Beirut – Former Israeli occupation Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was directly involved in the Sabra and Shatila massacre carried out four decades ago, a new report has confirmed.
What is the Sabra and Shatila massacre?
The massacre, committed against the camps’ residents, lasted for three days, 16-17-18 September 1982, during which a large number of martyrs, including men, children, women and elderly unarmed civilians, mostly Palestinians, were savagely killed. Several Lebanese citizens also fell during the massacre, and the number of martyrs was estimated at between 3,500 and 5,000 of the 20,000 people who were living in Sabra and Shatila at the time of the massacre.
The massacre began after the Israeli army, led by the then Minister of War Ariel Sharon, prevented media from reaching the area.
The “Young Men”, a gang recruited by Elie Hobeika (a prominent figure in the Phalanges as well as the Lebanese Forces intelligence chief and liaison officer with Mossad), from men who had been expelled from the Lebanese Forces for insubordination or criminal activities, used bladed and automatic weapons to liquidate the camp’s residents. Meanwhile, the mission of the Israeli army was to surround the camp and illuminate it at night with flares.
The Israeli occupation army and its collaborators surrounded the Sabra and Shatila camps. Hundreds of gunmen were taken down under the pretext of searching for Palestinian fighters.
The massacre was part of the Israeli exploitation of Lebanon’s civil war, aiming at murdering as much native Palestinians as possible and driving the rest of them away.
On 16 December 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide. The independent commission headed by Seán MacBride concluded that the Israeli occupation authorities or forces were responsible for the massacres. In 1983, Israel’s investigative Kahan Commission found that Ariel Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the slaughter.
Israel’s involvement in massacring Palestinians
A new report by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth revealed Israel’s direct responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacre carried out on September 16 in collaboration with the Lebanese al-Kataeb militia, led by Bashir Gemayel, the website of Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network said this Saturday, Press TV reported.
The Kataeb Party, or the Lebanese Phalanges Party in English, is a Christian political party in Lebanon. Its militia was the largest and best organized political paramilitary force in Lebanon. It is estimated, when fully mobilized at the time of the massacre, the Phalange had 5,000 militiamen, of whom 2,000 were full-time.
At the time, the leader of the Kataeb Party was Bashir Gemayel, the president-elect of Lebanon and the leader of the Lebanese Forces, who was assassinated on September 14 that year when an explosion rocked the Party’s headquarters in the Achrafieh area of Beirut.
The Phalangists sought revenge, claiming that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was responsible for Gemayel’s assassination.
According to the new report, the military commanders in the Israeli occupation army and Kataeb held meetings to coordinate the massacre.
The Israeli daily said based on documents secured by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin approved Sharon’s plan to attack the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut.
The documents further revealed a coordination meeting between Kataeb officials and the Israeli commanders was held in Beirut two days after the massacre to mull the means of concealing the Israeli involvement.