Palestinians Are Massacred in West Beirut (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Lebanese Phalangist militias, in coordination with Israeli forces, went into the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon and massacred hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
Summary of Event
Between September 16 and 18, 1982, Palestinian civilians were massacred in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, near Beirut. Men, women, and children were killed by members of the Phalangist militia, among others, under the protection of Israeli troops. The massacres occurred in the midst of the catastrophic Lebanese civil war that had erupted in 1975.
Palestinians in Lebanon were largely the descendants of those who were evicted from northern Palestine after the creation of Israel in 1947-1948. The majority lived in refugee camps in southern Lebanon and near Beirut. Unlike Palestinians in Jordan, they did not receive Lebanese citizenship; an antiquated agreement in Lebanon divided power and wealth along religious lines, and the Christian-Muslim ratio would have been severely upset if the mostly Muslim Palestinians were allowed to become citizens. Thus after 1948, the Palestinians, as stateless refugees, did not enjoy the rights of other citizens, whether in Arab host countries or in their homes under Israeli rule. The lack of a just settlement for the Palestine question shaped the domestic and international relations of the region and constituted a major factor in the tension surrounding the...
(The entire section is 2056 words.)
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