Twenty-nine Congressmen have urged President Amin Gemayel of Lebanon to complete Lebanon’s investigation into the massacres of Palestinians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila near Beirut last September.
“We are profoundly disturbed by what appears to Americans to be a lack of diligence in determining responsibility for the attacks on the refugee camps and bringing the actual perpetrators to justice,” the Congressmen said in a letter to Gemayel today. The letter was drafted by Reps. Henry Waxman (D. Cal.) and Mary Rose Oakar (D. Ohio).
“The government and people of Israel fulfilled their obligations through the exhaustive investigation by a commission of inquiry,” Waxman said. “Israeli political and military leaders were identified and punished for their indirect responsibility.” He added that, although the Lebanese government announced the investigation, “we have no signs of that inquiry.”
In the letter, the Congressmen noted that “each of us is deeply committed to the establishment of a truly independent and sovereign Lebanon. We support America’s role in the multinational peace-keeping force. We support Ambassador Philip Habib’s efforts to rid Lebanon of all foreign troops and terrorist groups.
“We support American help in reconstructing Lebanon. We support — and applaud — your efforts to unite your country and to provide for the safety of its citizens.”
But the Congressmen warned that they “are concerned that all these extraordinary efforts will be hindered as long as those responsible for the terror at Sabra and Shatila are unpunished and left free to strike at whomever they may choose.” They added that “the new Lebanon should begin with answers to the terrible questions posed by the brutal murders of hundreds of innocent civilians.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.