16 Jun 2011

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Semiramis Hotel Massacre

January 5, 1948: The Jewish Agency escalated their terror campaign against Palestinian Arabs. They decided to perpetrate a wholesale massacre by bombing the Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, in order to drive out the Palestinians from Jerusalem. The massacre of the Semiramis Hotel on January 5, 1948, was the direct responsibility of Jewish Agency leader David Ben-Gurion and Haganah leaders Moshe Sneh and Yisrael Galili.

A description of the massacre of the Semiramis Hotel from the United Nations Documents follows, as well as the Palestinian Police report on the crime sent to the Colonial Office in London:

January 5, 1948. Haganah terrorists made a most barbarous attack at one o’clock in the early morning of Monday…at the Semiramis Hotel in the Katamon section of Jerusalem, killing innocent people and wounding many. The Jewish Agency terrorist forces blasted the entrance to the hotel by a small bomb and then placed bombs in the basement of the building. As a result of the explosion the whole building collapsed with its residents. As the terrorists withdrew, they started shooting at the houses in the neighborhood. Those killed were: Subhi El-Taher, Moslem; Mary Masoud, Christian; Georgette Khoury, Christian; Abbas Awadin, Moslem; Nazira Lorenzo, Christian; Mary Lorenzo, Christian; Mohammed Saleh Ahmed, Moslem; Ashur Abed El Razik Juma, Moslem; Ismail Abed El Aziz, Moslem; Ambeer Lorenzo, Christian; Raof Lorenzo, Christian; Abu Suwan Christian family, seven members, husband, wife, and five children.

Besides those killed, 16 more were wounded, among them women and children. The following is a text of a cable by the High Commissioner for Palestine to the Colonial Office about the massacre: Jerusalem. 0117 hours, Urban. At approximately 0117 hours, a grenade was thrown into the Semiramis Hotel, Katamon Quarter, causing superficial damage but no casualties. During the ensuing confusion, a charge was placed in the building and it exploded about one minute later, completely demolishing half the hotel. Witnesses have stated that the perpetrators arrived by way of the Upper Katamon Road in two taxis. Four persons are reported to have alighted from the first taxi, and one person, who apparently covered the main party, from the second. All were wearing European clothes…

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