Four Mass Graves on Tantura's Lands

May 25, 2023 02:14 pm
Photo from archive

Haaretz – Adapted
75 years ago, on May 23, 1948, the Zionist Alexandroni Brigade invaded the Palestinian village of Tantura, where approximately 1500 Palestinians lived.

There was Hajja (elderly woman) Rashida Ummar. She, along with the women, kids, and elderly people, were forcibly displaced from the village. At the time, she was 18 years old. The atrocity claimed the life of her first husband. Israel, on the other hand, does not address the claims that a massacre was carried out at the time in the village. This week, her daughter Jihan went to the village, which the Israelis have turned into a city for them, in response to a fresh news that four mass graves had been discovered nearby.

By analyzing old aerial photos and comparing them to more recent ones, researchers at the Institute of "Forensic Engineering" at the University of London confirmed to have discovered four mass graves. They also gathered written and oral testimonials from witnesses to the massacre, and they provided reliable information proving the existence of mass graves. 

Adnan Yahya, a 92-year-old villager and one of the witnesses on whom the report is based, stated: "They gathered a large number of us on the beach in the hot sun and we stood there for a few hours without food or water, and after that they took us all to the cemetery, where they dug a large hole and asked to throw the dead bodies of the villagers into it. We threw dead bodies and "half-alive" people there."

Last year, the issue of the village came to the surface after a documentary film, titled “Al-Tantura”, was released. The film shines a light on a mass grave located under the car park in Dor Beach.

This deserted village is now illegally inhabited by colonial Israeli settlers. Alon Confino, an Israeli historian and professor, said that “in 2013, the village was used as a good place to establish a new prosperity settlement called Nahsholim.” Yet, according to him, most of the Palestinian properties left in the village were stolen by the Israeli soldiers. “The only disadvantage is that it's not ours,” he conservatively added.