Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun Israeli militia (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation.
But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover.
In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.
After the massacre in Deir Yassin, many Palestinians fled their homes in what is now Israel to become refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, and surrounding Arab countries. Said militia leader (and later Israeli Prime Minister) Menachem Begin at the time: "“The legend of Deir Yassin helped us in particular in the saving of Tiberia and the conquest of Haifa…All the Jewish forces proceeded to advance through Haifa like a knife through butter. The Arabs began fleeing in panic, shouting Deir Yassin…Arabs throughout the country were seized by limitless panic and started to flee for their lives.”
Says a statement from the group ‘Deir Yassin Remembered’ on the anniversary of the massacre:
"Part of the struggle for self-determination by Palestinians has been to tell the truth about Palestinians as victims of Zionism. For too long their history has been denied, and this denial has only served to further oppress and deliberately dehumanize Palestinians in Israel, inside the occupied territories, and outside in their diaspora.
"Some progress has been made. Westerners now realize that Palestinians, as a people, do exist. And they have come to acknowledge that during the creation of the state of Israel, thousands of Palestinians were killed and over 750,000 were driven or frightened from their homes and lands on which they had lived for centuries."