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A Witness of Injustice: The Sabra & Shatila Massacres

UCLU Friends of Palestine Society

In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon as part of Operation 'Peace of Galilee', killing approximately 17,000 civilians.

When the British media broadcast the relentless bombing of Beirut by Israeli planes, Dr Swee Chai Ang, a young orthopaedic surgeon in London, responded to an urgent international appeal to treat the victims of war in Lebanon.

Resigning from her job, Dr Ang bade her husband farewell and set out on a journey to war-torn Beirut. While she was there, working in a hospital inside Sabra and Shatila refugee camp, she witnessed the horrific massacre of Palestinians that would be the catalyst for the founding of MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) in 1984.

For 40 hours between 16 and 18 September, Lebanese Phalangist militia raped, killed and injured hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilans - most of whom were women, children and the elderly - trapped inside the encircled and sealed camp.

The Israeli army had full knowledge of what was taking place, yet they never intervened. Instead, they surrounded and illuminated the camp throughout the night by flares launched into the sky from helicopters and mortars.

Refusing to leave the hospital, Dr Ang worked tirelessly to save the injured and protect her patients.

Her story will shake you to the core. 

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