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Sharon Died Without Being Prosecuted for his War Crimes

By Human Rights Watch

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, January 13, 2014



 Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon died without facing justice for his role in the 1982 massacres which claimed the lives of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The organization said on Sunday that Sharon also escaped accountability for other violations, including his expansion of settlements in the occupied Palestinian lands, which is considered a war crime.

"It's a shame that Sharon has gone to his grave without facing justice for his role in Sabra and Shatila and other abuses," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch said.

"His passing is another grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer," Whitson added.

According to a press release posted on its website, HRW said that "Sharon, as Israelís defense minister in 1982, had overall responsibility for the Israel defense forces, which controlled the area of the Sabra and Shatila camps. An Israeli commission of inquiry found that he bore 'personal responsibility' for the massacre and that he decided Phalangist militias should be sent into the camps from September 16 to 18, despite the risk that they would massacre the civilian population there."

The militias killed between 700 and 800 people, according to Israeli military intelligence estimates; other estimates were much higher. The dead included infants, children, pregnant women, and elderly people. Some of the bodies were found to have been mutilated, according to HRW.

"Sharon long promoted establishing unlawful Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. In 2005 he ordered Israelís withdrawal of nearly 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip and the evacuation of four West Bank settlements, but during his term as prime minister, the number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, increased from roughly 388,000 to 461,000."

"A West Bank separation barrier that he approved in 2002 was largely built inside the West Bank, contrary to international humanitarian law, encompassing many settlements on the Israeli side.  Since 2003, the Israeli military has subjected thousands of Palestinians who live in areas of the West Bank between the barrier and the 1967 armistice line (the Green Line) to severe, discriminatory restrictions on their freedom of movement, with devastating economic and social consequences."





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