Damour massacre
The Damour massacre took place on January 20, 1976, during the 1975–1990 Lebanese Civil War. Damour, a Maronite Christian town on the main highway south of Beirut, was attacked by Lebanese Muslim and left-wing militants of the Lebanese National Movement with help from Palestine Liberation Organisation units. Many of its people died in battle or in the massacre that followed, and the others were forced to flee.[3]
Damour massacre
Part of the Lebanese Civil War
LocationDamour, Lebanon
33°44′N 35°27′E
DateJanuary 20, 1976; 45 years ago (cc)
Attack type
Deaths150[1]-582 civilians[2]
PerpetratorsLebanese Sunni Militias, Lebanese National Movement, Palestine Liberation Organization
The Damour massacre was a response to the Karantina massacre of January 18, 1976 in which Phalangists, a predominantly-Christian right-wing militia, killed 1,000 to 1,500 people.[4][5]
The Ahrar and the Phalangist militias, based in Damour, and Dayr al Nama had blocked the coastal road leading to southern Lebanon and the Chouf, which turned them into a threat to the PLO and its leftist and nationalist allies in the Lebanese Civil War.[6]
That occurred as part of a series of events during the Lebanese Civil War in which Palestinians joined the Muslim forces,[7] in the context of the Christian-Muslim divide,[8] and soon Beirut was divided along the Green Line, with Christian enclaves to the east and Muslims to the west.[9]
On 9 January, the militias began a siege of Damour and Jiyeh.[10] Jiyeh was entered by the PLO on 17 January.[10]
It was said that Yasser Arafat wanted to execute the local PLO commanders for what they had permitted.[11]
Twenty Phalangist militiamen were executed, and civilians were lined up against a wall and sprayed with machine-gun fire.[12] Estimates of the number killed range from 100 to 500.[13][2][14] Among the killed were family members of Elie Hobeika and his fiancée.[15] After the Battle of Tel al-Zaatar later that year, the PLO resettled Palestinian refugees in Damour. After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Zaatar refugees were expelled from Damour and the original inhabitants brought back.[16]
According to Thomas L. Friedman, the Phalangist Damouri Brigade, which carried out the Sabra and Shatila massacre during the 1982 Lebanon War, sought revenge not only for the assassination of Bachir Gemayel but also for what he describes as past killings of their own people by Palestinians, including those at Damour.[17][18]
According to an eyewitness, the attack took place from the mountain behind the town. "It was an apocalypse," said Father Mansour Labaky, a Christian Maronite priest who survived the massacre. "They were coming, thousands and thousands, shouting 'Allahu Akbar! (God is great!) Let us attack them for the Arabs, let us offer a holocaust to Mohammad!", and they were slaughtering everyone in their path, men, women and children."[19][20][21][22]
The bulk of the attacking forces seems to have been composed of brigades from the Muslim Lebanese al-Murabitun militia, the Palestinian Liberation Army[23] and as-Sa'iqa, as well as other members of other groups, including Fatah. Some sources also mention the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) among the attackers. There are reports that PLO forces were additionally joined by militiamen from Syria, Jordan, Libya,[24] Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and possibly even Japanese Red Army terrorists who were then undergoing training by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Lebanon.[25]
See also
  1. ^ Hirst, David (2010). Beware of small states. Nation Books. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-571-23741-8. With Palestinian help, the Muslim/lefitsts then overran Damour, in their domain, on the coastal road a few kilometres south of the capital, sacked it, killed some 150 inhabitants, and drove out the rest.
  2. ^ a b Nisan, 2003
  3. ^ Armies in Lebanon, 1985, Osprey Publishing
  4. ^ William W. Harris (January 2006). The New Face of Lebanon: History's Revenge. Markus Wiener Publishers. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-55876-392-0. Retrieved July 27, 2013. the massacre of 1,500 Palestinians, Shi'is, and others in Karantina and Maslakh, and the revenge killings of hundreds of Christians in Damour
  5. ^ Noam Chomsky, Edward W. Said (1999) Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians South End Press, ISBN 0-89608-601-1 pp 184–185
  6. ^ Yezid Sayigh (1999) Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949–1993 Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-829643-6 p 368
  7. ^ Samuel M. Katz (1985). Armies in Lebanon. Osprey Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-85045-602-8. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Frank Brenchley (1989). Britain and the Middle East: Economic History, 1945-87. I.B.Tauris. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-870915-07-6. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  9. ^ Terry John Carter; Lara Dunston; Amelia Thomas (2008). Syria & Lebanon. Ediz. Inglese. Lonely Planet. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-74104-609-0. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Lebanon's Legacy of Political Violence: A Mapping of Serious Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lebanon, 1975-2008" (PDF). pp. 14, 15.
  11. ^ Fisk, 2001, pp. 99,
  12. ^ Fisk, 2001, pp. 99–100.
  13. ^ Randal, Jonathan (1983) ‘’The Tragedy of Lebanon. Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers and American Bunglers’’ Chatto & Windus. ISBN 0-7011-2755-4 p.90
  14. ^ Hirst, David (2010) Beware of Small States. Lebanon, battleground of the Middle East. Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-23741-8 p.111: ‘some 150’ killed
  15. ^ "Elie Hobeika". moreorless : heroes & killers of the 20th century. www.moreorless.au.com. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  16. ^ Helena Cobban (November 8, 2004). "Back to Shatila, part 2". Just World News. Just World News. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
  17. ^ Friedman, 1998, p. 161.
  18. ^ Friedman, New York Times, Sep 20, 21, 26, 27, 1982.
  19. ^ Israel undercover: secret warfare and hidden diplomacy in the Middle East By Steve Posner, ISBN 0-8156-0220-0, ISBN 978-0-8156-0220-0, p. 2
  20. ^ J. Becker: The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984, p. 124 [1] qtd in [2] [3]
  21. ^ "Articles > PLO Policy towards the Christian Community during the Civil War in Lebanon". ICT. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
  22. ^ The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984, p. 124 [4] qtd in [5] [6]
  23. ^ Some sources name the PLA's Ayn Jalout brigade armed by Egypt and the Qadisiyah brigade from Iraq. This page Archived January 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine also mentions the Yarmouk brigade, set up by Syria.
  24. ^ Brian Lee Davis (January 1, 1990). Qaddafi, Terrorism, and the Origins of the U.S. Attack on Libya. ABC-CLIO. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-275-93302-9. Retrieved July 27, 2013.
  25. ^ Nisan, 2003, p. 41.
Further reading
Becker, Jillian. (1985). The PLO: The Rise and Fall of the Palestine Liberation Organization . New York: St. Martin's Press ISBN 0-312-59379-1
External links
Last edited on 15 January 2021, at 02:09
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