|The Mufti at Deir Yassin|
|Palestinian irregulars moving to counterattack Haganah|
positions in Al-Qastal, 7–8 April 1948
Al-Husayni's death is said to have been a factor in the loss of morale among his forces. Many left their positions to attend al-Husayni's funeral at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, April 9. Palmach troops retook the village on the night of April 8-9th and they blew up what was left standing of the abandoned houses and made the hill a command post.
The Incident at Deir Yassin
April 9, 1948
On the thirtieth of March Mordehai Gihon reported “One hundred and fify men, mostly Iraqis, entered Deir Yassin.
The inhabitants were leaving, for fear of the foreign troops and reprisal operations by the Jews."
When the ETZEL and LECHI (Stern gang) forces were assembled for the attack to capture the village, they were given strict orders in advance to the fighters not to harm the elderly, women and children. It was also stated explicitly that any Arab who surrendered was to be taken prisoner.
An Iraqi-born Jew, who spoke fluent Arabic, called out to the residents that the village was surrounded by Irgun and Lehi fighters, and to leave via the western exit from Deir Yassin for Ein Karem which the attackers had left clear for that purpose or to surrender. Soon after entering the town, however, the truck was hit by Arab gunfire and careened into a ditch.
The attackers left open an escape corridor from the village and more than 200 residents left unharmed.
For example, at 9:30 A.M., about five hours after the fighting started, the Lehi evacuated 40 old men, women and children on trucks and took them to a base in Sheikh Bader. Later, the Arabs were taken to East Jerusalem.
Starting at 2:00 P.M., residents were taken out of the village. The trucks passed through the Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim after the Sabbath had begun, so the neighborhood people cursed and spit at them, not because they were Arabs, but because the vehicles were desecrating the Sabbath. Seeing the Arabs in the hands of Jews also helped raise the morale of the people of Jerusalem who were despondent from the setbacks in the fighting to that point.
Another source says 70 women and children were taken away and turned over to the British. If the intent was to massacre the inhabitants, no one would have been evacuated.
At the Irgun fighters, commanded by Ben-Zion Cohen (Giora), were driven from the Etz Hayim base to Bet Hakerem. The force moved into the wadi (riverbed), where the squads split up, each squad climbing up the terraced slope to its allotted field of action. The Lehi unit assembled at Givat Shaul and proceeded from there towards the target. Some of the force advanced behind the armored car which was proceeding along the path towards the center of the village.
Moreover, this was the first instance in the War of Independence where battle had taken place in a built-up area, and such fighting typically claims numerous victims. For the same reason, the number of Irgun and Lehi members injured by Arab fire was 35% of the force (5 dead and 35 wounded).
“The assault on the strategic heights near Deir Yassin was publicized throughout the world as a "Massacre" means of causing great harm to the reputation of the new born State of Israel and the Jewish Zionist movement and the"Yishuv".The world press that disseminated the story at the time, based the story solely on the Arab point of view and due to the conflict being waged Jewish sources either could not or did not wish to relate to the lies and false accusations until later. It is intentionally overlooked and forgotten that at the time the seriousness of the perilous predicament of the Yishuv. The Jews of Eretz Yisrael were engaged in a "fight for their life" it was a matter of life and death survival.
The meager forces of the Hagannah had yet received "State" status and could not bring in "heavy weapons" such as, artillery, mortars. machine guns. Much of the arsenal of Jewish resistance was home made. Quantities of ammunition was scarce.
Jewish forces were under attack by well armed forces from seven Arab League armies who as Military forces of countries did possess and use "heavy weapons" such as, tanks, armored cars, artillery, mortars. machine guns. Ben Gurion shuffled his lightly armed Jewish forces between locations. They were spread out and embattled.
There were countless incidents were Jews were being caught under-fire in the joint cities and butchered by Arab Irregulars on the roads. Not one Jewish settlement was not under attack many cut-off.
Eye witnesses testimony
In this recounting of the incident of Deir Yassin from the book; "War Without End", by Anton La Guardia written fifty years after the conflict we can see the effect of the negative Jewish point of view:
“Early in the morning of
Friday, April 9, 1948, members of the Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village of about 750 Arab residents. It was less than a month before the end of the British Mandate on May 14th,1948. The village lay astride a major route to Jerusalemadjacent to some strategic hill top positions outside of the area that the United Nations recommended to be included in a future Jewish State. It was "reported"that the 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 villageof Deir Yassin Jerusalemand 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 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 Zikhron 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."
However that is not the case since as he previously stated,"... it was located on high ground." Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't an airfield need wide open flat spaces?
By the way the closet airport, Atarot Airport is located to the north here is a view of the area from above. Judge for yourself.
Now as to La Guardia's statement; "Four commandos died at the hands of resisting Palestinians using old Mausers and muskets." This is the apologists excuse that those who did the fighting in Deir Yassin were simple residents from the village. Yet, we are told by British CID and Hagannah SHAI sources that the ridge area was controlled by, "a large heavily armed force of elements of the (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) or Holy War Army.
After the attack the Irgunists and the Sternists escorted a group foreign correspondents to a house in the Jewish neighborhood of Givat Shaul, that had been founded in 1906. At the meeting they laid out the details of the operation and the reasoning behind it. One of the reasons was the housing of elements of the Grand Mufti’s (Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas) or Holy War Army led by Abd-el-Khader al-Husayni in homes in the
lay astride a major route to villageof Deir Yassin Jerusalemadjacent to some strategic hill top positions.
were reports that Deir Yassin had become a concentration point for Arabs,
including Syrians and Iraqis, planning to attack the western suburbs of
were attacks almost daily on Jewish convoys attempting to reach besieged
Jerusalemfrom the heights near the village.
- A 1987
study undertaken by
's Center for Research and Documentation of Palestinian Society found "the numbers of those killed does not exceed 120". Birzeit University