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August 27, 2001
Sabra and Shatila Commemorations

From Al-Awda


For Immediate Release


Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on its members, supporters and all people of conscience to take part in events scheduled around the globe in September to commemorate the 19th anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres. These events will draw the public's attention to the plight of Palestinian refugees, Israel's human rights abuses and the suffering it inflicts on the Palestinian people. The events will reaffirm the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return to homes and lands from which they were expelled in 1948 and thereafter. By highlighting the unity of the Palestinian people, the events are also intended to show unqualified solidarity with our people in occupied Palestine who continue to suffer human rights abuses under Israeli occupation.

Invited speakers for the forthcoming events include survivors of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, and national and international figures. In the US, commemorations have so far been scheduled in the North East (New York City), Mid-West (Chicago), northern California (San Francisco), The South (Atlanta Georgia and Austin Texas). For regular updates on regional events, please visit al-awda.org. To inform us about events in your area, please send a message to prrc-events2@mail.com

In September 1982, approximately two thousand innocent Palestinian and Lebanese men, women and children were killed in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut. These massacres were financed and supported by Israel whose military surrounded the camps and occupied Beirut at the time. Israel's current elected prime minister, Ariel Sharon, was defense minister in 1982. He was recently indicted for war crimes and genocide specifically for his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres. The ongoing Al-Aqsa Intifada began in September 2000 following Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to Islam's holiest site in Jerusalem. In the face of Israel's massacres, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and terror, the Al-Aqsa Initifada and the earlier 1987-93 uprising demonstrate the determination and resilience of the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation from occupation. They also reaffirm the inalienable right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin and to full restitution of all their destroyed and confiscated properties as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Law and by UN resolutions. Ariel Sharon is reportedly visiting New York City on September 23.


To join an Al-Awda/PRRC grassroots action committee currently mobilizing for September 22-23 events in your region please visit: www.al-awda.org/committees.htm.

To help establish Al-Awda/PRRC action committees in your area, please send a message to: prrc@mail.com indicating your location.


Groups wishing to co-sponsor the September regional events or to inquire about similar activities in their areas are requested contact us at prrc-events2@mail.com. A complete listing of organizations that have already endorsed the regional events will be published as it becomes available.


To help defray costs, please address donations to:

PRRC, The Palestine Right To Return Coalition
P.O. Box 1172
Orange, CT 06477
Web: al-awda.org

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition is the largest network of grassroots activists dedicated to Palestinian human rights. To sign Al-Awda's petition to terminate US aid to Israel go to: al-awda.org/terminate_aid_petition.htm