Saturday, September 18, 1982

Military Action:

Massacre continues in refugee camps by Phalange and Haddad militia (allowed into camps by IDF), eyewitnesses say Phalangists enter camps from access road formerly controlled by IDF, spray houses with machinegun fire while bulldozers bury victims under rubble as quickly as possible; houses in camps bulldozed, dynamited into rubble, often with inhabitants inside; many refugees flee north into Hamra district through IDF lines; 20 US and European doctors and nurses removed from Gaza Hospital by Phalange, forced to abandon patients and march through camps, see 400 civilians held by Phalangists, freed only after IDF intervention; eyewitnesses say units dressed in Haddad militia uniforms involved in Shatila massacre, Haddad, in Beirut, denies involvement; thousands reported missing or removed from camps by militiamen; IDF claims Phalangists slipped into camps without IDF knowledge (two days earlier, IDF claimed control of "all key points" in Beirut, all refugee camps "encircled"); Phalange units withdraw from camps through IDF lines with truckloads of Palestinian prisoners; Drori orders IDF into Fakhani neighborhood north of Shatila; late in day, IDF seals off access to Shatila.


ICRC reports hundreds of bodies litter camp streets, doctors and patients kidnapped, some patients killed in their hospital beds, victims include babies, whole families; Washington Post correspondent counts 46 bodies, UPI correspondent counts 100 bodies; large pit excavated near southern entrance to camp feared to be mass grave.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Israel denies responsibility for killings, says IDF prevented more deaths; Foreign Ministry "strongly condemns" massacre; Begin claims he first learned of massacres from radio report; Labor Party demands special parliamentary session to discuss incident; Najah University condemns expulsion of 9 lecturers for refusing to sign anti-PLO pledge, fears another 20 expulsions.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO's UN representative Terzi calls for dispatch of UN troops; Arafat, in Damascus, appeals to USSR, White House, Vatican to intervene to prevent further massacres, blames Israel and US; Saeb Salam blames US, Israel and Christian forces for massacre.

US and Other Countries: Reagan, expressing "outrage and revulsion," blames Beirut killings on IDF, demands their immediate pull-back; Israeli Ambassador Arens meets Shultz.

UN: Secretary General announces Israeli and Lebanese agreement on Lebanese Army entering camps on Sunday to prevent further massacre; in Security Council, Jordan proposes sending 5,000 UN peacekeeping troops to protect West Beirut civilians; US, France, Italy advance plan to immediately send observers to scene of massacre; two UN observer teams reach Sabra, find clusters of bodies killed in groups of 10 to 20.