MAP stands in solidarity with survivors of Sabra and Shatila in their pursuit of justice and rights

Today, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) marks the solemn 41st anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon. This tragic event continues to cast a long shadow over the Palestinian people, and highlights the urgent need for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to finally be granted their full rights to health and dignity.

The massacre, which unfolded between 16 and 18 September 1982, remains a stark testament to the immense suffering endured by Palestinian refugees. Over these three dark days, hundreds of unarmed Palestinian and other civilians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camp were killed and injured by Lebanese Phalangist militants. The Israeli army, which invaded Lebanon earlier that year and had surrounded the camp, had full knowledge of what was taking place inside, yet never intervened.

As we commemorate this tragedy, we urge the international community to support the families of those affected to attain justice and accountability.

A situation of permanent instability and humanitarian crisis continues to blight the lives of Palestinian refugees across Lebanon, 75 years after their forced exile began. Living conditions have worsened in all Palestinian refugee camps since the beginning of Lebanon’s worst-ever economic crisis in 2019. In recent weeks, this dire situation has been further exacerbated for residents of the southern refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh by violent clashes between armed Palestinian factions.

When the violence broke out in July, thousands of refugees were forced to flee their homes and there was extensive destruction to homes. Following the repeated failure of ceasefire agreements, clashes resumed on the evening of 7 September, once again putting the lives of civilians at risk.

In response, MAP’s team of community midwives have been working to ensure that displaced families sheltering in the areas surrounding Ein el-Hilweh receive the care they need. Our partners – including Nabaa, the Solidarity Association, and Association Najdeh – have also provided psychosocial support to children and their families amid the trauma they are experiencing.

“From the horrors of 1982 to the crises of today, MAP has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing vital healthcare to Palestinian refugees in need,” said Wafa Dakwar, MAP’s Senior Programme Manager in Lebanon. “Equally important is our long-standing dedication to speaking out in support of justice for Palestinians in Lebanon and across the region whose rights have been denied for so long.”

As MAP approaches the 40th anniversary of its founding in 2024, we will continue to strive for a future where every Palestinian has an effective, sustainable and locally-led system of healthcare and the full realisation of their rights to health and dignity.

Together we must stand with Palestinians young and old, and help them build the brighter future they deserve. They cannot afford to wait any longer. Please add your voice to our Generation Palestine campaign today.

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Photo: Lebanese fruit and vegetables on sale at the entrance to Shatila refugee camp, Beirut, 30 August 2022. (Credit: Elizabeth Fitt).

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