April 8, 2018: PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the 70th anniversary of the Deir Yassin MassacreApril 9, 2018, midnight
“On April 9, 1948, armed members of the Zionist terrorist organizations the Irgun and Lehi gangs attacked the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin in the Jerusalem district and brutally murdered 254 innocent men, women and children.
The Deir Yassin massacre was not an isolated incident; rather, it occurred in the context of further massacres that Israel committed against the Palestinian people in the span of 70 years. Deir Yassin, Nasir al-Din, Haifa, Yazur, Bayt Daras, al-Tantura, al-Lydd, al-Dawayima, Saliha, Qibya, Kufr Qasim, Shuja'iyya, al-Ibrahimi mosque, al-Aqsa, and the most recent massacre of unarmed protestors in Gaza on March 30, among others, will continue to form tragic chapters in our history; yet they are also a tribute to Palestinian resilience and steadfastness.
International condemnation is critical, but it is not enough. It is absolutely vital to guarantee protection for the Palestinian people and to hold Israel to account for its violations of international law and international humanitarian law with concrete and serious measures that include punitive action and sanctions.
The termination of the military and belligerent occupation is the only way to put an end to Israel’s policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing, primarily the escalation in illegal settlement activities, home demolitions, revocation of Jerusalem IDs, and the persistent annexation of Palestinian land and resources. It is also imperative to establish the sovereign and independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Furthermore, Israel should admit its culpability and make reparations to the Palestinian people for the extensive destruction and suffering inflicted on them, including compensation and restitution for lost properties and human suffering.
Today, we honor the victims of Israel’s systematic policies of destruction and massacres. A just peace for the Palestinians is long overdue. We call on the international community to join us in our mission to secure freedom, dignity and self-determination for the people of Palestine.”