30 year commemoration of the Sabra & Shatila massacre
Eye-witness report by Dr Ben Alofs
Ben Alofs was working as a nurse in West Beirut in the summer of 1982, which at the time was being besieged by the Israeli army. He was an eye-witness to the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre. Ariel Sharon's complicity in the massacre of defenceless Palestinians, then under US 'protection' was so flagrant that he had to resign as Minister of Defence.
US diplomat Philip Habib had negotiated a truce that agreed on the withdrawal of both Israeli and PLO elements from Beirut, while a multinational force composed of U.S. Marines along with French and Italian units would protect the defenseless civilians. On September 1, the expulsion of the PLO fighters from Beirut completed, Israel deployed its armed forces around the refugee camps.
Israeli forces commanded by Ariel Sharon controlled access to the camps during the massacre, and fired illuminating flares over the camps to allow their Phalangist militia allies to carry out the massacre throughout the night. According to Ben Alofs, the camp was as bright as "a sports stadium during a football game".
Israeli soldiers surrounding the camps turned back Palestinians attempting to escape the butchery. This was filmed by a Visnews cameraman.
For the next 36 to 48 hours, the Phalangists massacred the inhabitants of Sabra and Shatila, while Israeli troops guarded the exits and fired flares throughout the night.
You are invited to these public meetings where Dr. Alofs' presentation will be followed by open discussion.
Glasgow: Thurs 13th Sept, 7pm @ STUC, 333 Woodlands Road
Dundee: Fri 14th Sept, 12.30pm @ Tower Building, Dundee Uni (Note changed time)
Edinburgh: Fri 14th Sept, 6pm @ Augustines, George IV Bridge