The massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948 is still going on today, lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti said Tuesday, as Palestinians mark the 65th year since Jewish militias murdered over 100 Palestinian villagers.
“What happened 65 years ago in Deir Yassin was a horrible massacre which prepared the ground for the ethnic cleansing of 70 percent of the Palestinian people,” Barghouti told Ma’an.
“The same ethnic cleansing is going on today but in a different way. In 1948 they used direct massacres, now they use airstrikes in Gaza and shoot young Palestinians in the West Bank.”
On April 9, 1948, the Lehi and Irgun Jewish militia groups, the latter headed by former Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, despite the fact that villagers had signed a non-aggression pact.
Over 100 men, women and children were killed by the Jewish fighters in the village, which was designated as part of the Corpus Separatum plan for Jerusalem as part of the 1947 UN partition plan for Palestine.
Survivor statements from the massacre report that villagers were ordered to line up against village walls before being shot by Jewish fighters, according to Deir Yassin Remembered.
Militia members looted homes and stole jewelry from villagers and there were reports of sexual violence, survivor accounts say.
“What is happening today in Jerusalem is not different to what happened all those years ago in Deir Yassin. Ethnic cleansing is happening at a slower rate today, the form has changed but the content is the same,” Barghouti added.
More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.7 million with their descendants — were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes as the State of Israel was established in 1948.
Massacres such as those at Deir Yassin were pivotal catalysts in forcing Palestinian civilians to flee their homes for fear of being killed by Jewish militia groups.
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information released a statement condemning the massacre, calling it an “open wound” which continues to affect the Palestinian people through continued Israeli aggression.
(Maan – maannews.net)