*Arabs take Kastel in New Assault
April 12, 1948
Arabs take Kastel in New Assault
(AP)--Counterattacking Arabs tonight recaptured Kastel in an assault against the Jewish garrison there, the British army reported
Fighting still was going on in the hilly terrain where 100 Jews and 300 Arabs already have lost their lives in a series of bitter clashes. Heavy shooting sounded in the area. The extent of the casualties in tonight's fighting was not known.
Kastel, a key hilltop fortress five miles west of Jerusalem, has changed hands almost daily for the last nine days. Haganah, the JEwish militia, had re-entered t he town only last night.
Kastel and the nearby village of Deir Yassin command a section of the vital Jerusalem- Tel Aviv highway. Ultimately the side which holds the highway likely will determine whether the 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem can remain unconquered.
The Jewish extremist groups, Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang, took Deir Yassin Friday and still are entrenched there. All Arabs and many Jews now describe the Irgun-Stern attack on the village as a "horrible massacre," A Red Cross check showed many woman and children among the 254 Arab dead there.
The Arab higher committee called on Moslems and Christians everywhere to "consider the facts of the massacre of innocent people by Jews at Deir Yassin and to decide the world's reaction to it."
The committee's general secretary, Dr Hussein El Khalidi, handed newsmen this statement:
"Deir Yassin where this outrage occurred is practically the only (Arab) village in the Jerusalem are which had not yet appealed to any Arab authority as being in danger of Jews. It lives surrounded by Jews and for four months has been living under an agreement of non-molestation.
"In the early morning Friday they (the Jews) swooped in and practically exterminated women, children and old men. The only ones who managed to escape were the young men. After that massacre in which some 250 were killed by guns and grenades the remaining 150 women and children were dumped into trucks, paraded through Jewish areas, spat on and stoned."