by Robert Fisk The Independent
Sana Sersawi speaks carefully, loudly but slowly, as she recalls the chaotic, dangerous, desperately tragic events that overwhelmed her just over 19 years ago, on 18 September 1982. As one of the survivors prepared to testify against the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon–who was then Israel’s defence minister–she stops to search her memory when she confronts the most terrible moments of her life. “The Lebanese Forces militia [Phalangists] had taken us from our homes and marched us up to the entrance to the camp where a large hole had been dug in the earth. The men were told to get into it. Then the militiamen shot a Palestinian. The women and children had climbed over bodies to reach this spot, but we were truly shocked by seeing this man killed in front of us and there was a roar of shouting and screams from the women. That’s when we heard the Israelis on loudspeakers shouting, ‘Give us the men, give us the men.’ We thought, ‘Thank God, they will save us.’” It was to prove a cruelly false hope.