Palestinians mark this Saturday the 68th anniversary of the massacre of Deir Yassin, a small village west of Jerusalem, which was carried out by extremist Zionist militias.

The Deir Yassin massacre was a pivotal moment of the Nakba and in the lead-up to the 1948 War. It was led by the Irgun (Etzel) group, whose head was future prime minister Menachem Begin, with support from the Stern Gang (Lehi).

On April 9, 1948, the village was attacked by those two Jewish paramilitary groups, composed of 120 men.

Some 100-200 Palestinians, including women, children and elderly, were killed by the extremist Zionist militias.

However, the precise number of deaths remains unclear until today: some believe it to be around 107, though figures given at the time reached up to 254.

Some villagers were shot in battle, many others executed. Others were killed when grenades were thrown into their houses.

As stated by Zochrot, “the remaining villagers were driven out or trucked east towards Jerusalem. Their houses were looted and were subsequently resettled by Jewish European immigrants a few months later. Deir Yassin was wiped off the map.”

In 1953 on the other side of the valley, within full view of Deir Yassin, the Holocaust museum started to be built. Named Yad Vashem, it has grown into a vast, sprawling complex of tree-studded walkways leading to exhibits, archives, monuments, sculptures, and memorials, all dedicated to Jews who died in World War II.

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