Seventy-five years ago this week, on the 22nd-23rd May 1948, the 33rd Battalion of the Alexandroni Brigade, a soon-to-be part of the Israeli army, stormed and occupied Tantura, a small Palestinian fishing village. Tantura’s buildings and architecture were demolished, residents were massacred and survivors were forcibly displaced. The residents of Tantura who were systematically killed were placed in various mass graves around the village.
In an attempt to uncover evidence of mass graves being dug after the Israeli forces occupied the village, research agency Forensic Architecture has spent the past year developing and analysing a 3D model of Tantura. Via available aerial photographs, satellite images, archival maps, memory sketches of former residents of Tantura, and an interview with a survivor of the massacre, Forensic Architecture reconstructed the destroyed village, confirming the existence of at least two mass graves, possibly four, and commemorating the lives and memories of the village and its inhabitants. Read Forensic Architecture’s full report here.
The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) recently hosted the UK premiere of Alon Schwarz’s new film, Tantura, at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), documenting the events of the massacre. Following the film was an enlightening and thrilling panel chaired by UK Director of Human Rights Watch Yasmine Ahmed, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Avi Shlaim, Palestinian-American filmmaker Hala Gabriel, and Professor Nur Masalha. See details of the event here.