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For three days, between 15 and 18 September, up to 3,500 men, women and children were butchered in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps of West Beirut. Their mutilated, mangled bodies bulldozed into mass graves
The massacre would not have been possible only for the collaboration of Israel’s Defence Forces, which had months earlier invaded Lebanon and taken control of the camps
Sabra and Shatila were populated by destitute families of Palestinians
The United Nations’ General Assembly later condemned what happened at Sabra and Shatila as “an act of genocide”
A UN commission of inquiry, headed up by Irish statesman Sean MacBride, concluded that the Israeli authorities and their forces were involved and responsible for the deaths. The then head of the IDF was Ariel Sharon who later would hold four ministerial posts before becoming Israeli Prime Minister from 2001 to 2006.
“I saw dead women in their houses with their skirts up to their waists and their legs spread apart; dozens of young men shot after being lined up against an alley wall; children with their throats slit, a pregnant woman with her stomach chopped open, her eyes still wide open, her blackened face silently screaming in horror; countless babies and toddlers who had been stabbed or ripped apart and who had been thrown into garbage piles.”