Sabra and Shatila Massacre: The 43 Darkest Hours of the History

In Lebanon’s capital of Beirut between September 16th and 18th 1982, thousands of Muslims in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps were brutally massacred. Estimates vary but about 3,500  Palestinian refugees, the majority of whom were women, children, and the elderly were killed. A Christian Political Party known as the Phalange attacked the Palestinian camp under the pretense of searching for Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) members who they believed were responsible for the homicide of Bashir Gemayel, who was at that time the leader of the Christian Political Party. However, the fighters instead began murdering the civilians with guns, knives, and axes. A bloody civil war started in Lebanon when through the powerful media Christians were made to believe that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Muslims were involved in this murder. And during the civil war, the Christians were allowed to torture the innocent refugees of Sabra and Shatila with extreme cruelty.

Instantaneously starting, the massacre continued nonstop for 43 hours. The gunmen killed many individuals in the first hour. Any moving object in the alleys was being shot at. They destroyed most of the families having dinner after destroying the front doors. Some families were killed while they slept. Three to four-year-old children were found in their pajamas and blood-soaked blankets. Before killing the victims, the attackers dismembered them. Infants and children’s heads were smashed against the walls. Women and girls were raped before being killed with hatchets. Men were driven from their homes and massacred in the streets with hatchets and knives. The brutal killing of men, women, children, and the elderly by the Christian militants spread terror. Numerous bodies were found in streets covered in swarms of flies. Children were lying on the roads. There were many pregnant women whose wombs were cut. Also, male reproductive organs were removed and placed in their mouths. They did not show any compassion towards the elderly either. During the massacre, Phalange militias buried large numbers of bodies under buildings that had been bulldozed.

From around 6 pm on September 16  until 1 pm on September 18 a large-scale massacre took place. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) were informed while the massacre was taking place, but they did not take any action to prevent or stop the massacre. According to an Israeli investigation, the Lebanese Forces militia was directly to blame for the slaughter, but Ariel Sharon was also held personally accountable for ignoring the risk of murder and retaliation. So, after the massacre, Israel established a so-called commission to appease Muslim outrage over this brutality, which only served to cover up Israel’s brutality and the demand of the immediate dismissal of Defense Minister Arial Sharon. However, over time, the same man was appointed to the Prime Ministership in 2001, possibly as a reward for the same brutality.

It was the Israeli army that protected Phalangists and facilitated the completion of their mission. At the time of the massacre, there were reportedly 5000 militiamen present. It was one of the most agonizing assaults carried out during the brutal Lebanese civil war, which is well-known for its cruelty. The massacre went on for two days and had become the most important event in world news in less than twenty-four hours. The United Nations also described this Christian-Jewish nexus as a verbal genocide of the Palestinians and did not take any further steps that seemed to bring justice.

Until today, it was unknown how many Muslims were subjected to persecution. Only estimates have been established and their number is said to be very low. Many of the Muslims were taken to an unknown location in vehicles, after which they could not find out their whereabouts till today. No one exists to report whether they were ingested by the earth or the sky. And even this could not be known what kind of cruelty was inflicted on these innocent victims, because the Western media is the most powerful lobby in the world, and it has largely covered up the massacre. According to their estimation, these people may have been killed. The United Nations or none of the major peace leaders have been able to bring these criminals to justice. The claimants of humanity are still playing the role of silent spectators to this brutality and this attitude against Muslims is still going strong. 

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