867N.01/4–1348: Telegram

The Consul at Jerusalem (Wasson) to the Secretary of State


431. Early morning April 9 combined force Irgun and Stern Gang numbering over 100 attacked Arab village, Deir Yasin, several miles west Jerusalem. Attackers killed 250 persons of whom half, by their own admission to American correspondents, were women and children. Attack carried out in connection battle now still in progress between Arabs Jews on roads leading to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Arab reaction to attack has been violent and emotions, already at high pitch following death April 8 of Abdul Kader Husseini (Arab Jerusalem commander) during Arab attempt retake village captured by Haganah, now at bursting point. Officer ConGen visiting Hussein Khalidi, secretary Arab Higher Executive, April 11, found him still trembling with rage and emotion and referring to attack as “worst Nazi tactic”.

As indignation, resentment and determination to avenge Deir Yasin spread among Arabs, we believe, chance for cease-fire and truce increasingly remote. With growing criticism in Irgun and Stern Gang circles over Haganah leadership further attacks this nature can be expected and Arabs will react violently.