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Eilaboun massacre

   The massacre of the Mawassi The return Martyrs  massacre

A terrifying massacre happened, with memories that hardly exist in our minds a massacre was forgotten by people who tried to describe those horrified days.

In the early morning of 30.10.1948 which started as every morning, the sun shining over the world turning that day to a deep red day in the memory of everyone.

The people refused to leave in spite of the horrible news about the Israeli army that was about to invade the village in any moment.

The army entered the village and found the people inside the church holding white flags. The army took the people out of the church and killed 14 young men and the rest were kicked out towards the north heading to Lebanon, and in order to terrify the people and erg them to leave as quickly as possible  they shot another person turning the number of victims to 15 added to tens of injured people who survived miraculously.

Eilaboun was like other Palestinian villages that were put under the Jewish authority, those villages suffered from ethnic cleansing.

My grandmother told me this story with tearful eyes:-

" on the black day we all gathered inside the church when we knew about the coming of the Israeli army with his blooded hands. By entering the village and forcing all people to gather in neighborhood yard which was used to celebrate weddings and it turned it into the yard of martyrs.

One of the soldiers named " Hayem Batata"  chose 12 young men randomly by pointing at them with one hand while the other hand was holding a rifle, which was used to shoot those guys.

Meanwhile tens of men were arrested including my husband and the other people old men, women children , were moved in front of the tanks towards Mag'ar village.

At the entrance of the village two men tried to escape so they were shot immediately.

People were hungry and thirsty passing the village of Mag'ar reaching KufrEnan junction another man from the village was shot and many were injured and 40 men were arrested. The Israeli army intended to kill 50 men but one man named Ebrahim Hawa paid the army 100 Palestinian Liras as a ransom.

I walked holding my new born baby in one hand and a two year old baby in the other hand and followed by my two daughters. I was desperate and helpless for a minute I thought that I should leave the baby behind in order to save the other children, but my mother held the baby while she was dragging her injured mother at the same time , so she held the baby in her teeth by her diaper.

Those were hard days, we looked for food in the cow dung and drank dirty water which was put for pigs it drink in the village of Elberthiaa.

 I saw many women leaving their newborn babies behind under the trees in order to save the other children in the family. The ones who survived reached the refugee camp ELmeyee Wemyee in Lebanon with no shelter or food they started a new life away form home. We stayed without a shelter for 70 days suffering and starving. So some families decided to give in their kids to Monasteries and orphanages.

Finally we were allowed to return home an we did, but our properties were gone, clothing, food, cattle, nothing was left.

But we over came those hard days with our strong will and determination.







The victims of Eilaboun

Fadel Fadlo Eilabouni

Foad Nofal Zureik

Melad Fayad Sliman

Michyel Mitri Shami

Naeem Gantous Zureik

Mouhamed Khaled Asaad

Abdullah Simaan Shoufani  

Badee Jeries Zureik

Raja Michyel Haleel Nakhly

Jeries Shibli Hayek

Ziki Moussa Nakhly Skafi

Hanna Ibraheem Khouri Ashkar

Azar Salem Mousalam

Simaan Jeries Shoufani




The return

After 50 days out of Palestine people started to return from the refugee camp towards the village.

People of Eilaboun were allowed to return after great efforts that were made by a local priest called Morcous Mouallem. He sent many letters to many generals and different ministries asking to let the people of his village to return he also was helped by the mandate of Lebanon in the United Nations.

As a result, a committee of observers from the United Nations arrived to the village in order to see the remains of the massacre.

In the 20th.11.1948 the priest sent two men to Lebanon to ask the people to return.





The massacre of the Mawassi

 The Mawassi tribe lived nearby Eilaboun and it had good relations with the people of Eilaboun.

On the massacre day (2.11.1948) some soliers met two of the mawassi who were looking after their cows so they were shot, one of them was 13 and the second was 16.

In the next day the army invaded the tribe and chose 14 men to be shot down, one man called Saaed Mouhamed Eldeeb saw everything and told the story to other people most of the tribe escaped to Syria. 

Copyright 2009 Wisam Zureik All rights reserved