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It was 33 years ago, in September 1982, that large numbers of Palestinians – estimates vary from 700 to a few thousand – were slaughtered in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by members of the Phalange militia amid Israeli collusion and assistance.Yaron told the Kahan commission that Hobeika himself did not go into the camps but was on the roof of the forward command post during the night. One of the Israeli soldiers who was on the roof told the commission that he heard a Phalangist officer inside the camps tell Hobeika over the radio that there were 50 women and children, and ask what should he do. Nevertheless, after the war, Hobeika was elected to Parliament for two terms and served as a government minister multiple times. His crimes – particularly his role in Sabra and Shatila – were never investigated in Lebanon or elsewhere. Hobeika is not the only one who evaded justice in Lebanon. It is too late to hold Hobeika accountable, but it is not too late to ask questions about his role and that of his men in the massacre.
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