Traumatised and abandoned
Hind huddled close to the radio in her two-room apartment in the Suq al-Haman neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. She realised a massacre of this magnitude meant all out war. She did not go to her office the next morning as co-ordinator for the Arab Women’s Union. However, when the level of gunfire sporadically abated, she ventured outside. Turning the corner, the horror of the massacre of Deir Yassin hit her full force as she beheld several bloodied children huddled against a wall.
“Oh my darlings, what happened? Are you hurt? What is this, you have no shoes, why are you in night-clothes?” The shivering children were too frightened to cry, they stared at her in wide-eyed horror, unable to describe the atrocities they had witnessed.
Picking up the two youngest, Hind gently whispered to the dirty, frightened children to follow her. It was bitterly cold even at midday on that April 10 morning. Hind unlocked the door of her apartment and motioned to the frightened waifs to follow her inside. She gently lowered the toddlers onto her bed, rushed to bring blankets from a closet and began to heat water for bathing.
Now that they knew they were safely in the hands of an adult who spoke Arabic but dressed differently than the women of Deir Yassin, the children began to whimper. Mohammed, the oldest, told Hind that he had hid under his parents’ bed when the terrorists entered his home. He had heard his mother scream for a long time. From his hiding point, he had seen the bodies of his sisters and brothers fall to the floor.
The house had been looted. Several times hands had pulled out old clothes and shoes from under the bed, but he had not been detected. For the rest of the day and into the night, the little boy had heard groans and cries, gun-shots, screeching tyres, and the strange guttural sounds of the intruders.
At daybreak the bodies that lay in his house were pulled out. When he saw his mother’s lifeless body being dragged by its heels like a sack of wheat, sobs uncontrollably came out of his throat. A terrorist reached under the bed, touched him, pulled him from his hiding place, and roughly walked him to a truck where several other children were holding onto one another.