A real war criminal

War crimes trial -and three assassinations

Car bombs

Arial Scheinermann

Elie Hobieka

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This site covers the 'War crime' and the assassination of the three people who were about to testify. How their families were also maimed and killed so as to 'Send a message'.

 

Summary

In 1982 the Jewish warlord (Ariel Scheiderman aka Ariel Sharon)   invaded  Beirut to kill the PLO. During the invasion 20,000 innocent Lebonese were killed. Reagan talked the PLO into fleeing to Tunisa but their families stayed in refugee camps (Sabra and Chantila). Sharon sent in a Israeli proxy (Phalange Militia) who killed the PLO families - 3500.

In 2001 a Belgium court decided to prosecute the' Butcher of Sabra' - Sharon. Before the trial could begin the three main witnesses against Sharon were assassinated.

 

  • ELIE HOBEIKA: ------ The explosives, in a parked Mercedes, demolished Hobeika's Range Rover as it drove by. Three other people in the car including two bodyguards, were killed. The immediate area was filled with wrecked cars and burning buildings.

 

  • Mr Ghanem: ------ once Hobeika's political deputy, died only four days before Hobeika.is rumoured to have held documents that his former boss intended to present to Belgian lawyers in their attempt to indict Mr Sharon for his involvement in the massacre in which up to 1,700
    Palestinian civilians were killed. But on New Year's Day, Mr Ghanem, who was only 56 and with no history of heart problems, drove his car into a tree in the suburb of Hazmieh – only a few hundred metres from the spot where Hobeika was killed by a car bomb last week.

 

  • Michael Nassar: -----A former associate of Elie Hobeika – the Phalangist leader murdered in a car bombing in Beirut in January – was shot dead in Brazil by a man firing a pistol equipped with a silencer. His young wife, Marie, was shot down beside him.

    The secrets of the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camp massacres in 1982 have gone to the grave with yet another former Phalangist militiaman, the third Lebanese to die mysteriously in little more than two months.

    Ariel Schiederman aka Ariel Sharon  ---- A insult to humanity

 

 

The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila in 1982

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The Sabra and Chatila massacre is one of the most barbarous events in recent history. Thousands of unarmed and defenseless Palestinian refugees-- old men, women and children-- were butchered in an orgy of savage killing. On December 16, 1982 the United Nations General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an act of genocide.

Background of the massacre
The Sabra and Chatila massacre was an outcome of the alliance between Israel and the Lebanese Phalangists. In its long-standing war against Palestinian nationalism and against the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel found an ally in the Lebanese Phalangists. Despite the fact that Israel was itself responsible for the Palestinian exodus, the common feelings of hostility of Israel and the Phalangists to the Palestinians led to a secret alliance between them. In execution of this alliance Israel supplied the Phalangists with money, arms and equipment to fight the PLO in Lebanon.


Terror had led to the exodus of a large number of Palestinians in 1948. Therefore, the motivation for causing by similar means another exodus of Palestinians, this time from Lebanon, was a common objective of Israeli leaders, and their Phalangist allies. The massacre was not a spontaneous act of vengeance for the murder of Bashir Gemayel, but an operation planned in advance aimed at effecting a mass exodus by the Palestinians from Beirut and other parts of Lebanon. Israel's participation in prior massacres directed against Palestinian people creates a most disturbing pattern of a political struggle carried on by means of mass terror directed at the civilians, including women, children, and the aged.

Israel moves into West Beirut
The decision to move into West Beirut was taken by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, although it constituted a violation of the cease-fire and the agreement which governed the PLO evacuation. It was also a breach of Israel's word to President Reagan not to enter West Beirut after the PLOs departure. On the morning of September 15, 1982 the Israel Defense Forces moved into West Beirut and completely occupied it by the following day, notwithstanding the protests of the Lebanese and US Governments. The IDF, however, did not enter the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, but encircled and sealed them off with troops and tanks.


As to the decision for the entry of the Lebanese militiamen into the Sabra and Chatila camps, it appears from the testimony of Rafael Eitan, Israel's Chief of Staff, before the Israeli Commission of Inquiry that it was taken by him and by Sharon on September 14, 1982. This was followed by meetings between those two military chiefs and the Phalangist commanders to coordinate the operation of the militiamen's entry into the camps. The decision to allow the militiamen's entry into the camps was approved by the Israeli Cabinet on September 16 after it began to be put into execution.

The Massacre
Three units of 50 militiamen each stood ready in the afternoon of Thursday, September 16, 1982 at the edge of Sabra and Chatila camps awaiting orders from the Israeli military command. At 5:00 p.m. they were sent into the refugee camps in accordance with the agreed program of action and they then commenced an orgy of killing which lasted until the morning of Saturday, September 18.


According to General Amir Drori, Commander of the Israeli Forces in Lebanon, Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan met the head of the Phalangist forces in East Beirut on Friday afternoon and congratulated the Phalangists on their smooth military operation inside the camps. At this meeting, the Phalangist leader asked for bulldozers. One or more were supplied. The bulldozers were used to dig mass graves into which were heaped the bodies of victims that filled the alleys. A number of houses were also bulldozed to cover up the bodies of the victims.


Description of the scene is given by Loren Jenkins of the Washington Post service on September 23, 1982:
"The scene at the Chatila camp when foreign observers entered Saturday morning was like a nightmare. Women wailed over the deaths of loved ones, bodies began to swell under the hot sun, and the streets were littered with thousands of spent cartridges. Houses had been dynamited and bulldozed into rubble, many with the inhabitants still inside. Groups of bodies lay before bullet-pocked walls where they appeared to have been executed. Others were strewn in alleys and streets, apparently shot as they tried to escape. Each little dirt alley through the deserted buildings, where Palestinians have lived since fleeing Palestine when Israel was created in 1948, told its own horror story."


Ralph Schoenman and Mya Shone, two American journalists who spent six weeks in Lebanon, gave evidence before the International Commission of Inquiry and the following is an extract from their testimony:
"When we entered Sabra and Chatila on Saturday, September 18, 1982, the final day of the killing, we saw bodies everywhere. We photographed victims that had been mutilated with axes and knives. Only a few of the people we photographed had been machine-gunned. Others had their heads smashed, their eyes removed, their throats cut, skin was stripped from their bodies, limbs were severed, some people were eviscerated. The terrorists also found time to plunder Palestinian property as well as books, manuscripts and other cultural material from the Palestinian Research Center in Beirut."

The number of victims
The precise number of victims of the massacre may never be exactly determined. The International Committee of the Red Cross counted 1,500 at the time but by September 22 this count had risen to 2,400. On the following day 350 bodies were uncovered so that the total then ascertained had reached 2,750. Kapeliouk points out that to the number of bodies found after the massacre one should add three categories of victims: (a) Those buried in mass graves whose number cannot be ascertained because the Lebanese authorities forbade their opening; (b) Those who were buried under the ruins of houses; and (c) Those who were taken alive to an unknown destination but never returned. The bodies of some of them were found by the side of the roads leading to the south. Kapeliouk asserts that the number of victims may be 3,000 to 3,500, one-quarter of whom were Lebanese, while the remainder were Palestinians.

 

 

 

Warlord killed in Beirut car bombing

By Alan Philps, Middle East Correspondent

(Filed: 25/01/2002)

 

ELIE HOBEIKA, the former Christian Lebanese warlord accused of directing the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps, was killed by a huge car bomb explosion yesterday as he drove away from his home outside Beirut.

The list of Hobeika's enemies provided a whole menu of suspects: Israel, Syria, the Palestinians, and even his fellow Christian militiamen, who resented him for switching sides - abandoning the Israelis in favour of Syria - after the massacre.

 

The burnt-out and twisted remains of Elie Hobeika's car

The most widespread theories were that the killing was motivated by vengeance by Lebanese Christians or was an effort to stop him making disclosures about the 1982 massacre that could be damaging to the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

The size of the bomb befitted the blood-soaked career of its victim, a central figure in the 15-year Lebanese civil war which raged until 1990 amid shifting alliances and foreign invasions.

The explosives, in a parked Mercedes, demolished Hobeika's Range Rover as it drove by. Three other people in the car including two bodyguards, were killed. The immediate area was filled with wrecked cars and burning buildings.

An unknown group styling itself Lebanese for a Free and Independent Lebanon claimed responsibility for the killing. It said Hobeika was a "Syrian agent" and an "effective tool" in the hands of Syria's proconsul in Lebanon, Ghazi Kenaan, the head of military intelligence.

 

Hobeika: blood-soaked career

The Lebanese president, Emile Lahoud, blamed Israel, saying Hobeika was killed to stop him testifying at the war crimes and genocide trial in Belgium which survivors of the 1982 massacre are hoping to bring against Mr Sharon, who was then defence minister. "The killers wanted to prevent the deceased from testifying before the court in Belgium," a presidential statement said.

Hobeika - known as HK to his men - served as intelligence chief of the Christian militia which entered the two refugee camps on orders from the Israeli army to flush out Palestinian gunmen who were allegedly hiding there. Instead they killed some 700 men, women and children, according to the Israelis, or 1,500 according to the Palestinians.

An Israeli inquiry, the Kahan commission, identified Hobeika as the man who led the militiamen into the camps as Israeli troops guarded the exits and lit the area with flares. The report said Mr Sharon bore indirect responsibility for the massacre, ruling that he should have known that Lebanese militiamen, incensed by the assassination of their leader, president-elect Bashir Gemayel, would run amok.

Palestinians in Lebanon loosed off their guns to celebrate Hobeika's death. But Sultan Abul-Aynain, a Palestinian leader there, was quick to blame the Mossad, Israel's foreign intelligence service.

"Hobeika had announced that he was ready to present documents in Brussels. It is normal that Israel should assassinate him before the start of the trial of Sharon, the butcher of Sabra and Chatila," he said.

The Israeli government said it had nothing to do with the bomb. Israeli officials suggested that Syria was to blame, Hobeika having been a client of Damascus and knowing many secrets of how Syria controls the Lebanese state.

Shimon Peres, the foreign minister, said: "This is totally unfounded. We have left Lebanese territory. We don't want to play a role there any more."

One thing is certain: Hobeika had announced that he was ready to testify at the Sharon trial - if it ever takes place - in order to "clear his name". It was not clear whom he would blame, in the face of evidence from all sides that he led the militiamen in to the camps.

Josy Dubie, a Belgian senator, said Hobeika told him that he felt threatened because of the "revelations", which he insisted he was saving up for the trial.

"In whose interest was it to get rid of Hobeika? I do not have the answer. But for sure, it was in many people's interest for him not to talk," M Dubie said yesterday.

A Brussels court is to decide on March 6 whether a judicial investigation of Mr Sharon's role in the massacres can continue. His lawyer insists that Belgian courts have no jurisdiction in the case.

Warlord's trusted lieutenant assassinated

Did Jean Ghanem hold the secrets of the testimony on the 1982 Sabra and
Chatila massacre that Elie Hobeika planned to reveal about Ariel Sharon, the
Israeli Prime Minister, before Hobeika's assassination in Beirut last week?

If he did, we shall never know them – because Mr Ghanem, once Hobeika's
political deputy, died only four days before Hobeika, two weeks after a
mysterious car accident in east Beirut.

Mr Ghanem, a medical doctor who became a Phalangist party official and
served under Hobeika's ruthless command, is rumoured to have held documents
that his former boss intended to present to Belgian lawyers in their attempt
to indict Mr Sharon for his involvement in the massacre in which up to 1,700
Palestinian civilians were killed. But on New Year's Day, Mr Ghanem, who was
only 56 and with no history of heart problems, drove his car into a tree in
the suburb of Hazmieh – only a few hundred metres from the spot where
Hobeika was killed by a car bomb last week.

 

Mr Ghanem's wife was badly hurt in the crash and remains in hospital. He
died on 14 January after lying in a coma for two weeks. Hospital officials
said he had had a heart attack. But now Lebanon's judicial police plan to
ask Mrs Ghanem if she wishes to exhume her husband's body for a second
autopsy and Nabih Berri, the Lebanese parliament speaker, says that the
death of Mr Ghanem – who was also second in command of Hobeika's Al Waad
party – may be linked to Hobeika's murder.

Another of Hobeika's former militia buddies, Karim Pakradouni, who is now
head of the Phalange Party, says the same thing.

Lebanon blamed Israel for Hobeika's murder – which Mr Sharon himself denied.
An anonymous phone-caller in Cyprus claimed his killing as the work of a
supposedly anti-Syrian group that no one has ever heard of. Mr Hobeika, who
led the Phalangist killers into Sabra and Chatila, changed sides from Israel
to Syria during the civil war. But Lebanese police have now traced the car
in which the bomb was placed to Jezzine, where Israel maintained an
intelligence headquarters during the 19 years that the Christian town was
under Israeli occupation.

The car's original owner has told the police that he sold his Mercedes 280
to two unidentified men without registering the transaction; the two buyers,
he said, appeared to come from a neighbouring village. Adnan Addoum, the
Lebanese Prosecutor General, says he is prepared to open a criminal
investigation into Mr Ghanem's death if his widow agrees.

In which case we might find out if two men took the secrets of the Sabra and
Chatila massacre to their graves.

Hobeika was known to be stressed out. When attending the funeral of a friend, former MP Jean Ghanem who died from injuries received in a car crash, Hobeika was said to have told several people that Ghanem had been murdered. Now it gets interesting. Even as Hobeika’s charred remains were being swept up the Lebanese Interior Minister Elian Murr was hurriedly calling a press conference where he announced that the government, meaning Syria, had “confirmation that Israel and its agents were behind this terrorist act,” confirmation that strangely enough was never made public. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop Taylor and her journalistic ilk from implicating Israel in Hobeika’s murder.

Third former militiaman with links to Sabra and Chatila is murdered

By Robert Fisk in Beirut

11 March 2002

The secrets of the Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camp massacres in 1982 have gone to the grave with yet another former Phalangist militiaman, the third Lebanese to die mysteriously in little more than two months.

Michael Nassar, who was a former associate of Elie Hobeika – the Phalangist leader murdered in a car bombing in Beirut in January – was shot dead in Brazil by a man firing a pistol equipped with a silencer. His young wife, Marie, was shot down beside him.

A Belgian court has postponed a decision over whether to indict Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, for his role in the massacres – he was held "personally responsible" by an Israeli commission of inquiry – while lawyers for the survivors produce more evidence. But the vital evidence that may lie in the memories of those involved with the killers, who were allied to Israel at the time, is disappearing almost by the week as the death list grows.

Nassar grew immensely wealthy from the Lebanese civil war, selling former Phalangist weapons to Croatian militias during the Balkan conflict. One of his ships ended up in the hands of the Serb navy, which sent Nassar a warehouse bill after the guns were impounded. He fled Beirut in 1997 after a Lebanese court demanded he explain his wealth, put at 70m .

Nassar was apparently already worried when he pulled his car into a petrol station in the suburbs of Sao Paolo on Friday; he had used his mobile phone to tell a friend that he was being followed by men in a car. He made a second call – telling his friend that his pursuers seemed to have vanished – just before the gunman fired five bullets into his body and another seven into his wife.

Israel has denied that Hobeika, who had agreed to testify against Mr Sharon less than 24 hours before he was killed, was murdered by its own death squads. The Lebanese authorities say the opposite. Nassar – a nephew of the former general Antoine Lahd who commanded Israel's one-time proxy, the "south Lebanon army militia" – might have been the victim of a Brazilian mafia killing. Certainly, robbery was not the motive.

The first former right-wing Christian to be struck down was one of Hobeika's old colleagues, Jean Ghanem, who drove his car into a tree on New Year's Day. He died after being in a coma for two weeks. Then came Hobeika's murder and now Nassar's. Other former Phalangists live in fear of their lives, either from Israel or from Palestinians seeking revenge for the 1982 massacre in which up to 1,700 Palestinian civilians were slaughtered.

One of them recently said that dozens of Palestinians who survived the massacres were executed at a former barracks near Jounieh, north of the capital, after being held in containers for two weeks. The prisoners had been handed over to the Phalangists, he said, by Israeli troops at the ruined sports stadium in Beirut. The location of their mass grave is known to The Independent.

Also from the Independent section

Car crash adds to Lebanese suspicion of Israeli cover-up

By Robert Fisk in Beirut

01 February 2002

Did Jean Ghanem hold the secrets of the testimony on the 1982 Sabra and Chatila massacre that Elie Hobeika planned to reveal about Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, before Hobeika's assassination in Beirut last week?

If he did, we shall never know them – because Mr Ghanem, once Hobeika's political deputy, died only four days before Hobeika, two weeks after a mysterious car accident in east Beirut.

Mr Ghanem, a medical doctor who became a Phalangist party official and served under Hobeika's ruthless command, is rumoured to have held documents that his former boss intended to present to Belgian lawyers in their attempt to indict Mr Sharon for his involvement in the massacre in which up to 1,700 Palestinian civilians were killed. But on New Year's Day, Mr Ghanem, who was only 56 and with no history of heart problems, drove his car into a tree in the suburb of Hazmieh – only a few hundred metres from the spot where Hobeika was killed by a car bomb last week.

Mr Ghanem's wife was badly hurt in the crash and remains in hospital. He died on 14 January after lying in a coma for two weeks. Hospital officials said he had had a heart attack. But now Lebanon's judicial police plan to ask Mrs Ghanem if she wishes to exhume her husband's body for a second autopsy and Nabih Berri, the Lebanese parliament speaker, says that the death of Mr Ghanem – who was also second in command of Hobeika's Al Waad party – may be linked to Hobeika's murder.

Another of Hobeika's former militia buddies, Karim Pakradouni, who is now head of the Phalange Party, says the same thing.

Lebanon blamed Israel for Hobeika's murder – which Mr Sharon himself denied. An anonymous phone-caller in Cyprus claimed his killing as the work of a supposedly anti-Syrian group that no one has ever heard of. Mr Hobeika, who led the Phalangist killers into Sabra and Chatila, changed sides from Israel to Syria during the civil war. But Lebanese police have now traced the car in which the bomb was placed to Jezzine, where Israel maintained an intelligence headquarters during the 19 years that the Christian town was under Israeli occupation.

The car's original owner has told the police that he sold his Mercedes 280 to two unidentified men without registering the transaction; the two buyers, he said, appeared to come from a neighbouring village. Adnan Addoum, the Lebanese Prosecutor General, says he is prepared to open a criminal investigation into Mr Ghanem's death if his widow agrees.

In which case we might find out if two men took the secrets of the Sabra and Chatila massacre to their graves