Ten years before the Bosnian Genocide, ethnic cleansing and massacres of Palestinian civilians shocked the entire World. To this day, the Sabra and Shatila massacre hold a special place in the pages of dark history, outlining mans’ inhumanity to man.
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp was surrounded by the Israel Defense Force. In that period of time, Israel was at war with the PLO in Lebanon. Israeli forces occupied Beirut, controlled the entrances to the refugee camps of Palestinians and controlled the entrance to the city.
On December 16, 1982, the United Nations General Assembly condemned the Sabra and Shatila massacre and declared it to be an act of Genocide. There is no precise number of victims, but estimates range from 700–800 to 3,500 in a single massacre (depending on the source). The text of the UN resolution follows:
December 16, 1982.
The General Assembly of the United Nations,
Recalling its resolution 95 (I) of 11 December, 1946,
Recalling also its resolution 96 (I) of 11 December, 1946, in which it, inter alia, affirmed that genocide is a crime under international law which the civilized world condemns, and for the commission of which principals and accomplices – whether private individuals, public officials or statesmen, and whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds – are punishable,
Referring to the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted by the General Assembly on 9 December, 1948,6/
Recalling the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August, 1949,2/
Appalled at the large-scale massacre of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps situated at Beirut,
Recognizing the universal outrage and condemnation of that massacre,
Recalling its resolution ES-7/9 of 24 September, 1982,
1. Condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale massacre of Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps;
2. Resolves that the massacre was an act of genocide.