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Al-Dawayima massacre

On October 29, 1948, fell the Arab town al-Dawayima during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war to the Israelis. The capturing force was the 89th Commando Batallion which was composed by former Irgun and Lehi troops who had a very long history of war crimes.

The town was defended by Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members, Arab Liberation Army volunteers and some local militia. The town was captured without a fight.

Table of contents
1 Eyewitness accounts
2 The UN inspection team
3 Reactions
4 Death toll
5 See also
6 External Links & References

Eyewitness accounts

An unnamed Israeli soldier told this version:

The first wave of conquerors killed about 80 to 100 Arabs, women and children. The children they killed by breaking their heads with sticks. There was not a house without dead. One woman, with a newborn baby in her arms was employed to clean the courtyard.... (they) shot her and the baby.... This was not in the heat of battle.... but a system of expulsion and destruction (Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestine Refugee Problem, p. 222)

The UN inspection team

November 8, UN inspectors Colonel Sore and Warrant-Officer Van Wassenhove visited the scene of the village. They were there to investigate Egyptian charges of a massacre. Their request to inspect the village had been denied three times earlier.

Many of the houses were still smoking, Van Wassenhove wrote that some of the houses gave a peculiar smell as if bones were burning (src).

The team requested to see the interior of the mosque but was denied by an Israeli officer, we never go into the mosque because this is not correct and we must follow tradition in such things (src). But the UN officials got a brief look and saw severel Jews inside the mosque.


The American consul in Jerusalem, William Burdett who had received news about the massacre reported on November 16 to Washington Investigation by UN indicates massacre occurred but observers are unable to determine number of persons involved. (src)

On November 17, Agriculture Minister Aharon Cizling told the cabinet; I feel that things are going on which are hurting my soul, the soul of my family and all of us here ... Jews too have behaved like Nazis and my entire being has been shaken. (src)

Death toll

Very little has been researched about the massacre in al-Dawayima despite that it is as big and maybe even larger than the Deir Yassin massacre. The probable death toll is between 80 - 350 people.

See also

External Links & References