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Sabra and Shatila: 35 years of unpunished massacre
September 16, 2017
 

“What we found inside the Palestinian Shatila camp at ten o’clock on the morning of 18th September 1982, it would have been easier to re-tell in the cold prose of a medical examination … there were children with their throats cut, rows of young men shot in the back after being lined up at an execution wall. There were babies – blackened babies because they had been slaughtered more than 24 hours earlier and their small bodies were already in a state of decomposition – tossed into the rubbish heaps alongside discarded US army ration tins, Israeli army medical equipment and empty bottles of whisky …” Robert Fisk

From September 16 to 18, 1982, the Israeli army controlled West Beirut, sealed off the 2 Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila and fired shells at them. Later, the Israeli military command gave the Israeli-allied Lebanese Phalangist militia the green light to enter the refugee camps. For the next 40 hours the Phalangist militia tortured and killed more than 3,500 unarmed civilians, mostly children, women and elderly Palestinian refugees in the camps. These actions, accompanied or followed by systematic roundups, backed or reinforced by the Israeli army, resulted in dozens of disappearances. During the massacre, the Israeli army prevented civilians from escaping the camps and arranged for the camps to be illuminated throughout the night by flares launched into the sky from helicopters and mortars.

The perpetrators of the massacre have not been punished yet ...

 

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