Hundreds more Palestinians fled from the fallen Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut on Friday (13 August), as Christian right wing forces continued moving into the devastated area.
Hundreds more Palestinians fled from the fallen Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut on Friday (13 August), as Christian right wing forces continued moving into the devastated area. Meanwhile, at a news conference called by the Palestinian Red Crescent organisation, two camp doctors claimed that Rightist forces killed 60 of their nurses after the final assault.
SYNOPSIS: Tel al-Zaatar fell to Rightist forces on Thursday (12 August) after a bitter 52-day siege. The camp had been under almost-constant bombardment until the final assault. After it was over-run, Rightists forces moved in tanks to occupy the camp and deal with pockets of Palestinian resistance.
After a siege lasting over seven weeks, the camp was shattered. In the final stages of the conflict, the International Red Cross managed to evacuate about 300 people, but the Palestinians claimed thousands more died during the siege for want of proper medical aid, and from dehydration and starvation.
Refugees were allowed through Rightist lines to Palestinian-held West Beirut, where they were met by Arab League soldiers. But even here they were greeted by the sound of gunfire.
Meanwhile, as the stragglers left the camp, the Palestinians were claiming a grim end for 60 nurses from Tel al Zaatar. They accused the Rightists of executing them as they were escorted from the camp on Thursday (12 August). The Rightists had not replied to the charge by Saturday (14 August).
Dr. Fathi Arafat (centre) of the Palestinian Red Crescent, chaired the news conference about the alleged killings. With him were the two doctors from Tel al-Zaatar, Dr. Abdul Labadi (left) and Dr. Youssef Iraki (right). They said their nurses were separated from them by Rightist gunmen when they left the camp.
Dr. Labadi said the nurses were taken aside. As the doctors were placed in the care of a Syrian officer, Dr. Arafat claimed that the nurses were killed in front of them. A statement was then read on behalf of the doctors.