Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Newly found pictures show Deir Yassin's commanding position on the road to Jerusalem

Republishing one of our first postings, on the anniversary of the battle of Deir Yassin

View from the trenches looking west toward
the Kastel stronghold and Tel Aviv beyond, 1917. The
caption on a similar photo reads "Kastel and Jaffa Road
 from Deir Yesin Redoubt."
The Arab village of Deir Yassin is the subject of one of the biggest controversies of Israel's 1948-49 War of Independence.  The village, situated on the road immediately outside of Jerusalem, was part of the Arab vise putting Jerusalem under siege.

American Colony collection caption (1931): "Deir Yasin  Turkish war trenches. West of Jerusalem,
commanding the Jaffa road." See jagged defense lines on the mountain tops

Israel's detractors portray the village as a pastoral, innocent victim of Jewish atrocities and ethnic cleansing in April 1948. Jewish fighters (Israel had not yet been founded) claim that Arab combatants were in the village.  New research and Arab interviews confirm today that the civilian casualties of Deir Yassin were far fewer than claimed by Arab spokesmen.

Another view of the trenches of Deir Yassin. 
Labeled "1917?" but probably also taken in 1931
The aerial pictures from the Library of Congress collection were taken in 1931, and possibly earlier, and show the village's strategic location.  They show Deir Yassin  commanding the road between Jerusalem and Jaffa - Tel Aviv as well as the Turkish-built trenches and fortified defense lines.

Click the pictures to enlarge, click on the caption to see the originals. 

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