This week, we remember the massacre of Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin. The assault from Zionist militias began on the morning of 9th April 1948, in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. Testimony from the soldiers has them moving through the village systematically blowing up houses and killing the occupants – men, women and children no matter their ages were all slaughtered and driven out of their homes. The homes were then looted with soldiers taking all the wealth they could lay their hands on. Bodies of slain Palestinians were piled up and burned. This shameful episode was just one of the ethnic cleansing and mass displacement of Palestinians from their homes, their descendants still live as refugees today. The intergenerational trauma caused by this killing and defilement lives on with Palestinians today, who remain committed to reclaiming our homes and lives in a free Palestine.
Yair Tsaban, a former Meretz MK and government minister, related in an interview with documentary film maker Neta Shoshani that after the massacre, in which he did not participate, he was sent with fellow members of the Youth Brigades to bury the corpses of the dead. “The rationale was that the Red Cross was liable to show up at any moment and it was necessary to blur the traces [of the killings] because publication of pictures and testimonies about what had happened in the village would be very damaging to the image of our War of Independence,” he said.
“I saw a fair number of corpses,” he added. “I don’t remember encountering the corpse of a fighting man. Not at all. I remember mostly women and old men.” Tsaban testified that he saw inhabitants shot in the back and dismissed the claims of some of participants in the action that the locals had been hit in exchanges of fire. “An old man and a woman, sitting in the corner of a room with their faces to the wall, and they are shot in the back,” he recalled. “That cannot have been in the heat of battle. No way.”