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Monday, November 19, 2001
summonsed to face war crimes in Belgium
BELGIAN court has summoned Israeli Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon to appear in court later this
month over his role in the 1982 massacre of
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
The civil complaint was brought by 23 victims of
the massacres or their families under a 1993
The law allows war crimes, crimes against
humanity and genocide to be tried in Belgian
courts, regardless of where they took place or the
nationality or residence of the victims or the
An estimated 800 to 1,500 Palestinian refugees
died in the Sabra and Shatila camps, massacred by
Christian militiamen after Israel's invasion of
Lebanon in 1982.
Mr Sharon was Israel's defence minister at the
He was forced to resign from the post after a
1983 Israeli investigation found him indirectly but
"personally" responsible for the deaths.
Israeli government officials say they had no
knowledge of the existence of a summons.
The Belgian grand jury will decide on November
28 whether its courts have jurisdiction in the
case. [See also the BBC
news item on this]
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Israeli leader for war crimes