Friday, September 24, 1982

Military Action:

IDF in West Beirut coming under sporadic sniper fire, 1 Israeli officer is killed, 2 soldiers wounded; 6 IDF APCs close off street and interrogated suspects; 350 French troops disembark, take positions in port area and near Green Line (French officer asks Israeli unit at port to withdraw); Italian troops return to Cyprus from Beirut to protest IDF presence in Beirut.


Relief workers uncover another mass grave at Shatila containing 19 victims, all from one family, raising ICRC total to 317; Lebanese Prosecutor General Camille Geagea, heading an investigation, says 597 bodies found, 2,000 people still missing; unknown number of Palestinians arrested in Beirut sent to Israeli-run prison; accounts of IDF looting of houses belonging to Palestinians and Lebanese (including Saeb Salam's sister); Red Cross warns of danger of epidemics at Sabra and Shatila.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Habib meets Begin and Sharon, presses them on IDF withdrawal; head of IDF's Staff and Command College and director of the Israeli government Press Office resign to protest refusal to set up independent inquiry; Haaretz reports US intelligence survey received by Israeli officials estimates those killed in West Beirut alone at 4,000, another 22,500 wounded; head of Israeli Supreme Court refuses government request to undertake investigation; Sharon severely criticized, asked to resign at meeting of top army commanders and Eitan (officers reportedly fear government will blame army for massacre).

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Prime Minister Wazzan submits his resignation, but Gemayel asks him to stay on as caretaker until new Prime Minister appointed; virtually all Muslim leaders but Murabitun greet Gemayel; Lebanese Army prosecutor Jermanos begins investigation into massacre, visits Sabra and Shatila; Fatah's Abu Saleh joins PFLP, PFLP-GC, Saiqa, and PPSF in rejecting the Fez plan's implicit recognition of Israel.

US and Other Countries: US says Britain and Netherlands may contribute to peacekeeping force; Jeane Kirkpatrick says UN should investigate massacre, and US is indirectly responsible; West Germany willing to consider Arafat visit to Bonn.

UN: UN-related International Atomic Energy Agency votes 41-39 to reject Israeli delegation's credentials (US says it will reassess US participation in agency, downgrades participation in meeting to "observer").