'Dozens of bodies found at mass grave in Jaffa'

AFP reports bodies found during renovations at Muslim cemetery; local man says bodies were hastily buried together in 1948 war.

June 1, 2013 11:46
The Jaffa Port

Jaffa Port 370 (R). (photo credit: Eliana Aponte/Reuters)

An official at a Muslim cemetery in Jaffa said Friday that the remains of dozens of Arabs killed in the 1948 War of Independence were discovered in a mass grave there on Wednesday, AFP reported.

The discovery of six chambers full of skeletons was made during renovations at the cemetery, according to the report.

Jaffa fisherman Atar Zeinab, 80, said he helped to collect the bodies of those killed in fighting south of Jaffa in 1948 and bring them to the cemetery for hasty burial without ceremony.

“I carried to the cemetery 60 bodies during a period of three or four months,” AFP quoted Zeinab as saying. “We used to find the people in the street and most of the time we didn’t know who they were.”

Zeinab said that because of the danger of ongoing fighting, the bodies were piled on top of each other in existing burial plots in the cemetery, rather than in accordance with Muslim custom.

“We carried them early in the morning or in the night,” he said. “We put women, children and men in the same place... Nobody prayed for these people.”

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