“On April 9, sixty-seven years ago, armed members of the Zionist terrorist organizations, the Irgun and the Stern gangs, attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin and brutally murdered more than one hundred innocent men, women and children. Mostly all under the age of nine, fifty-five young children were orphaned and literally dumped in the Old City of Jerusalem to fend for themselves; Hind al-Husseini rescued the children and founded Dar Al-Tifl Al-Arabi (Arab Children’s House), an orphanage for the young survivors, two weeks later.
The Deir Yassin massacre was a turning point in the history of the people of Palestine, and it continues to serve as a necessary reminder of Israel’s ongoing policies of displacement, dispossession and dehumanization, and its willful erasure of the Palestinian narrative and human presence in historical Palestine.
One of the most recent examples of Israel’s continued campaign of deliberate massacres occurred last summer when it waged a brutal and ruthless assault on the Palestinians of Gaza. On July 20, at least sixty Palestinians were murdered in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood, and between July 7 and August 21, one hundred and forty-two families in Gaza were partially or completely obliterated by Israel.
Since its creation, Israel’s systematic policies of destruction and massacres have persisted. Deir Yassin, Nasir al-Din, Haifa, Yazur, Bayt Daras, al-Tantura, al-Lydd, al-Dawayima, Saliha, Qibya, Kafr Qasim, and Shuja’iyya, among other names, will remain forever engraved in our hearts and minds and always serve as symbols of Palestinian steadfastness and perseverance.
Today, we honor all Palestinian victims of Israel’s flagrant measures of military occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing. On behalf of Palestinians everywhere, we will remain undeterred in our efforts to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and war crimes. Peace and justice for Palestine is long overdue, and it is time for the international community to join us as we strive for freedom, dignity and self-determination.”