ISRAEL has officially admitted that its military ordered a deadly attack on a Lebanese ship carrying refugees during the regime’s invasion of the country more than three decades ago.
An Israeli submarine fired missiles at the refugee ship in northern Lebanon in the summer of 1982, killing 25 refugees and foreign workers on board, the Israeli Channel 10 reported on Thursday, after the regime lifted a 36-year-old gag order on the incident.
The report said that the commercial ship, carrying dozens of Lebanese refugees to Cyprus, apparently tried to take advantage of a brief ceasefire and flee the area. But an Israeli Navy Gal-type submarine, which was following the ship for about an hour after leaving Tripoli, said the report, had fired torpedoes at the boat and killed the refugees and foreign workers.
It alleged that the submarine’s captain, identified as Maj. A, had mistakenly ordered the attack because he was convinced that the ship was carrying Palestinian fighters. Ten years later, Israel said it had launched an investigation into the incident. The probe, however, ruled that the captain had made a mistake, but that he was within his operational orders.
The Palestinians and the Lebanese never realised that the boat was sunk by Israel.
The Israeli regime has waged three wars on Lebanon – in 1982, 2000, and 2006. It has also carried out assassinations in the Lebanese territory.
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, which was founded in the 1980s following the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern Lebanon, has since helped the army defend Lebanon both in the face of foreign aggression, including in the 2000 and 2006 wars, and against terrorism. Lebanon and Israel are technically at war due to the latter’s occupation of the country’s Shebaa Farms since 1967.