Dirty work in secret

Shunpiking (October 2002)

ISRAELI governments have always disclaimed direct involvement of their armed forces in this slaughter, but recent basic forensic detective work may have caught them in a lie.

According to Alain Menargues, Beirut correspondent for Radio France 1982-95, an Israeli hit squad named "Sayerret Matkal" secretly penetrated Sabra and Shatila refugee camps on the morning of 15 September 1982 - before the entry of the Phalangist gangs - to execute 120 "Palestinian activists" from a list that included their names and addresses.

The victims were executed with a bullet to the nape of the neck, in the same fashion as 63 others murdered earlier by this unit throughout the Occupied Territories. The latter were "lawyers, doctors, teachers and even nurses... who had believed their status as non-combatants placed them above the battle." The strategy of Israeli Defence Minister Sharon was to send in this squad to "dismantle Palestinian infrastructure" - credible witnesses, life-saving personnel etc. - in advance of, and in order to facilitate, subsequent mass slaughters by a later wave, comprising the forces of the "South Lebanese Army" (SLA), Israeli proxies.

Although Israel's official Kahan Commission, which assigned Ariel Sharon "indirect" responsibility while exonerating the cabinet of Prime Minister Begin, acknowledged coroners' autopsy findings of two different calibres of bullets corresponding to Phalangist and SLA weaponry, Menargues unraveled his new disclosures by following up the discovery of a third calibre of bullet, unique to Israeli special forces and ignored by the Commission.

His book is due to be published in Paris by Albin Michel in December 2002.

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