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Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre

Today marks the 38th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre
Bodies of Palestinian civilians gathered at Sabra and Shatila camps following the massacre. (File photo)

RAMALLAH, Wednesday, September 16, 2020 (WAFA) – On this day in 1982, several thousand Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were brutally massacred by a Lebanese militia group immediately after the Israeli army under Ariel Sharon had occupied the Lebanese capital, Beirut, where the camps are located.

The Israeli army allowed the militias access to the camps and knew about the massacre that went on for three days but did nothing to stop it, according to an Israeli commission that investigated the events of those days. The massacre claimed the lives of at least 3,000 Palestinian refugees.

Israeli troops surrounded the camps to prevent the refugees from leaving and allowed entry of the Phalangist militias, a known enemy of the Palestinians. The Israelis fired flares throughout the night to light up the killing field - thus allowing the militiamen to see their way through the narrow alleys of the camps.

The massacre went on for three days. As the bloodbath concluded, Israel supplied the bulldozers to dig mass graves. In 1983, Israel’s Kahana Commission found that Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Defense Minister at the time, bore "personal responsibility" for the slaughter of the Palestinian civilians.

The massacre at Sabra and Shatila was a direct consequence of Israel‘s violation of the American-brokered ceasefire and the impunity bestowed on Israel by the US and the international community.

This massacre, as well as other massacres against the Palestinian people, went unpunished by the international community.


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