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The Sons of Eilaboun

On October 30, 1948, the Israeli Army marched into the northern Galilee village of Eilaboun. My uncle Badia and 17 other men from the village, who had been hiding with the rest of the village in two churches, were marched to the village square. The rest of the village residents were marched out of the village to the Lebanese border. 12 men of the chosen men in the square were massacred.
Even now more than fifty years later my father cannot recall the incidents of that day without sobbing. He not only lost his brother, but he, and everyone in his village became refugees. When they finally returned to their village, they scarcely recognized it. Everything of value had been looted. What the soldiers could not carry off they destroyed.
The story of Eilaboun was repeated hundreds of times across the land that today is called Israel. The killing of these villages was a tactic that was spelled out in a plan called Plan Dalet developed by the high command of the Israeli Army to rid the future State of Israel of its Arab inhabitants.
The story is told through the mouths of the men and women who witnessed the atrocities committed on that fall day in 1948.

Film notes

He choked and his eyes were full of tears, and with a trembling voice he said “I remember it as if it has just happened”, this is the way he ended the story, the story of a nine years old boy from a small village called Eilaboun (Eilabun), in Palestine 1948, the story of my father, when he was a refugee.

It all started on October 30, 1948, when the Israeli army interred his village and massacred 14 young men, one of them was his brother, and some of the others were his cousins, and the villagers were forced to leave their country to Lebanon. This was only the beginning of what he went through, a beginning of a long nightmare. In this nightmare my father witnessed the massacre of about 50 young men, who were convinced to surrender their weapons, and the minute they did, they were murdered in cold blood in front of the people of two villages (their own village, and Eilaboun (عيلبون)). A boy of his age was shot while speaking to him about games, the blood of a woman sitting next to him splashed on his face, when the solders shot her hand, the fear he had…

My father told us those stories many times before, but this time it was different. This time he was very emotional; he made us live his story, he made us feel what he went through, or at least part of it, for the first time I felt that it happened to my father and indirectly it happened to me!

The Sons Of Eilaboun (أبناء عيلبون) is a documentary film about the massacre, expulsion and return of a small Palestinian village in the Galilee. In the film the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe introduce the history behind the Nakba events. And the Eilaboun (Eilabun) people tell their story.
By Hisham Zreiq (هشام زريق‎)
eilabun 1948 palestinian exodus massacre palestine israel nakba

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Copyright © 2007 Hisham Zreiq

Previous screenings

2008
4 Oct – 12 Oct | Boston, United States
Arab Film Festival | 2008
15 Oct – 25 Oct | Los Angeles, United States
25 Oct – 31 Oct | Santiago De Compostela, Spain
Carthage Film Festival
25 Oct – 1 Nov | Carthage, Tunisia
International Izmir Short Film Festival
3 Nov – 9 Nov | Izmir, Turkey
2009
18 Apr – 30 Apr | Chicago, United States
2010
19 Nov – 30 Nov | Madrid, Spain

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 19 Dec 2009