New documents shed light on 1982 Sabra, Shatila massacres

September 19, 2012 19:00

Recently declassified documents discovered by doctoral candidate Seth Anziska at the Israel State Archives reveal key conversations between the US and Israeli officials at the time of the 1982 massacres in Lebanon, The New York Times published on Wednesday.

The massacres by Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia on September 16, 1982 at Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut led to the slaughter of between 762 and 3,500 people. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.

Thirty years later, Anziska has discovered transcripts that reveal the Israelis had misled American diplomats about events in Beirut during the Lebanese civil war, and convinced them to accept the claim that thousands of terrorists were in the camps.

Anziska concludes from the documents that the United States was in a position to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Israel that could have ended the atrocities, yet failed to do so.

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