Deir Yassin massacre
The Deir Yassin massacre took place on April 9, 1948, when around 120 fighters from the Irgun and Lehi Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, a Palestinian-Arab village of roughly 600 people.
The invasion occurred as Jewish forces sought to relieve the blockade of Jerusalem during the civil war that preceded the end of British rule in Palestine.
Around 107 villagers, including women and children, were killed. Some were shot, while others died when hand grenades were thrown into their homes. Several were taken prisoner and may have been killed after being paraded through the streets of West Jerusalem, though accounts vary. Four of the attackers died, with around 35 injured. The killings were condemned by the leadership of the Haganah, the Jewish community's main paramilitary force, and by the area's two chief rabbis. The Jewish Agency for Israel sent King Abdullah of Jordan a letter of apology, which he rebuffed.
The massacre became a pivotal event in the Arab-Israeli conflict for its demographic and military consequences. The narrative was embellished and used by various parties to attack each other—by the Palestinians to besmirch Palestine's Jewish community, and later Israel; by the Haganah to play down their own role in the affair; and later by the Israeli Left to accuse the Irgun and Lehi of violating the Jewish principle of tohar hanashek (purity of arms), thus blackening Israel's name around the world. News of the killings sparked terror within the Palestinian community, encouraging them to flee from their towns and villages in the face of Jewish troop advances, and it strengthened the resolve of Arab governments to intervene, which they did five weeks later by invading Palestine, following Israel's declaration of independence on May 14.