
The men--some fifty of them ranging between the ages of 15-60 years-- were kept in one house. When asked by the troop commander if he should send them away to follow the rest of the villagers, Yermaya states that he ordered Lahis to keep them and made sure that they had whatever they needed until he had asked the brigade what to do with them.
Yermaya goes on to say that, “when I returned to the village the following morning with an order to send the villagers away, I found that while I was away, two of the troops’ officers had killed all the captives who were in the house with a sub-machine gun, and had then blown up the house on top of them to be their grave.” (R. Barkanin Al-Hamshmar, quoted from Journal of Palestine Study, Vol.VIII, No.4, Summer 1978) 18 p.89.) [Encyclopedia of Palestine,p.
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