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Sharon's death sparks joy in Sabra, Shatila refugee camps
Published Sunday 12/01/2014 (updated) 14/01/2014 10:21
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Palestinian refugees living in the Shatila refugee camp in the Lebanese
capital of Beirut hand out sweets as they celebrate following the news
of the death of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon, on Jan. 11, 2014M
(AFP/Anwar Amro)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- Adel Makki rushed into the street in Beirut's Shatila Palestinian refugee camp Saturday to hand out sweets when he learned of the death of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli leader Palestinians blame for a massacre of hundreds there and in the nearby Sabra camp.

"I was relieved when I found out that Sharon was dead. I think the (eight) years he spent in a coma were punishment from God for the crimes he committed," Makki, age 19, told AFP.

Over three days, beginning on September 16, 1982, hundreds of men, women and children were massacred in Sabra and Shatila on the southern outskirts of Beirut.

Some 500 more simply vanished without a trace, among them Makki's uncle.

Israel had invaded Lebanon three months before, and the brutal killings, the work of Israel's Lebanese Phalangist allies, were carried out as Israeli troops surrounded the camps.

Sharon, who was defense minister at the time, was forced to resign after an Israeli commission of inquiry found he had been "indirectly responsible" for the massacres.

Ten-year-old Ahmad Khodr al-Gosh said Saturday: "I took a piece of candy because the assassin is dead. He killed hundreds of women and children. We are now relieved."

The narrow alleyways of the impoverished Shatila camp came to life when the news broke.

People poured out of their miserable dwellings to celebrate the passing of Sharon, who died Saturday in a hospital near Tel Aviv after spending eight years in a coma.

"You want to know how I feel? I want to sing and play music, that is how," said Umm Ali, a 65-year-old woman clad in black whose brother Mohammad died in the massacre.

"I would have liked so much to stab him to death. He would have suffered more," she said of Sharon, as she walked slowly, linking arms with a young relative.

Many residents of Sabra and Shatila said Sharon should have been prosecuted, echoing the statements of many compatriots in the Palestinian territories and rights watchdogs.

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

Shopkeeper Mirvat al-Amine agreed that Sharon should have been put on trial but she is also confident that he will meet divine justice.

"Of course I am happy that he is dead. I would have liked to see him go on trial before the entire world for his crimes but there is divine justice and he cannot escape that.

"The tribunal of God is more severe than any court down here," she said.

Outside the shop Magida, aged 40, says she is still haunted by memories of the massacre.

She and her family had fled Shatila just before the killings after sensing that something was not right, she said.

They sought shelter in an adjacent park and waited.

"A neighbor joined us, her dress was covered in blood. She told us that people were being massacred in the streets," said Magida.

"At first we could not believe it but later we began hearing screams, we heard people begging their assassins to spare them."

When Adnan al-Moqdad heard the news about Sharon, he went to the cemetery in Sabra to pray for the soul of his mother and father, killed in the massacre.

The Moqdads were Lebanese but like many impoverished families had their home in the sprawling camps.

"How can anyone forget the massacre," he asked. "Sharon is responsible. God is Great and he made him suffer to the end of his days and he will make his suffer after his death."
1 ) Rami / Palestine
12/01/2014 12:13
Kul 3am antu b'khair! It is a joyous day indeed!

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 13:10
It'll be interesting to see if any Zionists are warped enough to object.

3 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
12/01/2014 15:09
Object to what, Colin? That others delight in his death? Naw, we're used to various (but not all) Arab and Muslim populations dancing in the streets when Jews or Americans are killed, so why is this any different? You are one weird Yank. What drives you to spend so much time on a website 8000 miles from your home in occupied Amerika? What makes you love the Arab-Israeli conflict so much that you seem to spend all your time on Maannews.net? You bored with your own occupation?

4 ) JoeUSA / USA
12/01/2014 17:43
Death is not a punishment. We are all going to die. Nobody is "gloating" in this evil man's death. It is very understandable that people are joyful in the fact that this evil Sharon can harm nobody else anymore.

5 ) Rabiah / Gaza
12/01/2014 20:33
@1) Rami - Wa entum. - Yes, we are all going to die, & be judged by the Almighty for our actions. I think JoeUSA (4) has summed it up well. However those who fete Sharon & yet condemn Palestinian resistance movements, they would do well to look at Sharon's own rise; from a member of the feared Haganah, which was responsible for the death of nearly one hundred people in the King David Hotel in 1946, to Isreali Prime Minister. Such people either rewrite history, or have two sets of values.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 22:22
To Brian Cohen #3: 'Naw, we're used to various (but not all) Arab and Muslim populations dancing in the streets when Jews or Americans are killed, so why is this any different? ' It's different because even by Zionist standards, Sharon was an especially vicious killer, and these are some of the very people he exercised his singularly murderous talents against.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 22:26
To Brain Cohen #3: 'You are one weird Yank. What drives you to spend so much time on a website..? to spend all your time on Maannews.net? What makes you love the Arab-Israeli conflict so much...' Thank you for asking, Brian. What makes me concern myself with Israel is that Israel is an especially evil crime, and more to the point, it is an especially evil crime that can only happen because my country supports it. Therefore, it is to some extent my crime. I should do what I can to stop it.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
12/01/2014 22:29
To Brain Cohen #3: What you're saying here lends a whole new meaning to 'give us the tools and we'll do the job.' What you WANT is unparalleled quantities of US aid and unqualified US support -- but please, no comments about the crimes you commit with all that money. Just shaddup, hand over the dough, and let us kill -- have I got that right?

9 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
13/01/2014 10:27
Funny how Arabs totally ignore that they were slaughtered by their own people. Blaming Sharon is a fantasy. Arabs killed Arabs as they always have. Just another excuse for Jew Hatred. Rabia: The King David Hotel was British Military HQ, not a civilain target and it was NOT Haganah. It was Irgun.

10 ) real / deal
13/01/2014 18:51
#9,ever hear of ss patria or ss struma... look it up.. zionist(khzars) kill jews alot more than you decribe in your non factual post..

11 ) Outlier / USA
13/01/2014 21:04
The joy will be short lived. Their bitterness will be everlasting. They will remain refugees.
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