Anniversary of Another Massacre: Palestinians in camps of “Sabra and Shatila” and crocodile tears
Posted September 17, 2012on:
Another massacre anniversary: Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila (Chatila) and crocodile tears
First, the description of late Amnon Kapeliouk of the three nights and three days genocide story:
Tuesday, September 14, 1982; (Iron Brain Operation):
The Israeli army is stationed on the outskirts of Beirut on all sides. Multinational forces of the USA, France, and Italy were brought in to protect the Palestinian civilians in the camps around Beirut. Bechir Gemayel was elected President of the Lebanese Republic on August 23 under the bayonet of the Israeli army.
Bechir Gemayel (34 years old) was the closest ally to Israel since the civil war broke out in April 13, 1975. Bechir Gemayel headed the Christian militias named “The Lebanese Forces” that united the Phalange Party, the Party of Camille Chamoun, and other fringe parties by coercion and frightful infighting.
“The Lebanese Forces” had received from Israel military training, military sophisticated hardware, logistics, and military intelligence. Israel Menahim Began PM and Ariel Sharon (Defense Minister) expected immediate peace pact to be signed by Beshir. Beshir was reluctant to officially sign any peace treaty before he discusses with Arab leaders and consolidate his power.
At 4:10 p.m. a charge of 50 kilos of TNT explodes at the above flat where Bechir was meeting with his supporters in Ashrafieh. Sharon had accurate intelligence of the status of Bechir within minutes. The Medias and radios would refrain from declaring Bechir dead until 10:30 p.m.
By 6 p.m. Israel has established an air bridge to land tanks and soldiers in Beirut airport. Sharon and Begin PM agreed to enter the Capital Beirut without consulting with their cabinet of ministers. An already detailed military plan for invading West Beirut in unfolded in the Defense Ministry.
Wednesday, September 15; (Israel occupies the first Arab Capital)
General Amir Drori, commander of Northern Israel region, receive the order at 12:30 a.m. to take over the strategic points in West Beirut. At 3:30 a.m. commanders of the Christian militias known as “Lebanese Forces” are assembled in their headquarters on the outskirt of south Beirut close to the Israeli headquarter.
The Israeli Generals Rafael Eytan (Fafoul) and Amir Drori are discussing plans with the militia officers Fadi Frem, Elie Hobeika, Emile 3id, Michel Zuwein, Deeb Anastase, Maroun Mich3alani, Joseph Edde and the liaison “Jessy”. They are ironing out details of the invasion of the Christian milias into the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila.
The “Lebanese Forces” militia got busy painting their logos on walls and trees with directional arrows for troop’s movement from Chouweifat to Kuwait Embassy. At 5 a.m. the Israeli forces have cordoned off both Palestinian camps. By 9 a.m. Ariel Sharon is observing the deployment from a tall building close to the Kuwait Embassy and overlooking the camps, 200 meters away.
Sharon finds time at 1 a.m. to fly to Bikfaya and present his condolences to the Gemayel family; he is received coldly. The Lebanese army in West Beirut refuses to cooperate with Tsahal. By nightfall, electricity power is shut off in West Beirut. By 10 p.m. rockets for lighting the Palestinian camps are launched at the rate of two per minutes at each launching point.
Thursday, September 16 (Felicitations! Our friends are entering the camps)
By noon, West Beirut has completely fallen and Tsahal is rounding up thousands of Lebanese at check points. The Palestinian camps are shelled and Israeli snipers are active. At noon General Drori asks Fadi Frem if his militias are ready to enter the camps. They are ready and 1,500 Christian militias receive the green light for action.
The militia assemble by the airport and the Israeli General Amos Yaron exhibit to them aerial maps. General Yaron confirms that Tsahal will deliver all the logistics and supplies for the “cleaning up of the camps”. The Christian militias were never shy proclaiming at every occasion to the Israeli officers that they meant a thorough slaughter of babies, women, and elderly Palestinians. The Phalangists (Kataeb) used to utter their motto “A dead Palestinian is pollution. The extermination of all Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is the solution”
A unit of 150 Christian’ militias crosses from Ouzai to the Lebanese army barrack of Henri Chehab to their headquarters at the UN building. The Israeli check points let 25 jeeps packed of militias enter the camp of Chatila at 4 p.m. The frightened civilian Palestinians go to the Israeli headquarter ad expressed their strong concerns. They are told to return and not be worried.
A detachment of soldiers of the splintered Lebanese army in south Lebanon and commanded by Major Saad Haddad, the stooge to Israel, arrives to the outskirts of Chatila. Before 5 p.m. the dirty wolves were inside the chicken hen.
Within an hour, hundreds of Palestinian civilians, babies, women, and elderly are slaughtered by machetes, knives, and hatchets. Palestinians and Lebanese within the camps, regardless of being Christians or Moslems, are killed while having supper. The militias cut off limbs of women to grab bracelets attached in their forearms before finishing off their victims. Babies’ skulls are smashed on walls. Women are raped before being killed. Nine Jewish women who married Palestinians long time ago were also killed.
During the night, delegations of Palestinians arrive at Israel’s headquarter to explain the situation and they are repulsed to the camps; most of the members of the delegations disappeared. A militia demands a stretcher for a few wounded companions and explains “We have finished off more than 250 dirty Palestinians”.
By 11 p.m. a militia commander had expedited to the highest military Israeli echelons a succinct report stating “As of now 300 terrorists have been eliminated”. The camps were brightly lighted with 81 mm rockets. Two thousand Palestinians take refuge in nearby hospitals named Akka and Gaza.
In Jerusalem at 7:30 p.m. the Israeli cabinet met for 4 hours; Chief of Staff Raphael Eytan quickly goes over the situation in the camps stating “The Phalangists are cleaning up a few nests of terrorists”. The massacre resumed for the entire night.
The Israeli soldiers were witnessing the genocides and did not move. A single Israeli soldier with a minimum of moral standing and with a minimum of guts could have entered and ordered the militias out; they would have obeyed! Nobody moved. The Israeli soldiers just reported to their higher commanders who knew the plan.
Friday, September 17
At day break and from their posts Israeli soldiers could see people lined up on walls and executed. The hospitals are invested; foreign physicians and nurses are chased out and everyone inside is killed. An Israeli officer broadcast “It is not done to pleasure us. I forbid you to intervene in the camps.” Fresh militias, among them “soldiers” of Saad Haddad, enter the camps in jeeps and bulldozers borrowed from the Israeli army.
At 11 a.m. the militias barge into Akka hospital and finish off the injured; they raped a nurse ten times before killing her. Forty of the personnel are hoarded into a truck; they will disappear. Bulldozers are digging ditches by the Israeli headquarter; a Norwegian diplomat observe a shoveling truck dumping cadavers into the ditches.
By noon, fresh militias reinforcement are observed by the airport; 10 “command cars”, 13 tanks, jeeps, and more bulldozers are filmed by an Israeli TV channel reporter Ron Ben Yichai heading toward the camps. The militias carry with them plenty of alcoholic beverages and hashish.
The Israeli Chief of Staff lands his helicopter at Beirut airport 3:30 p.m. and meet with the militia chief Fadi Frem and congratulates him on “a job well done” because they did not obey the American orders to vacate the camps.
Eytan flies back to his ranch in Tel-Adachim to celebrate Israel’s New Year with his family; he will call Sharon around 9 p.m. to tell him “the Phalengists are exaggerating”. Today, the militias are shooting bullets to expedite the “clean up” mission. Trucks packed with Palestinians are taken out of camps; the detainees are never heard of.
All night long, with the camps well lighted by Israeli rockets, the bulldozers are destroying the shantytown homes over their inhabitants. Yesterday, the objective was to terrorize the Palestinians out of camps; they had nowhere to go since the Israeli check points forced them to return to camps. This night, the goal is to erase the camp completely of any structure and clean up this prime Real Estate.
Ben Yichai called up Sharon to inform him of the horrible conditions in the camps and he reported “Ariel Sharon gave me the impression that he was updated thoroughly on the situation”.
In the Israeli headquarters soldiers are eating lavishly, celebrating the New Year, and enjoying the carnage scene overlooking the Palestinian camps. A single Israeli soldier with a minimum of moral standing and with a minimum of balls could have entered and ordered the militias out: they would have obeyed! Nobody moved.
Saturday, September 18, 1982: (No prisoners taken)
At dawn, the carnage is going on. It will resume till after 10 a.m. the time that Israel had decided that the operation should end. At 6 a.m. the loudspeakers of the militias are encouraging the Palestinians to set out of their homes saying “Go out and you will be saved” (Sallimou Tislamou).
Thousands of Palestinians obey the order and they are horded into trucks; they will disappear, never to be heard from. Many are executed on the way: “It is better to kill the maximum before delivering them to the Israelis”; the roads toward Ouzai are strewn with bodies. The bulldozers and shoveling equipments are working full-time. The hospitals get invested again and the injured achieved. The foreign physicians and nurses witness the activities helplessly.
At exactly 10 a.m. Israeli tanks move toward the camps; it is the signal for the militias to vacate the camps. Over 4,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in camps containing more than 20,000 will be recorded disappeared. For two weeks, the Lebanese army, Red Cross, and volunteers will not be able to “re-clean up” this human disaster. (To be continued in my posts “Reactions to the genocide”)
On this Saturday, correspondent Robert Fisk was on location in Beirut and he was an eye-witness and described the grueling scene in both camps (I posted Fisk’s description)
And now, one of the leaders of the Lebanese Forces at the time, and still its leader Samir Geaja is apologizing. Samir had resumed expeditionary excursions and retaliations for another 9 years, after the massacre, in different regions of Lebanon… killing, executing and maiming Lebanese, including the Christians who refused to follow his orders. And how sorry is Geaja?
“On the anniversary of the massacre of Sabra and Shatilla, I extend my apology to all the families of the victims in the Lebanese Forces contribution to the massacre. And I urge all the other political parties and their leaders to do the same. And I am sorry…”
Like what other militias participated in the massacre? Other militias committed countless massacres, but they were not involved in Sabra and Shatilla.
Nadine Moawad wrote on her blog:
“Nobody talks about Sabra and Shatila in my family. We all know, though, that some of us fought for Hobeika during the civil war, for Geagea and Bashir and Aoun – all in the same family. There was no logic to the Lebanese civil war, nothing I can trace that shows any loyalty or creed anyone followed that didn’t change and change back.
It was a time of chaos and desperation and a vengeance chain of massacres that led to war that led to more massacres that led to more war. Anybody who tries to make sense of it is trying in vain. What remains to be made is redemption for the crimes, the murders, the kidnappings, and the total sell-out of the Lebanese and the Palestinian people. Redemption can only be made through acknowledgement and apology.
Many have called for efforts to commemorate the civil war so that generations would remember how sectarianism kills hundreds of thousands of people. That never happened – and how could it, with the same militia men and their militia parties in parliamentary seats today?
It is an offense that nobody has apologized. There was no one side to blame, and, therefore, everybody is to blame. And everybody must apologize. It is the first step towards accountability.
It entails acknowledgement. Doesn’t make up for it – the least all these parties could do is dissolve themselves. But it’s the first step.
This weekend is the commemoration of the Sabra and Shatila massacre that happened on September 16, 1982. Thousands of men, women, and children were lined up and killed under an Israeli-lit sky and a Christian-led killing machine. It is no different from the Tal el Zaatar massacre where women running away had their babies snatched from them so the soldiers could kill the male babies, the “future fighters.”
They bashed the babies’ heads against the wall in front of their mothers. It is no different from the Damour massacre or the Ehden massacre or Black Saturday or the Karantina massacre or the Hama massacre.
Decades after the war, we must still hold political parties responsible. We must hold ourselves responsible. We all come from families that took part in the war. We all come from families that suffered the loss of sons and daughters during the war. We are all responsible.
Even those of us who weren’t yet alive during these crimes. We carry the legacy of the crimes committed in our names still – the unspoken burden of history. We must all apologize.
I start with myself. I apologize for the crimes of Sabra and Shatila committed in the name of Christians in 1982. I apologize to the thousands of Palestinians who lost their souls in the most heinous of crimes. I apologize to the families who saw their loved ones slaughtered in front of their eyes. I apologize to all the women who were raped repeatedly for days on end. I apologize to their children – now probably my age – for the wounds they bear. I apologize with all my heart. I’m sorry”.
And here is another young deputy, who inherited the family position in the Phalange Party, the party that started the civil war, and broke almost all the cease fires and reignited the war for another 17 years, Sami Gemayel is apologizing:
“Bla bla bla and I apologize for the Phalange party…and start with myself…”
What else does a post-war Lebanon look like?
Israel PM Begin replied to the atrocities: “Goyims kill goyims, and they blame Israel for it…”
Note 1: Late Ghassan Tueyni, owner of the Lebanese daily Al Nahar claimed that the assassination of Bashir Gemayel was a joint contract by Israel and Syria. Why?
Bashir was of no use to Israel because the Lebanese Forces would not enter West Beirut alongside with the Israeli occupation troops, on the ground that the Phallangist will then be unable to govern all of Lebanon. Israel had already given the order to enter Beirut before the assassination date. And the Praetorian guards of Bashir where not present at the location of the blast…They will be the one managing the massacre in Sabra and Chatilla, following the orders and planning of Sharon…
Note 2: The complete story from an Israeli: