The Occupation of Yazour
Following the UN Partition Plan of 1947, Jewish underground terrorist organizations began to attack Yazour, terrorize its inhabitants and provoke them to abandon their homes in the suburbs and move to safer places in and outside the village. In December of the same year, Jewish terrorists attacked a cafe in Yazour killing seven men. Few days later, Yazour took revenge by attacking a military jeep killing seven guards who had for weeks terrorized Yazouris by going through the village often, shooting in all directions. With the help of a German expert, few young Yazouris prepared an explosive device, placed it near the road, and as the car carrying the guards passed by, they exploded the device. Some guards were killed; others were wounded; but when the wounded tried to flee into the neighboring orange groves, the Yazouris followed them and killed them. In the wake of that incident, Yigal Yadin, commander of the Haganah forces ordered Yigal Alon, one of his officers, to "launch immediately, and without further notice, a military operation against Yazour to disturb life in the village, and burn and destroy a number of houses". Following the orders, Alon and his terrorist gangs began attacking buses going through the village, causing the wounding of many men, women and children, and carrying nightly raids destroying each time two or three houses. On the 22nd of January 1948, the Haganah leadership decided to launch a large scale attack on Yazour, destroy its ice factory and burn a number of houses. Yitzhak Rabin, the officer in charge of military planning, was asked to plan the attack and supervise its execution. Before dawn on that black day, Jewish forces attacked the factory and nearby houses and destroyed them, causing a powerful explosion that could be heard and seen for miles away. The operation, considered a massacre by Israeli historians, caused the killing of 15 people and the wounding of many more. On the first day of May 1948, Yazour was occupied and ethnically cleansed, along with several other towns and villages. The owners of the land and makers of its history for countless generations had become a part of a new sad history. Some Yazouris fled by see to Gaza; others fled to the cities of Lydda and Ramleh which fell in the hands of Israelis during the second week of July. The overwhelming majority of the Yazouris ended in squalid refuge camps in Nablus, Jericho and the Gaza Strip; and from there they moved to all corners of the globe seeking education, work and freedom, never to forget their homeland or beloved village. After the signing of the Oslo agreement with the PLO in 1993, Israelis realized that the Palestinian land they occupied in 1948-49 was no longer subject to negotiations; and therefore, they began to destroy old buildings and houses and build new ones in their place. The new part of Yazour lost its orange groves, trees and birds and was annexed to Holon, the largest industrial complex in Israel. And the old Yazour was rehabilitated and transformed into a modern town they call "Azure". Pictures are for the British army entering Yazour in 1919; the colored one is for the remains of the Crusader castle Casal des Plaines; and the rest show village ruins left by Jewish gangs.