Human Rights Watch issued a statement late Saturday saying it regrets that former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has died "without facing justice for his role in the massacres of hundreds and perhaps thousands of civilians by Lebanese militias in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982".
According to Almesryoon, the director of the organization's Middle East and North Africa Division, Sarah Leah Whitson, said that Sharon's passing is "a grim reminder that years of virtual impunity for rights abuses have done nothing to bring Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer." "For the thousands of victims of abuses, Sharon's passing without facing justice magnifies their tragedy", Whitson added.
Sharon died at the age of 85 on Saturday after eight years in a coma caused by a stroke he suffered at the pinnacle of his political power. He will be buried on Monday in a military funeral on his farm in southern Israel.
Meanwhile, Palestinian refugees in the Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon celebrated Sharon's death on Saturday by singing in the streets while Palestinians in the Gaza Strip handed out sweets to passers-by in celebration.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip handed out sweets to passers-by in celebration of Ariel Sharon's death.
Abu Jamal still remembers when Lebanese militiamen allied to Israel woke him and his family early one September morning more than three decades ago and dragged them out into the street.
The gunmen forced him and other Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps to line up, separated the men and women, and dragged young men from the line to be killed. Abu Jamal's son, 19 at the time, was among those they chose.
"He was in his last year of school," said Abu Jamal, who wears a button with his son's picture on his sweater and asked that his full name not be used. "He never saw his diploma."
Israeli troops did not intervene during the bloodshed, which went down as one of the worst atrocities of Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war. Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday, was defense minister at the time and many Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila still blame him for the killings.
Over three days, beginning on September 16, 1982, around 2,000 men, women and children were massacred in Sabra and Shatila on the southern outskirts of Beirut.
Some 500 more simply vanished without a trace.
Israel had invaded Lebanon three months before, and the brutal killings, the work of Israel's Lebanese Phalangist allies, were carried out as Israeli troops surrounded the camps.
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