Lebanon Urges World to Condemn Israel over 1982 Ship Sinking

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry on Sunday called on the international community to condemn Israel for its sinking of a refugee ship off Lebanon in 1982.

“After the Israeli enemy acknowledged the crime that its forces committed off Lebanon’s northern coast in 1982, where a ship carrying refugees was sunk resulting in the death of 25 civilians, the Ministry marks this incident with a lot of grief and sadness,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The enemy’s history is known regarding the killing of civilians and the attacks on service facilities,” it added.

Rejecting Israel’s evaluation that the incident resulted from a “judgment mistake,” the Ministry said it calls on “all nations, especially the U.N. Security Council member states, to condemn Israel and issue the appropriate resolutions against it so that its crimes do not continue to enjoy impunity.”

“Lebanon, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expats as its diplomatic tool, will continue to be a fortified bulwark in the face of any Israeli attack on Lebanon and its people,” the Ministry emphasized.

Israel has officially admitted that it had sunk the Lebanese refugee ship off the coast of Tripoli in northern Lebanon in the summer of 1982, killing 25 out of 56 people on board.

The Israeli Channel 10 reported that an Israeli submarine fired missiles at the ship as part of a secret operation called by the Israeli army "Operation Dreyfus".

The Israeli channel said that a commercial ship carrying 56 Lebanese refugees to Cyprus sailed from the shores of Tripoli during the cease-fire following the Israeli invasion of Beirut, and the exit of Palestinian fighters to Tunisia under international protection.

An Israeli Navy Gal-type submarine followed the Lebanese ship about an hour after leaving Tripoli, and torpedoed the boat killing all 25 Lebanese on board.

The Israeli submarine captain claimed he thought the boat was carrying Palestine Liberation Organization fighters.

The Israeli army claimed the aim of "Operation Dreyfus" was to patrol off the coast of Tripoli to prevent Syrian naval vessels from attacking Israeli navy.

In an internal investigation that lasted about three years, the Israeli army refrained from criminalizing the operation which killed 25 civilians. It said the captain had been acting “within operational orders” describing the incident as a judgment “mistake."

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