22 Years Later, Sabra and Shatila Remembered
ADC Press Release:
Washington DC, Sept 16, 2004—Today, September 16, marks 22 years since one of the bloodiest and most brutal massacres in recent history, the 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Twenty two years ago, shortly after the Israeli army seized control of West Beirut, Lebanon, right wing Phalangist militia forces, under the direction of Israeli forces, made their way into the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila located on the outskirts of the city. Once in the camps the militias massacred hundreds of defenseless men, women, and children.
Israeli troops, who were in control of the area, allowed the militias into the camps, prevented the refugees from fleeing for their lives, and lit the night sky with a continuous series of flares as the killing raged for two days. The US had pulled its troops out of Beirut just days prior to the massacres, and had given a guarantee of protection to the residents of the refugee camps.
Following massive outrage and protest from the international community as well as from Israeli citizens, the Israeli government formed The Kahan Commision of Inquiry. The Commission found that Israel was responsible for participating in the violence and recommended the dismissal of the Army Chief of Staff, Rafual Eitan. Then Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was also forced to resign after the Commission concluded that he bore personal responsibility for the massacre, and should never hold public office again. Sharon is now the Prime Minister of Israel.
ADC President Mary Rose Oakar said, “We must take the time on September 16 to remember the victims of the horrific Sabra and Shatila massacre. The massacre is a reminder to us all of the tragedy of exile of Palestinian refugees who have been excluded from their homeland for more than half a century and their vulnerability as a stateless people. It underlines the necessity for a just settlement to the refugee issue based on the Right of Return, which is enshrined for all refugees in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and was specifically applied to the Palestinian refugees in UN Resolution 194.”
To learn more, see the BBC’s documentary on the Sabra and Shatila massacre and also the court case against Ariel Sharon:
ADC DC Chapter Participating in Lebanon's 22nd Commemoration of the Sabra & Shatila Massacre
The Washington, DC Chapter of the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee helped to coordinate and is part of a delegation participating in the 22nd Anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Lebanese and Palestinian NGOs in Lebanon hosted delegations from around the world from September 10 - 19, 2004. The nine-day tour provides the opportunity for a deeper understanding of Lebanon as a country, and provides the means to engage in dialogue with local Lebanese and Palestinian leaders and activists. Some itinerary highlights included: visiting the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, participating in UNESCO events, meeting with the support committee regarding the case brought in Belgium against Ariel Sharon, and touring the area. For more information contact the ADC- Washington DC Area Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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