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 Monday, January 09, 2006

Ariel Sharon: How He Will Be Remembered by Palestinians


'He is the KING KONG of Massacres'
- Abu Khalil

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The whitewashing of Ariel Sharon has begun.

The 'man of courage and peace' story ignores his bloody and ruthless past.

AS ARIEL SHARON'S career comes to an end, the whitewashing is already underway. Literally overnight he was being hailed as "a man of courage and peace" who had generated "hopes for a far-reaching accord" with an electoral campaign promising "to end conflict with the Palestinians."

From the beginning to the end of his career, Sharon was a man of ruthless and often gratuitous violence.

The waypoints of his career are all drenched in blood, from the massacre he directed at the village of Qibya in 1953, in which his men destroyed whole houses with their occupants — men, women and children — still inside, to the ruinous invasion of Lebanon in 1982, in which his army laid siege to Beirut, cut off water, electricity and food supplies and subjected the city's hapless residents to weeks of indiscriminate bombardment by land, sea and air.

Sharon and his army later facilitated the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians at the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, and in all about 20,000 people almost all innocent civilians — were killed during his Lebanon adventure.

Read here for more in LA Times

Read here original article by Mitch Prothero in The Observer UK

(A) Hamad Shamus remembers the morning in September 1982 when the right-wing Lebanese forces and their Israeli advisers sealed the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps on the outskirts of Beirut and began to massacre the Palestinians inside.

His home was nearest to the camp entrance and he was one of the first to hear shots as the Phalangist militia, in uniforms adorned with the Cedar Tree insignia, arrived.

The Phalange had been fighting the PLO and its Lebanese allies since 1975 and were seeking revenge for the killing of their leader, Bashir Gemayel, in a car bombing.

Shamus, who was 20 at that time, said:

'They put all of us against the wall by our home and shot us. Me, my father, my brother and a family from next door. I was shot three times.

One man lived for an hour before he gave up and died. I lay there for three days listening to them kill the others.

I prayed to God for myself and for my family. I don't know how I lived.'

I want to see him (Ariel Sharon) recover so that we can charge him with crimes.

But it seems maybe God has decided to charge him instead.'

He rises and limps to a wall of pictures showing piles of dead. He points to a body and said:
'That is my father. And that leg is my brother'.

As Israel's top military official in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and backer of the Phalangists, Ariel Sharon is here thought of as a butcher of innocents.

(B) Abu Khalil, 46, another survivor, had this to say about Ariel Sharon:

'He is the King Kong of massacres.I wanted him to die until I heard he would be handicapped.

Now I pray for him to suffer as a cripple, as he crippled the people of Sabra and Shatila'.

The Israeli Kahan Commission found Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre - he was dismissed as Israel's Defence Minister.

(C) Abu Mohammed, 55, looks down the street he helped defend.

He had sensed something bad was coming and hid his family. He then returned to his home as the Phalangists and Israelis arrived.

He ran to the nearby football stadium, used as a weapons depot before the PLO withdrawal, and found rifles and grenades.

'It was our right to resist, we are not terrorists. It was easier to kill the unarmed, so they left us alone.

My neighbour was worried the Israelis would send jets to bomb us, so he walked out of the camp with a white flag to tell them we were just civilians defending our homes.

They shot him in the street.

Like all Palestinians, we pray he (Ariel Sharon) does NOT die [as he would] not suffer like he caused the Palestinian people to suffer at his hand.'

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