September 4, 1948: The forces of the Zionist gangs Tsel, Irgun and Hagana, outfitted with the Zionist terrorist strategy of killing civilians in order to achieve their aspirations, raided the village on the night of April 9, 1948. Their purpose was to uproot the Palestinian people from their land by raiding the unsuspecting inhabitants of the village, destroying their homes and burning them down with families inside. The attack began as the villagers were sleeping. In the words of Menachim Begin (former leader of Israel) as he described events, “the Arabs fought tenaciously in defense of their homes, their women and their children.” The fighting proceeded from house to house, and whenever the Jews occupied a house, they would blow it up, then direct a call to the inhabitants to flee or face death. Believing the threat, the people left in terror in hopes of saving their children and women. But what the Stern and Irgun gangs did was fire upon whoever fell within range of their weapons. Then, in a picture of barbarism the likes of which humanity has rarely witnessed except on the part of the most depraved, the terrorists began throwing bombs inside the houses in order to bring them down on whoever was inside. The orders they had received were for them to destroy every house. To ensure there were no survivors, the Stern and Irgun terrorists murdered whoever was found alive. The explosions continued in the same barbaric fashion until the afternoon of April 10, 1948. They then gathered the civilians who were still alive, stood them up in front of the walls and fired upon them assassination style. About twenty-five men were brought out of the houses, loaded onto a truck and led on a “victory tour” in the neighborhood of Judah Mahayina and Zakhroun Yousif. At the end of the tour, the men were brought to a stone quarry located between Tahawwu’at Shawul and Dair Yasin, where they were murdered in cold blood. Then the Etsel and Layhi “fighters” brought the women and the children who had managed to survive to the Mendelbaum Gate. Finally, a Hagana unit came and dug a mass grave in which it buried 250 Arab corpses, most of them women, children and the elderly.
A woman who survived the massacre by the name of Halima Id describes what happened to her sister. She says, “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.” In another location in the village, Hanna Khalil, a girl at the time, saw a man unsheathing a large knife and ripping open the body her neighbor Jamila Habash from head to toe. Then he murdered their neighbor Fathi in the same way at the entranceway to the house. A 40-year-old woman named Safiya 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 soldiers cut off women’s ears in order to get at a few small earrings. Once news of the massacre had gotten out, a delegation from the Red Cross tried to visit the village; however, they weren’t allowed to visit the site until a day after the time they had requested. Meanwhile the Zionists tried to cover up the evidence of their crime. They gathered up as much as they could of the victims’ dismembered corpses, threw them in the village well and attempted to seal it. They went to the extent of attempting to change landmarks in the area so that the Red Cross representative wouldn’t be able to find his way to the sealed well. He did find his way to the well however and located 150 maimed corpses belonging to women, children and the elderly. In addition to the bodies which were found in the well, scores of others had been buried in mass graves while still others remained strewn over street corners and in the ruins of houses. Afterwards, the head of the terrorist Hagana gang which had taken part in burying the Palestinian civilians wrote saying that his group had not undertaken a military operation against armed men, the reason being that they wanted to plant fear in the Arabs’ hearts. This was the reason they chose a peaceful, unarmed village, with the hopes of spreading fear and terror among the Arabs, forcing them to flee.
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