Sunday, May 03, 2009

Massacres Against the Palestinian People: Part III (Final)

The Massacre at Sabra and Shatila (September 16-18, 1982)

Before sunset on Thursday, 16 September 1982, Maronite Christian forces, covered by units of the "Israeli" invasion army, stormed the camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. The massacre continued for approximately 36 hours. During the operation, the "Israeli" army surrounded the camps preventing anyone from entering or leaving. In addition, the "Israeli" soldiers provided militia with logistic support, including setting off incasdescent bombs at night to facilitate the militia's mission.

Information about the massacre began to leak out after a number of children and women fled to the Gaza hospital in the Shatila camp, and informed the doctors of what was happening. Likewise, news of the massacre reached some foreign journalists on Friday morning, 17 September 1982, but the bloodbath went on until Saturday noon, September 18. 3297 Palestinians were killed in the massacre.

The massacre was carried out under the supervisionof Ariel Sharon, then the Defense minister and the architect of the invasion. But the "Israeli" military court that investigated the massacre shamelessly claimed, "that the General's commands were misunderstood", and ridiculously fined him an equivalent of 14 American cents!

Umm Ghazi Younes Madhi, one of the survivors of the massacre said, "They stormed the camp at 5:30 on September 16. We do not hear any gunfire at first, since they were killing people with axes and knives. They would bury the people alive with bulldozers. We ran away barefooted with bullets on our heels. They slaughtered my husband and three of my children in the massacre. They killed my husband in the bedroom with one of the children. I saw them slaughtering a pregnant woman with her husband. My niece came out of the house and they grabbed her and slaughtered her in the street. They did the same thing to her small son, who was in her arms."

Munir Ahmad Al-Doukhi, who at that time was 13 years old, survived three attempts to take his life. He says, "I had been placed under the responsibility of armed men wearing filthy clothes, and who did not speak Arabic well. With me was a group of women and children who had been dragged out of their houses. They firen on the women and children, and I was injured in my right foot. My mother was wounded in her shoulder and in her leg. When they ask the wounded to stand up so that they could take them to the hospital, I pretended to be dead. Then they fired on them all over again. So that's how I survived the second attempt to kill me. But my mother had already died. And on the morning of the next day, they shot at me when they found out that I was still alive. They wounded me and thought I was dead, so they left me alone."

Sumaya Qasim Bashir says, "My husband and my son were killed in the massacre. The most horrible sight I saw was the sight of our neighbor, Hajja Munira Amr. First they slaughtered her four-month-old child before her eyes, then they slaughtered her."

An American nurse by the name of Jill Drew tells of an eyewitness who said that they tied up the children, and then slaughtered them like sheep in the Sabra and Shatila camps. They would line people up in the sports stadium, then form firing squads to shoot them dead.

Ali Khalil Afana, who was 12 years old at the time, says, "It was 11:30. We heard the sound of a big explosion. It was followed by a women's voice, then all of a sudden they broke into our house. They came rushing to us like wolves, searching the rooms. My mother screamed for help, and they rained her with bullets. My father reached out his hand in search of something to defend himself with. But their bullets were too fast for him. I did not have enough strength to scream, since they had fallen on me with knives. I do not know what happened after that. But I found myself in the hospital the way you see me now: with my head and my legs all wrapped up. A classmate of mine who was visiting his mother in the hospital told me that our house was nothing but a pile of rubble. My aunt came to visit me yesterday, so I asked her what had happened to my three brothers. But she did not amswered me! They were all dead. I know it." And with that, hot tears rolled down his little cheeks.

A women from Sabra camps tells her story by saying, "I, my husband and my baby were about to sleep on 15 September at night, after we had finished straightening up the things that had been destroyed by the bombing. At that time we were feeling reassured because the Lebanese - or so we thought - were surrounding the camp. But the horrors were approaching, because not long after this scores of soldiers and fighters came in shooting and blowing up the houses. We went out to see what was going on, and when we saw what we saw, we tried to run away. But they stopped us. They pushed my husband, my father and my brother toward a wall and stood them up with their backs to it. Then they made them raised their hands and showered them with a torrent of bullets and they fell down dead. When my mother and I screamed, they pulled us by the hair toward a deep hole that had been caused by a missile. But just then they received orders to move somewhere else, so they left without firing on us. Then we fled."

Another women speaks of how they came into her house when a neighbor boy was visiting her. They fell upon him with an axe and split his head in two. She says, "When I screamed, they tied me up with a rope that they had with them. Then they threw me onto the floor and three of them took turns raping me. By the time they left I was unconscious, and when I finally woke up, I was in a civil defense ambulance."

Some militiamen would crush Palestinians to death under the wheels of their military vehicles. And at the same time they would make the sign of the cross over bodies of the victims. A Danish television cameramen by the name of Pederson filmed a number of army trucks filled with women, children and elderly people, headed toward some unknown destination.

People in Sabra and Shatila were killed indiscriminately, and a large number of women were raped. There were many people who raised white flags as a sign of surrender, especially children and women. However, they were among the first victims of the massacre. Among them were more than fifty women who went to surrender, but were all killed.

The attack on the Akka (Acre) hospital took place on Friday morning at 11:30. It involved the murder of doctors and patients. A Palestinian nurse by the name of Intisar Isma'il (19 years old), whose disfigured corpse was found later, was raped ten times, then killed. The attackers killed many sick and wounded, as well as some of the hospital workers and local residents who had come to the hospital for refuge. Then they forced forty patients to get into trucks. They were not seen again. During the massacre, the terrorists killed physicians Ali Uthman and Samiya al-Khatib inside the hospital. And they emptied their cartridges into the head of a fourteen-year-old wounded boy named Muwaffaq As'ad as he lay in bed.

Bulldozers set about digging mass graves in broad daylight in south Shatila with the help of the "Israelis".

Roberto Soro, a Beirut correspondent for the American magazine, The Time, relates what he saaw after entering the camps as follows, "There was nothing but piles of debris and corpses. The bodies were piled on top of one another, including children, women and men. Some of them had their hands tied behind them, and some had their hands tied to their legs. Parts of some heads had flown off in different directions, and there was the body of a women holding her child to her bosom; both of them had been killed by the same bullet. The bodies had been removed from one place to another with "Israeli" bulldozers. One women stood over a maimed corpse screaming, "My husband! Oh Lord, who will help me now? And all of my children have been killed! My husband, they have slaughtered him! What will I do? Oh Lord, Oh Lord!"

A report submitted by a correspondent of The Washington Post, recorded what he saw as follows, "Entire houses had been destroyed by bulldozers, turned into piles of bodies atop more bodies as if they were so many dolls. And over the corpses, the holes which appeared in the walls of the houses indicated that they had been shot dead. On a short dead-end street we came across two girls, one of them about 11 years old and the other only a few months! They were both lying on the ground with their legs tied up, and there was a small hole in each one's head. A few steps away from them, on the wall of a house bearing the numbers 422 and 424, they had fired on eight men. Every street, no matter how small, had its story to tell. On one street there were sixteen corpses piled on top of each other in peculiar positions, and nearby there lay a 40-year-old women with a bullet between her breasts. Near a small shop an elderly man about 70 years old had fallen, with his hand still extended in a gesture as if to plead for mercy. His dust-covered head looked toward a woman now beneath the rubble."

Husayn Ra'd, 46, states, "The terrorists beheaded people with cleavers, and while they were at it they hurled curses and insults at their victims. They were slaughtering women and children right and left." And he adds, "The residents started running away in the direction of the multinational forces. But they did not protect them, especially in the Hamra area."

Mahmoud Hashim, a 15-year old witness of the massacre relates, "It was a friday night and I was sleeping with some friends of mine in the camp. At about 11:00 we heard gunfire, but we did not think anything of it. So we slept till the next morning, but we woke up to find nothing in the camp but dogs and cats. We went out to see what was going on, and when we came near the Galilee School, we found a pile of corpses.

The fruit vendor where my family lives after his house in the Sabra and Shatila camp was destroyed by "Israeli" shelling at the beginning of the invasion. It was there that I first heard about the massacre." Then he continued to say, "I met up with a British journalist who asked me to go with him to the camp entrance on Saturday morning, 17 September 1982 so that he could record the events of the massacre with his camera. I agreed to go with him. When we got to the western end of the camp, we were surprised to find a pile of corpses near the al-Doukhi shop. The shop owner had been beaten on the head with an axe and beside him there was a young man. All the rest were elderly people. We kept on going until we reached the Haraj crossroads, where the journalist saw nine corpses under a truck. Some of them had their hands tied and bullets had penetrated the surface of a nearby wall. The scene indicated that they had been subjected to a mass execution. About ten metres from this appalling sight, we found an elderly women holding a Lebanese identity card. It appeared that she had been trying to convince her killers that she was Lebanese and not Palestinian. And twenty metres further on, we found a number of horses that had been killed, among them the corpse of a man with his head cut off. it turned out later to be my uncle, Abdul Hadi Hasyim, 49. After we had gone a little farther we came upon six cadavers that had been tied together with chains. The heads of two of them looked as though they had been hollowed out, as if they had been beaten with axes. We were so at a loss and overcome with horror, we decided to go back the way we had come. By this time the British journalist became distraught and hurried to get us out of the camp on the motorcycle we had come in on. As we were leaving sprays of bullets were fired at us, which made him drive faster."

Recalling memories from inside the camp, the eyewitness goes on saying, "We saw cadavers piled up in the corner to our right, only fifty yards from the entrance to the Shatila camp. There were more than twelve bodies of young men whose feet and hands had been tied around each other, and they were still in the throes of death. Everyone of them had received a bullet near his temple that had gone through his brain. On the right side of the necks of some of them there were bright red and black scars. I saw a little girl no more than three years old who had been thrown into the road like a doll someone had thrown away. Her white dress were spattered with mud, blood and dirt and a bullet had blown away the back of her head.

"When the armed men stormed the camp, families had gone to sleep and were in the bedrooms. I saw bodies lying on the floors or piled under chairs. And it appeared that many women had been raped, since their clothes were found strewn on the ground. I saw a mother holding her little boy, both of them with bullets through their heads, naked women whose hands had been bound behind their backs, a baby with a shattered head and floating ..., and they lined them up carefully in a circle, placing the head in the middle. At Sabra and Shatila the prevailing impression is that the killers deliberately aimed to kill children in particular."

After the terrorists had withdrawn, survivors wandered frantically about in search of relatives whose bodies were now somewhere among the piles of cadavers or buried beneath the rubble. Of course, they were still living the nightmare of the massacre they had just been through.

3297 men, women and children (out of a total of 20000 residents in the camps at the beginning of the massacre) were killed within forty hours, between September 16 - 18, 1982. Among the dead bodies, 136 Lebanese were found; 1800 victims were killed in the streets and alleys of the camp, while 1097 were killed in the Gaza Hospital and 400 others in the Akka Hospital.

Commenting on the massacre in the "Israeli" Knesset, Menachem Begin described the Palestinian resistance fighters as "animals that walk on two legs". And after the announcement of the news of the massacre, an officer of the Lebanese Maronite Kata'ib forces maintained, "The swords and rifles of the Christians will stalk the Palestinians wherever they go. And ultimately, we will do away with them."

Another Kata'ibi officer told an American journalist, "We have waited long years to able to storm the camps of West Beirut. The "Isrealis" chose us because we were better than they are at this sort of "house to house" operation." And when the journalist asked him if they had taken prisoners, he replied, "These operations are not the kind in which prisoners are taken."

Radio London reported via one of its correspondents that while the killings were going on, "Israeli" soldiers surrounded the camps with tanks, shooting anything that moved.

The Massacre at Al-Aqsa Mosque (October 8, 1990)

On Monday, October 8, 1990 immediately before the noon prayer, some Jewish extremists, who belong to Zionist extremist organization, tried to hold a prayer service inside the mosque. About 5000 Muslims rushed to prevent them from desecrating the mosque, and clashed with the Zionists led by the terrorist Ghershoun Salmoun, leader of the "Temple Mount Trustees". Only moments after the worshippers arrival, "Israeli" soldiers stationed heavily inside the mosque precincts began firing indiscriminately on Muslim worshippers. The attack led to 21 deaths and wounded 150 others.
The Massacre at the Ibrahami Mosque (February 25, 1994)

Before worshippers had completed the dawn prayer in the Ibrahami Mosque in Al-Khalili (Hebron), a blast of hand grenades exploded and sound of bullet spray filled the mosque. Bullets and splinters from the grenades pierced the heads, necks and backs of the worshippers, wounding more than 350.

The crime began when a terrorist by the name of Baroukh Goldstein, and a group of Jewish settlers from the Kiryat Arba settlement, entered the mosque. Goldstein were carrying his military machine gun and hand grenades along with large amounts of ammunition. He stood behind one of the pillars in the mosque, waited until the worshippers had prostrated, and then opened machine gun fire on them. Meanwhile, others helped him load the ammunition, which included internationally banned explosive leads.

Goldstein carried out the massacre at a time when the Zionist soldiers closed the mosque doors to prevent worshippers from fleeing. They also denied entrance to those coming from outside the mosque precincts to rescue the wounded. Later, others were shot dead by the occupation soldiers outside the mosque, and at the cemetery during the funeral processions of the mosque's martyrs. The massacre led to fifty deaths, twenty-nine of which occured inside the moqsue.

The Massacre at the Tunnel (September 1996)

In September 1996, the "Israeli" government opened up a tunnel parallel to the southern wall of the Aqsa Mosque, a move which Palestinians saw as a dangerous prelude to implement the Zionist plan to destroy the mosque by shaking its foundation. Violent clashes broke out between Palestinian demonstrators and the occupation soldiers in September 25-27, 1996. During that time approximately 62 Palestinians were shot dead and 1500 injured by the "Israeli" soldiers, who used a variety of weapons, including helicopters.

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