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Deir Yassin


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While the Haganah was battling to recapture Castel on 9 April 1948, eighty men of the Irgun, on orders from Menachem Begin, attacked the tiny village of Deir Yassin (shown here) in the western suburbs of Jerusalem, about three miles east of Castel and next to the Jewish neighborhood of Givat Sha'ul. One month earlier, Deir Yassin had asked for and signed a nonaggression pact with Givat Sha'ul. Nevertheless, it was from Givat Sha'ul that the Irgun attackers emerged, together with forty armed men of the Stern Gang (one of whose three top leaders was Yitzhak Shamir, current prime minister of Israel). "The attackers perpetrated an indiscriminate massacre in the village, killing men and women, children and the elderly. They ended their operation by putting their 'prisoners' in trucks and touring the streets of the Jewish sector of Jerusalem in a 'victory parade.'  The 'prisoners' were then returned to the village and killed. The number of villagers killed was 100, including men, women, and children."

Altogether nearly two hundred Palestinian villages were attacked and conquered by Zionist forces before the end of the Mandate on 15 May 1948. Many of the inhabitants suffered injury or death, and all were expelled or fled in fear from their homes.