“Today marks September 16 – forty years after the three-day appalling and unbelievable massacre of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps in southern Beirut at the hands of the blood-thirsty Zionist regime and its collaborators,” Nasser Kan’ani wrote in a post published on his Instagram page on Friday.
He added, “This was neither the first crime committed by the bogus regime nor would be the last one.”
“The foundation of the apartheid Zionist regime is based on aggression, crimes and flagrant violations of international law and human rights, and will always threaten international peace and security,” the senior Iranian diplomat pointed out.
Still remembered as one of the most horrific crimes committed by Israel, the Sabra and Shatila massacre was carried out on September 16, 1982, when Christian Phalangist militias armed by the Tel Aviv regime stormed into the Palestinian refugee camps in southern Beirut and brutally killed up to 3,500 civilians, including many women and children.
On September 15, the Israeli military besieged Sabra and Shatila and had its tanks positioned to shell the camps before tasking some 1,500 Phalangist militiamen with “searching and mopping up the camps” a day later, which led to the killing of Palestinians during the next 43 hours.
The Israelis fired flares throughout the night to light up the killing field – thus allowing the militias to see their way through the narrow alleys of the camps.
Despite Israel’s attempts to conceal its involvement in the massacre, Ariel Sharon, the then minister for military affairs, was the key figure in the whole three-day operation, from ordering to shell Sabra and Shatila to unleashing Phalangist militiamen in the refugee camps.
A new report by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth strongly confirms the Israeli regime’s involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre in collaboration with the Lebanese al-Kataeb militia led by Bashir Gemayel.
The Kataeb Party – known in English as the Phalanges or the Lebanese Phalanges Party – is a Christian political party in Lebanon. Its militia was the largest 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.
According to the report, senior military commanders in the Israeli army and high-ranking Kataeb officials held meetings to coordinate the massacre.
After the Phalangists had finished the killing, the bodies of dead children littered the streets like discarded dolls, with bullet holes in the back of their heads.
As the bloodbath concluded, Israel supplied bulldozers to dig mass graves.
In 1983, Israel’s investigative Kahan Commission found that Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for the slaughter.