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Today, a Belgian appeals court will begin a hearing to decide if Prime Minister Sharon should be prosecuted for the massacre of Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982. (Belgian laws allow courts to try foreigners for war crimes committed on foreign soil.) In working on this case, the prosecution believes that it has discovered shocking new evidence of Israel's involvement.

The evidence centres on the Camille Chamoun Sports Stadium – the "Cité Sportif". Only two miles from Beirut airport, the damaged stadium was a natural holding centre for prisoners. It had been an ammunition dump for Yasser Arafat's PLO and repeatedly bombed by Israeli jets during the 1982 siege of Beirut so that its giant, smashed exterior looked like a nightmare denture. The Palestinians had earlier mined its cavernous interior, but its vast, underground storage space and athletics changing-rooms remained intact. It was a familiar landmark to all of us who lived in Beirut. At mid-morning on 18 September 1982 – about the time Sana Sersawi says she was brought to the stadium – I saw hundreds of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners, probably well over 1,000, sitting in its gloomy, dark interior, squatting in the dust, watched over by Israeli soldiers and plain-clothes Shin Beth (Israeli secret service) agents and men who I suspected were Lebanese collaborators. The men sat in silence, obviously in fear. From time to time, I noted, a few were taken away. They were put into Israeli army trucks or jeeps or Phalangist vehicles – for further "interrogation".


http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=107100
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