My Grandfathers lived in Ras Abu ‘Ammar, that was their hometown till 1948 when it was “depopulated.” How sterile are the post-tragedian words we use. No, it wasn’t depopulated, they were kicked out, with threat of violence. The stories of Deir Yassin were fresh in their minds. It was ethnic cleansing according to the modern definition by the UN
The stories of mutilation and rape in Deir Yassin stuck to their imagination and forced them to live in fear until that doomed day on October 21st 1948, these guys showed up and kicked my family out of Ras Abu Ammar. Some of the Palmach members that de-populated the village were born in Germany, some in Poland, some in Jerusalem, but regardless of their place of birth, they believed that they needed a clear way forward from the western locations that they inhabited to Jerusalem.
While the website lists them as veterans, they are war criminals by any modern definition.
Benny Morris in 1948 tells us that the village was attacked by Yosef Tabenkin leading the Harel Brigade on Operation Ha-Har. Ha-Har means the hill in Hebrew and Ras Abu Ammar was directly attacked by the Israelis on October 21st 1948 and that was one day before the UN-brokered cease fire of October 22nd.
This was land theft and this was organised terrorism and ethnic cleansing. The catastrophe that befell us as Palestinians, still lingers in millions of our inherited memories to this day.
In the first weeks, the majority of the residents Ras Abu Ammar moved to Bethlehem and the surrounding areas, Beit Jala, Beit Ssahour, Dheisheh and Aida refugee camps.
It has been recollected that there were three clans living in Ras Abu Ammar with 16 families the were forced to migrate:
- Qarqour and it refers to Jaser who had 8 children and therefore 8 families descended from him:
- Abu Hmaideh
- Abu Akar
- Abu Alia
- Abu Elian
- Abu Faraj
- Hamdan (Shaweesh)