Sabra and Shatila: We Look Back to the Sept. 18, 1982 Massacre That Left 2,000 Unarmed Palestinians Dead in the Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps Outside Beirut

September 18, 2002

On September 18, 1982, the Lebanese Christian militia forces allied to Israeli forces began slaughtering up to 2,000 unarmed Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside Beirut.

The massacre unfolded over three days when Israel allowed its Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia allies into the refugee camps. Many of the victims were stabbed and a large number of women were murdered after being gang-raped.

The man who is now the Prime Minister of Israel, General Ariel Sharon, was in overall command of the Israeli forces at the time. Then, he claimed there were 2,000 "terrorists" in the camps. But the subsequent Israeli Kahan commission reported that Israeli troops surrounding the camps knew what was happening. The Israeli inquiry also found Sharon "indirectly responsible," and he was forced to resign.


  • Ellen Siegel, Jewish American nurse who working at Gaza Hospital at the Sabra camp at the time of the Sabra and Shatilla massacre 20 years ago.