Remembering the victims of a war crime and tragedy

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Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are often referred to as the ‘forgotten refugees’. Despite there being almost 400,000 refugees in Lebanon, their difficulties and struggles are poorly understood and overlooked when compared to the occupied territories.

Refugees in Lebanon are denied basic political, civil, economic and social rights. The story of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon is marred by violence, deprivation and tragedy.

One such chapter is the massacre at Sabra and Shatila in 1982. It has been 39 years since the massacre, in which Christian Phalangist militiamen, with complicit support from occupying Israeli forces, attacked men, women and children in Sabra and Shatila. An estimated 3000 people were brutally murdered, raped and mutilated. Many men were kidnapped and disappeared whilst survivors were left traumatised and terrified of further violence.

The victims of the massacre have never received justice. They have had to endure life in the camp, further violence during the Civil War and even a siege of the camp in 1985. Living in Shatila remains fraught with danger, trauma and difficulty. As we remember the victims of the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, we must also remember those who continue to struggle in the refugee camps today. The ongoing trauma and misery of refugees in Lebanon needs to be recognised and steps taken to ensure they can live in safety and dignity.

Lebanon is facing not only the Covid 19 pandemic but also a major economic crisis and political instability that increases tension within communities.

The economic crisis in Lebanon has left millions struggling with food insecurity, impacted the supply for vital medications and fuel as well as causing a health sector crisis. The situation is only worsening and refugees are particularly vulnerable right now. Interpal aims to continue supporting Palestinian (and Syrian) refugees by utlising its networks and expertise during these times with your help.

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