PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi made a press release today addressing the memory of the Sabra and Shatila mascara which occurred 35 years ago and where around 3000 Palestinians were murdered.
Ashrawi said, “Today we somberly mark the thirty-fifth anniversary of the massacre of innocent Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in west Beirut that took place between September 15-18, 1982 with the collusion and support of the Israeli army under Ariel Sharon who left a legacy of bloodshed and destruction. This massacre claimed the lives of 3,000 Palestinian refugees.
This remains a tragic chapter in Palestinian history, and thirty-five years later, the Sabra and Shatila massacre still represents Israel’s cruelty and inhumanity towards the Palestinian people as a whole. This massacre, as well as other massacres against the Palestinian people, go unpunished.
It also should remind the entire international community that the plight of the more than six million Palestinian refugees has not been resolved. Instead of targeting UNRWA, Israel and the U.S. must do justice to the Palestinian refugees and implement international law and UN resolutions, particularly United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948), the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)”.
Dr. Saeb Erikat also stressed the importance of resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees in a press release about Sabra and Shatila massacre.
Where he said, “The memory of the brutal Sabra and Shatila massacre still resonates in our minds and hearts. It is embedded in every Palestinian memory and soul. Thirty-five years ago, the vicinity of the two refugee camps in Beirut was filled with the scent of death and bodies of thousands of butchered and injured Palestinian children, women and men. A criminal act engineered by Ariel Sharon, Israel’s Military General at the time, who facilitated the barbaric butchering of defenseless refugees by Phalangist forces under his watch. Today is a reminder to the world of a criminal who escaped justice and got away with it.
Sabra and Shatila massacre will not be wiped off from our conscious. It is a reminder of the more than 400 Palestinian villages destroyed by Zionist paramilitaries and of the Palestinian exodus who were uprooted and forced out their homes. It is also a reminder of the absence of justice and accountability. Sharon and the Israeli leaders who masterminded this massacre should have been tried in international courts. Instead, Sharon was awarded to become Israel’s tenth prime minister.
Resolving the Palestinian refugee issue should only be through the implementation of international law and United Nations resolution 194. In this context, we call on the international community to restore justice, accountability and to end the culture of impunity granted to Israel”.