UN Palestine Commission – Attack on Deir Yassin (9 April 1948) – Letter from United Kingdom

20 April 1948


Communication Received from United Kingdom

Delegation Concerning Jewish Attack on

Arab Village of Deir Yassin

The following communication, giving details of the Jewish attack on the Arab Village at Deir Yassin on 9 April, has been received from Mr. Fletcher-Cooke of the United Kingdom Delegation.


Expire State Building

New York 1, N.Y.

20th April, 1948.

My dear Bunche,

May I refer you to paragraph 2 of the Incident Report for the 9th April, in which reference was made to the attack by Jews on the Arab village at Deir Yassin.

2. The following supplementary information is now available as regards this incident:-

(1) The operation is believed to have been a joint National Military Organisation – Stern Group enterprise undertaken with the knowledge of the Haganah.

(2) The deaths of some 250 Arabs, men, women and children, which occurred during this attack, took place in circumstances of great savagery.

(3) Woman and children were stripped, lined up, photographed, and then slaughtered by automatic firing and survivors have told of even more incredible bestialities.

(4) Those who were taken prisoner were treated with degrading brutality.

(5) Although the Haganah is unable to deny that it gave covering fire to the terrorists responsible for this outrage, the action as a whole has been condemned by the Jewish press and denounced by the Chief Rabbinate.

(6) Owing to other pre-occupations, the Security Forces were not in a position to act before the 14th April, for which day an air strike at Deir Yassin was arranged.

(7) On the 13th April, it became apparent that the Haganah had taken over the village from the terrorists, and the operation was, therefore, suspended.

(8) The Government of Palestine reported on the 14th April that it had not yet been possible to enter Deir Yassin and that a Jewish Police Officer sent to investigate was not allowed by the Haganah to proceed beyond Givat Shaul.

(9) A representative of the International Red Cross who visited Deir Yassin on the 11th April is said to have stated that in one cave he saw heaped bodies of some 150 Arab men, women and children, whilst in a stronghold a further 50 bodies were found.

Yours sincerely,


Dr. Ralph J. Bunche,

Principal Secretary to the United Nations

Nations Commission on Palestine

United Nations, Lake Success.

Document symbol: A/AC.21/UK/113
Download Document Files: AAC21UK113.pdf
Document Type: Communication, Letter
Document Sources: General Assembly, United Nations Palestine Commission (UNPC)
Country: United Kingdom
Subject: Armed conflict, Casualties, Governance, Incidents, Incursions, Palestine question, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 09/04/1948
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