Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres Sued in Lebanon

Published June 12th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Lawyer Mei al-Hansa has turned to the Lebanese court with a sue, accusing Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of military crimes against Lebanon. In the action, sent to Lebanese Prosecutor General Adnan Addum, lawyer Mei al-Hansa calls Sharon and Peres "butchers of the Lebanese people.”  

Since 1948, when the state of Israel was created, to date these politicians have committed 73 crimes against Lebanon, she says, quoted by Novosti news agency.  

Particularly, Sharon and Peres are accused of aggression in June 1982, when the Israeli forces seized half of Lebanon, in September 1982 of gunning down hundreds of innocents, including children, women and old people in the Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila, killing 105 innocents in artillery pounding of the United Nations' canteen base in the settlement of Qana in southern Lebanon in 1996, according to the report.  

According to the Lebanese law, capital punishment is due for all these crimes.  

In a conversation with journalists, the Lebanese prosecutor general was quoted as saying that the action has been registered by his office and will be taken for consideration.  

Sharon was being sued in a Belgian court, holding him responsible for the 1982 massacres of 800 to 2,000 Palestinian civilians in Lebanese refugee camps, the daily Le Soir reported on June 1.  

The suit was filed under a unique 1993 law that allows Belgian courts to try persons, regardless of their nationality, for genocide and other crimes against humanity committed abroad.  

The newspaper said Belgian judicial authorities were studying whether the suit against him was admissible under terms of the law, which is currently being used to try four Rwandans in connection with the 1994 genocide in their central African country.  

The plaintiffs in the suit against Sharon are a mix of Palestinians, Lebanese, Moroccans and Belgians grouped in an ad hoc committee.  

They accuse Sharon of allowing Christian militias to slaughter between 800 and 2,000 Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps located in an area of Lebanon controlled by the Israeli military after Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon when Sharon was defense minister.  

An Israeli commission of enquiry in 1983 found Sharon indirectly responsible for the killings, a finding that forced him to resign his post.  

And the United Nations has officially classified the Sabra and Shatila killings as acts of genocide, Eric David, international law professor at the Free University of Brussels, told Le Soir.  

Last January, when he was campaigning for prime minister, Sharon expressed his regrets for the "terrible tragedy" of the 1982 massacres, but refused to apologize.  

"What it was," he said in a press interview, "was an act of killing carried out by Arab Christians against Arab Muslims."  

Arabs also blame Sharon for provoking the current Intifada or Palestinian uprising with his visit to east Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, the third holiest site in Islam, last September 28 – 


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