On the 29th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre

Sabra and Shatila
Sabra and Shatila

“The following morning, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday 17 September, General Drori ordered the militiamen to stop their operation, but after a further meeting with Phalangist officers the Israelis agreed to let them remain in the camps until the following day. Hobeika was also given permission to use two battalions of fresh troops and in the afternoon another force of militiamen entered the camps where they began a new round of killing. The Israeli commander in Beirut, General Yaron, has since admitted that, in spite of the fact that Israeli officers had known for several hours that the massacres were taking place, the Phalangists were allowed to call up reinforcements and remain in the camps for a further thirty-six hours. The militiamen rampaged around Sabra and Shatila until Saturday morning killing indiscriminately: nurses were raped by the killer gangs and then shot, children were scalped, patients from two hospitals were dragged from their beds and knifed to death. The Phalangists left most of their victims where they killed them, in their homes or in the streets, but some of them borrowed Israeli bulldozers and tried to cover up their deeds by shovelling corpses into mass graves. Because some of the victims were taken away and never seen again, and because it was decided not to open up some of the graves, it will never be known how many people were butchered. But perhaps as many as 2,000 people were killed and not even Sharon can pretend that these were the ‘terrorists’ he was allegedly looking for.” 

“On the morning of 18 September, Morris Draper, another of President Reagan’s envoys dispatched to Beirut, sent a message to Sharon alleging Israeli responsibility: ‘You must stop the massacres. They are obscene. I have an officer in the camp counting the bodies. You ought to be ashamed. They situation is rotten and terrible. They are killing children. You are in absolute control of the area, and therefore responsible for that area.’ But the responsibility was greater than Draper suggested. On 15 September Israeli troops had surrounded Sabra and Shatila. They were never more than 300 yards away from the camps and sometimes as close as 50 yards. Moreover, Israeli soldiers were on the roof of the Kuwait embassy nearby and could see what was happening in both camps. There is a mass of evidence to show that the Israelis knew that a massacre was in progress by Thursday evening but did nothing to stop it until Saturday morning.” 

“There is further evidence which indicates the extent of Israel’s complicity in the massacre. The discovery in one of the camps of an Israeli sergeant’s identity tag does not prove that he actually took part in the killing but it is significant that the Israeli army did not allow him to appear before the Israeli Commission of Enquiry. More importantly, the Israelis were prepared to assist their Phalangist allies in a number of different ways: they lent bulldozers so that the killers could bury some of the dead; they fired flares throughout the night of 16 September–at a rate of two a minute according to one Israeli soldier — so that the killers could see what they were doing; worst of all, they prevented civilians from fleeing and forced those who tried back into the camps.”

All excerpts were from: Gilmour, David. Lebanon, The Fractured Country. New York: St. Martin’s Press, Inc. 1983, pages 174-176

Posted in Israel/Palestine

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  1. Cliff says:

    It’s heartbreaking to look at those pictures. They look like pictures of grieving Palestinian mothers and fathers in Gaza, following Cast Lead…and it just feels like Sabra and Shatila happened yesterday or that Palestinian suffering is constant.

  2. Sabra and Shatilla was without a doubt a tragedy. A tragedy that in some way was a consequence of PLO actions in Lebanon towards the Lebanese.

    Just one example link to en.wikipedia.org

    Following a thorough, four-month investigation, on 8 February 1983, the Kahan Commission submitted its report, which was released to the public by spokesman Bezalel Gordon simultaneously in Hebrew and English. It concluded that “direct responsibility rested with the Gemayel Phalangists led by Fadi Frem”, and that no Israelis were deemed directly responsible, although Israel was held to be indirectly responsible.

    From Foreign Affairs

    The politics of Lebanon has been described before, but David Gilmour’s book deserves three stars for keen observation, frankness, and crisp writing. He places the civil strife and foreign intervention that have marked the years since 1975 in the context of centuries of history and of the traditional game of power politics played by the leaders of Lebanon’s warring sects and factions. But he is not blankly neutral. “He is merciless in his portrait of the Maronites, relatively sympathetic to Muslims, Druse, and to SYRIA, and in his last chapter his indignation at Israel and the consequences of the Israeli invasion overflows.

    • eGuard says:

      lli writes: … in some way was a consequence of PLO actions in Lebanon.

      So this is the best hasbara can produce after 29 years. Is this from a recent interview with the responsible Israeli MoD?

      • You don’t want to face the truth. The PLO was evicted by force by Jordan at the cost of thousands of Palestinian lives (Seham doesn’t write any memorials to them) and then tried to do the same in Lebanon, which was a delicate tinderbox already, and Syria looking to exploit any instability there, which they did.

        The PLO used Lebanon as their staging ground for terror attacks against Israel, putting their Lebanese hosts at risk. The PLO was the cause of the civil war in Lebanon.

        That is not Hasbara but fact!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You don’t want to face the truth. ”

          No, you don’t. Because even if your argument were sound, they would still merely establish that the Zionist invasion of Palestine since the 19th C. caused these repercussions. It is not the fault of the PLO that a portion of Europe’s Jews decided to annihilate a people’s way of life and steal their land. Everything since then, including these events, were a direct and foreseeable result of a horde of Europeans planting a ethno-religious exclusivist colony in Palestine.

        • kapok says:

          IOW, if I pay somebody to shoot you, I’m off the hook?

        • Mndwss says:

          “That is not Hasbara but fact!”

          That is not explanation but fact?

          Explanation = propaganda = lies?

          The word hasbara is now as bad as propaganda.

          What will replace it?

          longlivelies maybe?

        • lysias says:

          Even Benny Morris writes, in Israel’s Secret Wars, that those attacks were a mere pretext for an attack on Lebanon that Israel planned anyway.

        • “decided to annihilate a people’s way of life and steal their land.”

          Nonsense, no land was stolen. You don’t agree, but there was no Palestinian state and no talk about a Palestinian state, till the issue of a Jewish State came up. In fact, you have to thank Israel for there even being talk of a Palestinian state because it wasn’t even an issue prior. In fact, it wasn’t an issue till the Arab world said lets kill all the Jews in the legally established Israel so we can give it to the Palestinians, even though we control Gaza and the West Bank, we won’t give them a State.

          I don’t buy that crap for a minute

        • Potsherd2 says:

          They didn’t steal the land?

          No, it’s still there. No one loaded it up in a dump truck and took it away. But the people who owned it and lived on it and farmed it can’t set foot on it anymore.

        • annie says:

          have you no respect for the dead? can there be an anniversary for this tragedy without it being littered with hasbara.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Nonsense, no land was stolen.

          Yes, it was and still is.

          “You don’t agree, but there was no Palestinian state and no talk about a Palestinian state, till the issue of a Jewish State came up.”

          This is dumb. Truly idiotic. The notion of there being self-rule for the Arab populations of the Ottoman Empire existed independant of the Zionist invasion plans.

          “In fact, you have to thank Israel for there even being talk of a Palestinian state because it wasn’t even an issue prior.”

          LOL. This is on the level of John Hagee saying that Hitler was fulfilling God’s will for Israel.

          “In fact, it wasn’t an issue till the Arab world said lets kill all the Jews in the legally established Israel so we can give it to the Palestinians,”

          This is nothing but the racist, bigoted imaginings of your paranoid victim complex.

          “even though we control Gaza and the West Bank, we won’t give them a State.”

          OMG!!! You mean the leaders of Jordan and Egypt haven’t always had the interests of the Palestinians in mind, but sometimes smooch the rump of the Israel in exchange for money from the US???? I never would have believed that!!

          dumbass.

        • Walid says:

          “They didn’t steal the land?
          No, it’s still there. No one loaded it up in a dump truck and took it away”

          Don’t be too hasty in letting thieves off the hook, Potsherd, nothing is impossible with these guys. Taken from al-Ahram a couple of years before Hizbullah liberated the land from the thieving occupiers, and for a change, Israel admitted to doing it:

          Stealing land again
          By Zeina Khodr

          Lebanon has launched a diplomatic campaign against Israel following reports that it has been systematically stealing top fertile soil from occupied south Lebanon.

          Israel admitted that some of its citizens have indeed been taking soil. This unprecedented admission came two weeks after newspapers in Beirut published pictures of the 2km-wide Al-Marj basin, which was once fertile and green and now looks like a huge mud patch criss-crossed by bulldozer tracks.

          Observers believe the Israeli army is trying to extricate itself by putting the blame on civilians. But it is highly unlikely civilians would be able to transfer soil across the border without the army knowing about it.

          Lebanon is calling it “robbery” and says it underlines the economic gains Israel is making from its continued occupation of the country. Reports are also emerging that Israel plans to divert water from south Lebanon.

          “It’s just not possible that Israeli troops didn’t know about the soil,” said Timor Goksel, spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force stationed in south Lebanon (UNIFIL). “The area is in the occupation zone, which is heavily patrolled. Furthermore, movement across the border is monitored thoroughly.”

          UNIFIL said the Israeli army admitted civilians had been bringing the soil into Israel’s northern Galilee but said it was taking steps to put a stop to the activity.

          Lebanon has accused Israel of scooping up hundreds of tons of fertile top soil from the Al-Marj area and using it in Israeli settlements. “It appears that Israel is forming a series of terraces 100m inside the border,” one report from the area speculated.

          After conducting its own investigations, UNIFIL said its peacekeepers observed Israelis loading earth into trucks in the zone. It has sent a report to the UN headquarters in New York. “Soil has been removed to a depth of 2m to 3m in a 100m by 300m area south of the occupied town of Marjayoun,” UNIFIL reported.

          “Our men have seen Israeli civilians loading earth onto trucks near the village of Adeysseh inside the zone,” Goksel said. “It has been taking place in broad daylight and everyone can see it. Since September, some 20 to 30 civilians, who were not accompanied by Israeli troops, have been seen loading soil onto trucks and taking it to Israel where it is being laid over new agricultural terraces,” he added. ”

          Potsherd, and water too:

          “… A day after Israel admitted to the theft of earth, a Beirut newspaper reported that Israel is planning to divert Lebanese water through underground pipes for use in its northern territory.

          “The Israeli plan calls for collecting water from the springs of the southern Khiam Valley in three reservoirs and diverting it to Israel,” the daily As-Safir reported.

          The paper quoted residents of Khiam as saying the area is rich in underground water, amounting to approximately 70 million cubic metres a year. It also stated that Israeli authorities had informed residents the water would be used for a fish farm run by a group of Israeli companies.

          Israel has previously been accused of making use of the water from the Litani and Hasbani rivers in occupied south Lebanon. ”

          link to weekly.ahram.org.eg

        • Cliff says:

          Nonsense, no land was stolen. You don’t agree, but there was no Palestinian state and no talk about a Palestinian state, till the issue of a Jewish State came up. In fact, you have to thank Israel for there even being talk of a Palestinian state because it wasn’t even an issue prior. In fact, it wasn’t an issue till the Arab world said lets kill all the Jews in the legally established Israel so we can give it to the Palestinians, even though we control Gaza and the West Bank, we won’t give them a State.

          I don’t buy that crap for a minute

          I haven’t seen this Zionist meme in awhile.

          ‘There are no Palestinians.’

          ‘Arab world said lets kill all the Jews’

          Etc. etc.

          Longliveisrael, are you an anti-Zionist in disguise? I know there are batshit, idiotic Zionist clowns out there, but this is Mondoweiss and every anti-Zionist here has handled your bullshit, tin-foil, hysteria COUNTLESS times before.

          You have no sources to cite. No compelling argument. No evidence.

          You’re a religious psychopath. You’re Fred Phelps.

        • Cliff says:

          longliveisrael is a Zionist Fred Phelps.

        • yourstruly says:

          no palestinian state?

          historically the region was named palestine for how many centuries?

          the british mandate on palestine & all that?

    • Taxi says:

      Longliveisrael why don’t you just shut your big lying mouth and go wash your hands.

      Sabra and Shatila happened BECAUSE OF israel. I ain’t gonna bother linking you to stuff like what the israeli court’s verdict on Ariel Sharon was etc.

      Now go back up to the top of the article and look at those pictures again and see without your zio-goggles what’s REALLY going on here.

    • kapok says:

      shorterlong: guns don’t kill people; people kill people.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Israel knew and allowed. They bear full responsibility. 1982 was NOT part of the Lebanese civil war, nor yet was it part of any Lebanese reaction to the PLO presence. It was an Israeli operation start to finish. The Falange was an Israeli-controlled adjunct to IDF (Israeli Destructive Forces).

    Same thing today, in West Bank, where militias (settler gangs) are conducting pogroms (some labeled “price tag”) against Palestinians. The IDF knows and does not prevent, investigate, or punish. The GOI knows and ditto.

    This is thinly disguised government action, because under I/L, GOI has the responsibility to maintain order and safety for the civilians (Palestinians) and also has the duty NOT to bring (or allow to be brought, but “bring” is appropriate here) Israeli civilians into the occupied territories.

    In Sabra and Shatilla, the IDF was an army of occupation which had surrounded these camps. It had all the responsibilities of an army of occupation.

    The blood of Sabra and Shatilla is on Israel’s forehead as a sign by which to know them. The blood of the West Bank is more fre4sh, redder still, and on the same forehead.

  4. Taxi says:

    R.I.P. suffering victims of Sabra and Shatila.

    Huddle together now in peace.

  5. seafoid says:

    Sharon ran Sabara and Shatila so that the Palestinians would disappear from history. They were to be a defeated people.

    Today it is Israel that faces the defeat of its 44 year long project to pretend that the West Bank is Jewish . Suddenly all of those nuclear weapons are useless.

  6. David Samel says:

    As terrible as these atrocities were, they were only icing on the cake of Israel’s June 1982 invasion of Lebanon, based upon a false pretext, that took the lives of about 15,000 to 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians. “Liberal” Israelis actually point to Sabra and Shatila to demonstrate how progressive their country is. After all, hundreds of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the massacres, and the Kahan Commission held bigwigs Sharon and Eitan indirectly responsible. The movie “Waltz With Bashir” showed Israeli veterans sensitively coping with their memories and their guilt. But the whole summer of 1982 was filled with savagery that exceeds the more recent 2006 Lebanon and 2008-9 Gaza bombings/invasions combined. It’s a crime that Begin and Sharon died (in Sharon’s case, virtually) without ever having to answer for this high-water mark of mass murder and state terrorism.

    • Has anyone among the Palestinians ever been brought to justice for the massacre in Damour? For various other massacres they did in Lebanon? Has anyone among the Palestinians been brought to justice for crimes like Maalot, and the thousands of other atrocities against Israeli civilians? Other than Israel dispensing justice to the killers of the Israeli Olympic athletes at Munich, were they brought to justice?

      Israel has the rule of law, and they investigate and act accordingly.

      Hizbullah dragged Lebanon into a war? What happened? They now basically own Lebanon.

      • eGuard says:

        lli writes: Other than Israel dispensing justice to the killers [of Munich] and Israel has the rule of law, and they investigate and act accordingly.

        Then which of the Munich killers were brought before an Israeli court? How was the investigation into the Norwegian assassination of an innocent?

        And, back to the topic: what trial did Ariel Sharon get for his terrorist leadership?

        • The Munich killers got the justice they deserved. Yes, a bad accident happened in Norway, the US and the UK have had way more “accidents” happen in all their wars. US Drones kill civilians on a regular basis, never mind how many were killed in Iraq and Vietnam. Get the US to the ICC

          Arik Sharon was deposed as Defence Minister.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          The Munich killers got the justice they deserved.

          That’s great and what about the DOZENS of Palestinians… and Muslims… and other people generally that you killed in Operation Wrath of God? I take it you think that Moroccan waiter in Norway got EXACTLY what he deserved for being mistaken for a Palestinian in Europe?

        • Sumud says:

          The Munich killers got the justice they deserved.

          That’s great and what about the DOZENS of Palestinians… and Muslims… and other people generally that you killed in Operation Wrath of God

          Chaos ~ maybe you don’t know but just days after Munich in 1972 Israel launched air strikes on Palestinian refugee camps (“PLO bases”) in Syria and Lebanon, and sent ground forces into southern Lebanon. Several Syrian fighter jets were downed. It was the largest deployment of the IDF since 1967.

          Altogether, about 250-300 Palestinian refugees were killed. A condemning resolution was hastily drafted in the UN SC, and America’s Ambassador to the UN, George Bush senior, vetoed it. This was the first time of many that the US deployed the UN SC veto to protect Israel from the consequences of it’s actions.

          I’ll bet LLI doesn’t know about that, else he wouldn’t be droning on about Israel having the rule of law. A moral case could arguably be made about tracking down those directly responsible for Munich in the way it was done, but not killing hundreds of men, women and children in a blind fit of bloodthirsty rage.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Yeah, I didn’t know about that actually, I’m sorry to say. Thanks for setting the record straight, Sumud.

        • eGuard says:

          lli: neither the Munich terrorists nor Ariel Sharon saw the interior of a court. So far for your “Israel has the rule of law” — except when it has not.

          Clearly, you have to turn 180 degrees on your own post to keep it up. And, by the way, you are still requested to explain what “rule of law” Israel uses (not) when bombing the refugee camps, as Sumud has pointed out here. Just don’t get dizzy with all these turns.

      • David Samel says:

        LLI, I believe the Palestinian gunmen at Ma’alot were killed. In any event, Israel responded to both Ma’alot and Munich with characteristic indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian refugee camps, with a much higher casualty toll. Of course, the hundreds of dead and injured were people who shared the same nationality as the Palestinian attackers but had nothing to do with the actual operations, so I guess you’re right – no one was brought to “justice.” Israel instead opted for mass murder terrorist reprisals (legitimate reprisals, of course).

    • seafoid says:

      Sabra and Shatila was women and children. All the fighters had been exiled to Tunisia by boat and given assurances by Israel that the women and children in the camps would be safe.

      “They made us many promises but they kept only one
      They promised to take our land and they did ”

      Red Cloud

      Hobeika was murdered . Sharon is a vegetable.
      Begin died a broken man.

      The mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small

      • David Samel says:

        seafoid, to add to your list, Eitan, whose responsibility for this was probably equal to Sharon’s, was swept out to sea and drowned by a freak wave in Ashdod.

        • seafoid says:

          Thanks, David. I didn’t know that.

          Sabra and Shatila was the point where for a lot of Europeans Israel changed from being a miracle to a problem.

          It was around the same time that El Salvador was in the news all the time. Death squads in San Salvador and in Beirut. Reagan’s evil foreign policy.

          Then of course he sent the marines to Beirut. And then there was a truck bomb and 300 died.

          That was the last regional adventure until Kuwait.

    • Walid says:

      ” It’s a crime that Begin and Sharon died (in Sharon’s case, virtually) without ever having to answer for this high-water mark of mass murder and state terrorism.”

      David, Sharon came within a hair of having to answer for the massacres. 23 Sabra Shatila survivors had taken the case to the Belgian courts that took on foreign war crimes cases under a 1993 law but following American (Rumsfeld’s) threats to move the NATO HQ from Brussels if the Belgians didn’t throw the case out of court (and 3 other ones against Bush I, Cheney and Powell), the Belgians amended their laws to limit their courts’ right to try accused people from other countries and thereby got Sharon (and Bush I, Cheney and Powell) off the hook . The Palestinians appealed under some technicality and a Lebanese prime witness was about about to testify and tell the the story of Sharon’s involvement. It was the Lebanese accomplice of Sharon, the former Phalangist commander involved in Sabra Shatilla, Elie Hobeika. In January 2002, Hobeika met with Belgian parliamentarians in Beirut to discuss his testimony but 2 days later he was killed by a car bomb. The case against Sharon was closed in 2003.

      Somehow, the butcher of Beirut didn’t really get away with anything and it finally caught up with him.

      link to haaretz.com

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      “It’s a crime that Begin and Sharon died (in Sharon’s case, virtually) without ever having to answer for this high-water mark of mass murder and state terrorism.”

      If there is justice in the world, Sharon, though displaying the outward signs of coma, has been experiencing full consicousness and the feeling of being burned from head to toe with White Phosphorous, without the ability to do anything about it, for every minute of every day since his stroke.

    • pabelmont says:

      David Samel — good point. Good to remember that war itself, probably any war worthy of the name, is a major atrocity, and Israel’s have shown as little respect for humanity as any. Are the SUA’s any better? Agent Orange? Hiroshima?

  7. Dan Crowther says:

    Thanks for this post – I was aware of the mass killings in Lebanon, but not to this extent – these types of posts are the most beneficial, they force me to do my homework.

    There is no defense for this.

    • seafoid says:

      Dan

      “Pity the Nation” by Robert Fisk covers the history of the Lebanese civil war and the 1982 invasion by Israel – “operation peace for Galilee”.

      The ironic thing is that in the next 29 years the Israelis didn’t spend anything on the Galilee – all the money went to the settlers. At least if they had invested in Israel the investments would be safe today.

  8. jimby says:

    We must not forget the lead up to this. Arik Sharon ordered the bombing of downtown Beirut even thought there was no PLO presence there in order to put pressure on Arafat. This was when the PLO agreed to leave and the US and France “guaranteed” the safety of the women, children and old men who stayed. So this was yet another knife in the back from our lovely “ally”. Btw, Robert Fisk was the first reporter on the scene and saw first hand and reported what was going on there. Of course Israel was doing all it could to keep it all in the dark, hence the bulldozers. I was following this closely at the time and was horrified.

  9. Walid says:

    Seham, Sabra ad Shatilla was as horrible as they can get and about 2000 were butchered with Israeli help, but that wasn’t the whole story. Israel’s atrocities went much farther than the camps. There was also the giant football stadium that the Israelis had turned into a base and where about 10 thousand Palestinian as well as some Lebanese were taken for interrogation and never seen again to this day. 30,000 Lebanese civilians were killed by Israel during the 1982 invasion. Dr Ang Swee Chai of London wrote a book about it “From Beirut to Jerusalem” (yeah, same title as Thomas Friedman’s) with dozens of the most horrific pictures in it.

    Some excerpts from the good doctor’s book:

    Dr Ang Swee Chai grew up supporting Israel. Arabs, she was told, were terrorists. But in 1982, on the television she saw the relentless bombing of Beirut by Israeli planes. Shocked, her view of Israel began to change. It was then that she heard of an international appeal for an orthopaedic surgeon to treat war victims in Beirut. The petit woman – she was just under 1.5 meters – resigned her job in London, bade her husband farewell and set out on a journey to civil war Beirut, there she was to eye-witness the Sabra-Shatila massacres:

    The Siege
    The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon killed over 30,000 civilians. The siege of Beirut lasted for 70 days, Beirut was subjected a relentless barrage of air, naval, and artillery bombardment. The Israeli bombardment was random and indiscriminate. Food, electricity and water supplies were cut off – over 500,000 people were driven from their homes. The IDF calculated that they had used some 960 tons of ammunition in trying to destroy the city.

    The price asked by Israel to stop the destruction of Beirut was for the 14,000 PLO fighters to abandon the city – leaving behind their families. The US brokered peace deal guaranteed the safety of the Palestinians left behind in the camps – a multinational peacekeeping force would be deployed to protect them.

    The US didn’t honour its word and three weeks after the PLO evacuation they withdrew the multinational force giving the green light to Israel to invade West Beirut and massacre the Palestinians in the camps.

    There was 3 weeks of peace [following the PLO evacuation], then suddenly on the 15th of September something horrible happened – the international peace keeping force decided to withdraw… and israeli planes flew in and 500-600 Israeli tanks started to roll in to Beirut city [violating the peace treaty]. Before this Beirut city was surrounded by Israeli tanks but never invaded like that – the Israelis had bombed Beirut from the air and seiged the city and denied water and medicine to the people, but this time the tanks are comming – and you can see the tank shelling. [photo] You can see the Mosque in south Beirut – that was the first shell that fell – it was from an Israeli tank. They began to surround the refugee camps in all directions. By about mid-day there was streams of shell smoke comming from everywhere and everybody was very frightened knowing that something horrible is going to happen…

    At 4:30pm news arrived at the (Beirut)Gaza Hospital that Israeli troops had invaded Akka Hospital [just outside the camp], nurses had been raped and killed, doctors and patients shot dead.

    The Massacre
    The phalange militia were Israel’s proxy in Lebanon, their members were recruited from the Maronite Christian community. They were payed for, trained and armed by Israel. They were effectively an extension of the IDF, and were usually sent in to do the dirty work.

    After Sharon’s army had taken West Beirut and sealed off all escapes routes from the Palestinian refugee camps, Sharon ordered the phalange in. The official order from Sharon read “for the operation in the camps the phalange should be sent in”*. Knowing that the camps were full of unarmed civilians – mainly women and children, only around 150 phalange were deployed. The testimonies of the survivors suggest that both Israeli soldiers and their mercenaries the Phalange entered the camps and participated in the massacre**.

    The Israelis supervised the operation from their forward command post, a six story building overlooking the camps. From there they gave logistic support and relayed orders to the soldiers on the ground. Concerned that reports of the on-going slaughter would leak out, the soldiers were ordered to continue the killing through out the night – to facilitate this the Israelis lit up the sky with flares all night long. The idea was to kill as many Palestinians as quickly as possible, before international pressure would put a stop to the operation. Over 3000 elderly men, women and children were murdered. Next the evidence had to be buried quickly – so the Israelis send in bulldozers. Houses were packed with bodies and demolished to form mass graves. One such mass grave contained a thousand bodies.
    *see BBC Panorama “The Accused” 2001.
    ** Survivors interviewd on 22 Sep reported that many of the soldiers who did the killing did not speak Arabic and Israeli newspapers (in Hebrew) and Israeli food rations were found left behind. A young boy, Munir, who was left for dead under a heap of 27 bodies confirmed that he has seen both Israelis and Phalange murdering people, when he was brought to Gaza Hospital on 17 Sept.

    To Kill Not Enough
    The truth hit me painfully…Besides being shot dead, people were tortured before being killed. They were beaten brutally, electric wires were tied round limbs, eyes were dug out, women were raped, often more than once, children were dynamited alive. Looking at all the broken bodies, I began to think that those who had died quickly were the lucky ones.

    The Stadium
    I walked towards the sports stadium. I had not found the strength to visit this area before. At sunset, it looked hideous. People had been killed here, people were buried here: I seemed to hear their voices echoing mournfully in the wasteland. This place had been pounded incessantly by Israeli aeroplanes during the siege. During the massacre, it was occupied by the Israelis, and the camp people told me that trucks of men, women and children were taken to the stadium by the Israelis, and many had ‘disappeared’.

    The body of a little child I had once treated had been found in the stadium on 18 September, the day of the massacre. With other little children, he had been blown up by a hand grenade thrown into their midst. All around the stadium I could see cloths, mostly women’s clothes. Angry survivors told me large numbers of women had been forced en masse to undress, and were raped by the soldiers before they were killed.

    link to inminds.com

    • Mndwss says:

      The next “leader of the free world” may be Rick Perry, who believes that rain is a massage from god.

      Is he a religious person that think:

      I can kill ’cause in God I trust, yeah….

      link to youtube.com

      It’s evolution, baby…

      I am scared.

    • seafoid says:

      Walid

      Thanks for the book reference. It’s now on my list. I have a number of photobooks of Israel but strangely no pictures of the stadium.

      The Zionists have been on a 63 year roll . It was supposed to last forever.

    • Seham says:

      Thanks Walid, I’m going to order that book and thanks for adding that to the comments section. The stuff I posted wasn’t on the internet anywhere but I thought it was important to type it out and have it housed somewhere, I’m glad that excerpt you added is here.

      • Walid says:

        1982 and the invasion of Lebanon was the year Israel began experimenting on the civilian population of Lebanon on behalf of another country, the modern version of the white phosphorus bomb as well as the implosion bombs that were called vacuum bombs at the time. Robert Fisk wrote about having personally witnessed with Terry Anderson with him at Berbir Hospital, burning children from the stuff and how when put out, the fire would spontaneously re-ignite half an hour later. Further phosphorus tests were conducted in 2006 on Gaza civilians with the addition of DIME bomb testing and a few months after that in Lebanon where more phosphorus, DIME testing took place in addition to DU bunker busters.

        Lebanon was also the testing field for those unmanned kiling drones that Israel now sells all over the place. The guinea pigs or running rabbits on which they were field-tested were Lebanese civilians.

        Anybody still wondering why the Lebanese hate Israel with a passion???

        • seafoid says:

          It would amazing if there was a Sabra and Shatila survivor outside the UN on the 23rd.

        • seafoid says:

          Walid

          Have you seen this video?

          It covers pre Nakba to Sabra and Shatila and has some great footage

        • Walid says:

          “Have you seen this video?
          It covers pre Nakba to Sabra and Shatila and has some great footage
          link to youtube.com ”

          Thanks, Seafoid, indeed great footage but throughout the documentary seeing it was by the Al-Hurra TV, I kept wondering about its pitch.

        • yourstruly says:

          i was in beirut when the idf used the vacuum bomb on an 11 story apartment building. i viewed the bomb’s destructiveness from the top of an adjacent untouched almost twin building. almost unbelievably the targeted building had been reduced to 1-2 stories of rubble.

          a few days later i met jusuf, who somehow had survived the bombing (eleven of his relatives hadn’t – wife, children, parents). he was recovering in an islamic center temporarily converted into a hospital. i asked him how he felt? “everyone’s gone, nobody left”, his response.

          for me, here one day gone the next had been given a new meaning

        • Bumblebye says:

          This short clip of Robert Fisk revisiting that time recently is illuminating. You can clearly hear the horror, the terror, and the adrenaline surging back just in the way his breathing changes while he speaks.
          link to angryarabscommentsection.blogspot.com

    • “At 4:30pm news arrived at the (Beirut)Gaza Hospital that Israeli troops had invaded Akka Hospital [just outside the camp], nurses had been raped and killed, doctors and patients shot dead.”

      Just this sentence alone disqualifies the rest as garbage. Israeli soldiers NEVER DID THAT.

      • Walid says:

        Of course not, LLI, after all Israel has the most moral army in the world, purity of arms and other voodoo stuff.

        They just came to try out the tabouleh and waltz with Bashir and we saw the stuff they’re made of over Gaza a couple of years back.

        • Actually, Walid, yes it does, thanks. Certainly in comparison to any of the countries who demonize it and even more than Western countries who have faced war. That goes for Western countries who have been at war far away from their own countries with no direct threat.

          As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years. Let’s wonder for example what would Turkey do? Look up Kurds.

        • David Samel says:

          As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years.

          Actually, LLI, Gaza was not exactly enjoying peace and prosperity while Sderot and other Israeli communities were suffering under 5000 or 8000 or 12,000 or 94,000,000 rockets, constituting the WORST CRIME IN THE WORLD. Israel was exacting a toll on Gazans throughout the entire period that was much much worse than the reverse. And that was before the all-out assault in December ’08. In one two-day period in March 08, Israel killed about 120 Palestinians in Gaza. Between 2005 and 2008, Israelis killed about 50 times as many Gazans as Israelis were killed, and of course, as we all know, once the full-scale attack began, the ratio increased to 100 to 1.

        • Avi says:

          longliveisrael September 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm

          Actually, Walid, yes it does, thanks. Certainly in comparison to any of the countries who demonize it and even more than Western countries who have faced war. That goes for Western countries who have been at war far away from their own countries with no direct threat.

          As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years. Let’s wonder for example what would Turkey do? Look up Kurds.

          I’m instituting a new rule. From now on, every time a poster repeats absurd, debunked, outright false information, and propaganda, he or she will earn a Hasbarat dollar sign like this one $.

          As of now, you’re at HASBARAT $

        • Walid says:

          “As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years.”

          My heart can’t bleed for Sderot and neither would yours if you placed it in the right context or understood where the people of Gaza are from and why they were rocketting Israeli towns.

          Sderot was built in 1953 over the ruins of the Palestinian village Najd that had a population of 7,000 persons.

          Ashdod was built in 1956 over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Isdud, whos inhabitants were completely ethnically cleansed in 1948.

          Askhelon was built in 1951 over the ruins of the Palestinian village of al-Majdal. The population of this village numbered around 12,000 persons.

          The people that were ethnically cleansed from these 3 places became refugees in Gaza.

        • DBG says:

          That is quite sad and misfortune Walid, but did the children of Sderot ethnically cleanse them? How is your unwillingness to feel sorry for the people of Sderot any different than LLI’s unwillingness to ‘have his heart bleed’ for the ppl of those villages.

          Your mentality sounds like something Norman Finkelstein will includ in his next book, the Nakba Industry (being released in 2013)

        • john h says:

          Walid, not only that, those places are not legally Israeli. They are legally Palestinian.

          They are outside the Israeli 1947 partition boundaries, which were affirmed by Israel in its 1948 Declaration as its borders, and it entered the UN on that basis.

        • Avi says:

          DBG September 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

          Your mentality sounds like something Norman Finkelstein will includ in his next book, the Nakba Industry (being released in 2013)

          DBG’s current status: HASBARAT $

        • Shingo says:

          As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years. Let’s wonder for example what would Turkey do? Look up Kurds.

          As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having been under siege for 8 years.

          What did Israel do in 1967? Look up Six Day war.

        • RoHa says:

          “did the children of Sderot ethnically cleanse them?”

          If the children of Sderot are suffering any harm, then they too are vicitims of the evil of Zionism.

        • Shingo says:

          Actually, Walid, yes it does, thanks. Certainly in comparison to any of the countries who demonize it and even more than Western countries who have faced war

          Yeah right.

          Military whistleblower tells of ‘indiscriminate’ Israeli attacks
          link to independent.co.uk

        • Chaos4700 says:

          If only DBG cared about the children of Detroit or New Orleans as much as he cared about the children of Sderot, huh.

        • Avi, you must have felt quite clever in coming up with this post, not realizing how foolish it makes you look. This is what grade 3 kids do when they can’t debate an issue intelligently.

          It’s ok though, between you and Chaos, Cliff and a few others here, MW cements it’s reputation.

          You also have annie and a few others censoring responses by those who support Israel so you can then say, “See, he doesn’t even have a response” I posted a response to Walid showing that Nasser, the Egyptians and Syrians CLEARLY stated their intent to destroy Israel prior to the Six Day War. They didn’t just say destroy, they said that the cities and towns of Israel would run red with blood. That post never made it. Just one example

        • Shingo says:

          LLI, you must have felt quite clever in coming up with this post, and regurgitating your Cliff Notes version of the 6 day war, seeing as it’s been so exhaustively debated.

          I posted a response to Walid showing that Nasser, the Egyptians and Syrians CLEARLY stated their intent to destroy Israel prior to the Six Day War.

          I posted a response to Walid showing that Nasser, the Egyptians and Syrians CLEARLY stated their intent to destroy Israel prior to the Six Day War.

          And we’ve posted countless quotes from Israeli leaders admitting that this was BS.

        • DBG says:

          Shingo, your logic makes no sense. you can quote these Israelis as much as you want, it doesn’t mean there was zero rhetoric before the 6 day war from the Arab countries. you make so sense bro.

        • Shingo says:

          Shingo, your logic makes no sense. you can quote these Israelis as much as you want, it doesn’t mean there was zero rhetoric before the 6 day war from the Arab countries. you make so sense bro.

          No it’s your logic that makes no sense. The Israeli leades from Eshkol to Rabin, to Begin to Peled all agree that Nasser was bluffing as was not a threat.

          The 6 day war itself only serves to provide more evidence to that effect.

      • seafoid says:

        Israeli soldiers spend their days singing in forests and meadows and collecting buttercups.

        And they couldn’t protect their Egyptian ambassador either.

      • yourstruly says:

        what, you’re saying that dr.ang swee chai was lying?

        i met her in beirut

        she’s not a liar

        must be that cognitive dissonance is getting the better of you?

    • RoHa says:

      Thank you for that, Walid. I didn’t want it. What I knew was already bad enough. And that has not made me happier. But I think it was necessary for me, and others, to have an even fuller picture of the horrors for which Israel is responsible.

    • Bumblebye says:

      Walid, and anyone else, bbc “Hardtalk” with Dr Swee Ang, dated Sep 16 2011! Brand new! Just found it, so haven’t yet watched it:

      link to bbc.co.uk

      I bet that’s been commissioned and scheduled with an eye on later this month, or they’d have left it til next year.

  10. gamal says:

    Under Siege PLO Decision Making During The Siege of Beirut by Rashid Khalidi.
    /www.amazon.com/Under-Siege-P-L-Decisionmaking-During/dp/0231061862/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316195086&sr=1-1

    I think this is an excellent book for 1st worlders to read, if i may make so bold. below some guys quite creditable review, i am going out so no time i highly recommend this book. i recall the story about some of the Palestinians calling some of those who argued for immediate acquiescence
    in the evacuation negotiations as the “withdrawal now” camp, a satirical reference to the worthless “peace now” of yesteryear, do you remember them, weeping but still shooting, but still weeping. Israel was very much involved in fomenting the war. ain- el hilweh will always be remembered and also what was done to rashidiya in 82. Some of the hasbarist people posting here are almost lascivious in their drooling inhumanity, wrong side of history dudes, wrong side of everything.

    By
    Zach Goelman
    This review is from: Under Siege: P.L.O. Decisionmaking During the 1982 War (Hardcover)
    When examining the 1982 war in Lebanon, there are many different aspects that one can study. Books have been written explaining Israeli motives for the invasion, analyzing the international reaction, studying American intervention, and debating the war’s impact on Lebanese society. In writing Under Siege, Rashid Khalidi attempts to fill a gap in the scholarship by focusing on the P.L.O. Khalidi’s personal experience and sympathies are a part of his narrative – he lived in Beirut during the summer of 1982 as a witness to the siege. In describing the situation of the P.L.O., Khalidi utilizes and contributes to a narrative that juxtaposes victim and aggressor, and his sympathies clearly lie first with the Palestinian people and second with their sometimes misled liberation organization. In his preface, he dedicates his book to those who gave their lives in “defense of the cause of Palestine and the independence of Lebanon.”
    The Israeli invasion and the siege of Beirut were a high-water mark of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and was a military, political, and diplomatic showdown between Israel and the P.L.O. In the introduction to his work, published in 1986, Rashid Khalidi states that “few Lebanese or Palestinians have had the chance to record their view of events in 1982.” These views, and Khalidi’s, reject the narrative that Israel invaded, surrounded, and forced the P.L.O. to flee Lebanon in something approximating a Palestinian surrender. “It is wrong to assume that… Israel’s defeat of their forces… [meant] that the P.L.O. was summarily forced to leave, with the only question ever at issue being when and how.” A large part of his work is devoted to showing the P.L.O. as an actor in the events, rather than a group that was acted upon.
    Khalidi begins his work with an overview of the P.L.O.’s experience in Lebanon in an attempt to show the change in Lebanese opinion towards the guerrillas and their leadership. Initially, the P.L.O. participated in the Lebanese civil war, fighting alongside the Lebanese National Front (L.N.F.). The L.N.F. consisted of various leftist militias composed of Sunni Muslim lower classes, factions of the Shia Amal militia and led by the charismatic Druse chief Walid Jumblatt. The P.L.O. and the L.N.F. created a command called the Joint Forces (J.F.) against the rightist Lebanese Forces (L.F.) Khalidi suggests that the P.L.O.’s growing strength and its sense of entitlement ultimately led to the isolation of the Palestinian leadership in Lebanon. The guerrillas, who had previously fought alongside the L.N.F. against the rightist militias and the Syrian army, found themselves without allies on the eve of the invasion. This isolation at the beginning of the war was only exacerbated by the punishment the Lebanese suffered under the Israeli assault. Lebanese opposition under siege meant that the P.L.O. could draw on no domestic support against the Israeli position.
    In describing the terrific difficulties of confronting the ultra-modern Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F.), Khalidi takes numerous occasions to remark on the surprising performance of the P.L.O. fighters who “fought longer than had all the Arab armies put together in all their wars with Israel, doing better than anyone could have expected.” In his chapter titled `Military Inputs”, the author lists numerous Israeli failures to advance on certain fronts, and P.L.O.’s ability to delay the invasion and exploit weaknesses in the Israeli attack. Khalidi also describes numerous Israeli attempts to force a capitulation of the leadership through military and unconventional means, including car bombs to terrorize the population, psychological warfare such as public radio announcements of the P.L.O.’s retreat, and using precision-guided munitions to assassinate and destroy the Palestinian leadership. By the time the I.D.F. arrived at the gates of Beirut, behind schedule and uncertain how to prosecute the siege that lay ahead, Khalidi comments, “Israel was fighting a war of attrition which it was far from wining… nothing said publicly by the P.L.O…. indicated that Israel’s military pressure had achieved anything.” In describing how the Palestinian guerrillas fought so admirably against the soldiers of Israel, Khalidi states that the greatest tool the Israelis had at their disposal was air power: this meant that Israel could “destroy and starve Beirut if they wanted to,” without any Palestinian interference, but the “hours of non-stop bombing were proof that it had not yet succeeded in its aims.”
    The research done by Rashid Khalidi fulfills a large part of his mission to exonerate the P.L.O. from failure. By relying on primary sources from within the P.L.O. and Beirut, he accomplishes two tasks: first, he portrays the Organizations internal discourse on the issues facing it, and second he legitimizes the P.L.O. by offering a broadly uncritical view of their documentation. Using unpublished Palestinian material and asserting its credibility on par with (and sometimes exceeding Israeli documentation in credibility) other sources, Khalidi places his own sympathies within the narrative provided by the P.L.O. documentation. His selective use of secondary sources, especially Israeli sources and others from the Israeli-American side, suggests that he may be more concerned with the credibility of the side, rather than the source.
    This book’s success is its portrayal of the P.L.O. both as the Organization saw itself, and as it wished to be seen by the international community. Khalidi wrote this book in the aftermath of the 1982 war, at a time when Israel seemed ascendant and the Palestinians defeated; their movement in exile, their people massacred in camps. Under Siege: P.L.O. Decisionmaking During the 1982 War reads like an exoneration, and this seems almost intentionally `unintentional’: that when documenting an exiled, besieged, outnumbered and isolated revolutionary movement, one can’t help but come to their defense. Ultimately, Khalidi’s narrative insists that history will be an apologia for the Palestinian movement, rather than an epilogue.

  11. annie says:

    i wasn’t politically awake to anything in the ME at the time and never heard of this massacre until i became an activist for palestine. i am not ashamed to say that.

    i read about it kind of with one eye closed the other sort of squinting, the way i watch scary movies. enough to try to understand the level of horrification without having to see the graphics or fully immerse myself with emotional investment (this is how i learned about the holocaust too and why i don’t know all the details, shivers).

    in many ways i am a coward.

    for me, it was the loss of beloved characters in susan abulhawa’s book mornings in jenin, and the fear and pensiveness i felt approaching the event in her novel. the way the husbands and uncles were expelled to tunisia before they massacred their families. the women and children and old people left utterly defenseless.

    i still can’t really look at the totality of what happened. too painful. too horrific.

    • Bumblebye says:

      I still find it imcomprehensible that my b-in-law (from your state) knew so little about international stuff i took for granted. Not just I/P stuff, but that does seem most heavily censored. How on earth did the people of the US let that happen?

  12. RE: “On the 29th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre” – Seham

    ALSO SEE: At least 1,700 Palestinians were slaughtered on Israel’s say-so, 25 years ago this week ~ A Letter to Janet About Sabra-Shatilla, By Franklin Lamb, Counterpunch, 9/15/07
    LINK – link to counterpunch.org

    • Walid says:

      That was a sad letter, Dickerson. It leaves a big lump, especially the ending.

      • Janet Lee Stevens and her sister JoAnn were high school classmates and friends of mine. They were the nicest people. I assume JoAnn Stevens still is.
        I also remember Janet’s “perfect cursive handwriting”. It was quite striking.

    • seafoid says:

      Very sad but also a powerful reminder of the pull of the case for justice for the Palestinian people.

      ” Twenty years later, lawyers representing two dozen victims and other relatives attempted to have Ariel Sharon tried for the massacre under Belgian legislation, which grants its courts “universal jurisdiction” for war crimes.There had been great expectations about the case among the Palestinians and their friends, since as you remember, Sharon had already been found to bear “personal responsibility” in the massacres by an Israeli commission of inquiry which concluded he shouldn’t ever again hold public office. But hopes were dashed when the Belgium Court, under US and Israeli pressure, decided the case was inadmissible.’

      I wonder for how much longer the US will protect Israel from paying for its crimes.

    • RE: “On the 29th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre” – Seham

      AND SEE: 29 Years After the Massacre at Sabra Shatila » By Franklin Lamb, Counterpunch, 9/17/11

      (excerpt)…Robert Fisk, writing in the UK Independent claims that more than 1000 Palestinians are buried in pits in Lebanon’s only Golf Course that is adjacent to Shatila camp and the Kuwaiti Embassy.
      Dr. Bayan Nuwayhed al Hout — author of “Sabra and Shatila: September 1982″ told this observer: ”I’m positive that dozens of people were buried there with the help of bulldozers. The bulldozers were used to get rid of the dead bodies.” Author Al Hout is referring to the fact that Israel supplied bulldozers, paid for by American taxpayers, to their allies, the right wing Christian militia that committed the slaughter with Israeli facilitation.
      On Saturday morning, September 18, 1982 Israeli Mossad agents inside the camp actually were observed driving three of the bulldozers in a frantic attempt to assist the Christian militia in covering up evidence of the crime before the exported international media arrived on the scene.
      The late American journalist, Janet Lee Stevens, documented that during Sept. 18 and 19th, most of the massacre victims killed during this period were slaughtered inside the joint Israeli-Lebanese Forces “interrogation center.” Janet testified that these killed were put in flatbed trucks and taken to the Golf Course, just 300 yards away, where waiting Israeli bulldozers dug pits. Other trucks drove in the direction of East Beirut…

      ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to counterpunch.org

  13. yourstruly says:

    a few weeks before
    west beirut’s sabra and shatilla refugee camps
    their narrow allies jammed with palestinians
    going about their lives
    suddenly these same alleyways become strewn with corpses
    the formerly alive and well
    killed by hate-crazed run amock phalangist soldiers
    compliments of general ariel sharon
    he gave the go-ahead
    what the heck, they’re only palestinians
    the only good palestinian being a dead one
    so kill, kill, kill
    as at the battle of washita river (general george custer)
    as in the japanese military’s rape of nanking
    as in the nazi’s slaughter of the citizens of lidice
    collective punishment
    gratuitous mass murder
    colonialism’s legacy

  14. EdFremont says:

    yourstruly, 150,000 Lebanese killed each other in the civil war Arafat started in 75. Yet you say nothing about that.
    Which proves your only about your hatred of Israel.

    • Shingo says:

      Which proves your only about your hatred of Israel?

      He we go, another juvenile Hasbrat with the intellect of a 5 year old.

      Israel invaded Lebanon based on lies and killed 15,000 – 20,000 all by themselves and for that, they deserve to be hated.