Declassified Mossad document on Israeli arms sales to Lebanese militias
Here is an English translation of the Hebrew document by Mossad, which was recently declassified and published thanks to the work of attorney Eitay Mack.
I am posting this translated document exactly a week to the 40th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre by the Phalanges and under the watching eye and support of the Zionist race-state.
- At the beginning of 1976, on a very stormy and rainy night, news was received that a ship that had probably come down from Lebanon was wrecked in the middle of the sea with three passengers, three sailors on board. It was immediately captured by the IDF and it turned out that there were three Lebanese on board.
- He said that this group came to Israel with the intention of meeting the Israeli leadership to request assistance.
- We started with arms deliveries to the Lebanese. These shipments were shipments that were loaded on dormers, as they called it then, a kind of rafts that carried quantities of weapons.
- This move passed peacefully and they received the weapons. At first not the Phalanges but the Chamounites. Later we improved the performance, and that night we would arrive with two shipments, one for the Chamounites and one for the Phalanges, and in the third stage we perfected it even further and brought three shipments — one to the Chamounites, one to Bachir Gemayel and one to Amine Gemayel. We were suppliers, we sailed back and forth.
- In the 1950s in the framework of “Khalil” there was a discussion between us and the details about the need to support Christians in Lebanon. Camille Chamoun was in danger of losing his rule, he was the president at the time, and it was agreed that the Persians would send here a plane, we will load the plane with weapons, the plane will fly to Lebanon and we provided them with several shipments of weapons, to Camille Chamoun.
- When the situation in Lebanon deteriorated in 1975, Camille Chamoun was the first to contact us with a request for assistance with weapons.
- The relations with the Lebanese in those months were therefore relations of arms supply, mainly looted weapons. It was after the Yom Kippur war, among other things quite a few Russian rifles fell into our hands, Kalashnikovs and others. There were no far-reaching political discussions with the Christians then, there was no in-depth discussion with the Christians then, the formula was repeated that it was the correct formula, the formula was: we will help the Christians to help themselves. And so we acted, so we did until the summer of 1976.
- The first contact with the Christians in Lebanon with the aim of helping them, was in 1958.
- Met with and reported a rather short report, who says that he came on Chamoun’s behalf, Chamoun asks for assistance with weapons, and he also gave a list of the weapons that he requests, and of course they are willing to pay for the weapons.
- The list of weapons before us included 6,000 M-16 rifles plus a thousand bullets for each rifle, 500 grenade launchers for that rifle, a hundred 12.7 mm machine guns with 5,000 bullets per machine gun. 40 mortars 120 mm with 300 shells per mortar, 100 mortars 81 mm with 200 bombs per mortar. 200 machine guns 7.92 mm with a thousand bullets per machine gun. 30 recoilless launcher 51 mm with 300 bombs for the cannon and another 15 thousand offensive grenades and 15 thousand defensive grenades. In addition, they asked for protective vests, steel hats, binoculars, illuminating bombs etc.
- A decision was made at headquarters to provide them with the weapons for a fee. The rules for payment were that for the M-16 they would pay the cost of the weapon, for the other items that would be looted weapons, they would pay the cost of refurbishing and returning the weapons to use.
- These first procedures, of going back and forth, lasted about a month until we arrived at the first shipment of weapons, which was carried out in the first half of November 1975. Up to this point, in fact, all contacts were only with the people of Chamoun.
- The first shipment went out in the middle of November 1975, after a group of orders at the naval base and after they had prepared the weapons.
- The meeting was perfectly fine — we shook hands, we received an envelope with money, we counted the money, and then the navy men helped them disconnect the barge and harness it to their ship.
- In the first stage, our relationship was only with the Chamounites and only to them we supplied. Although Dany Chamoun, to whom the connection actually passed, said that they cooperated with the phalanges and with two other militant movements that were among the Christians at the time. One was “Al-Tanzim”, which was an organization led by Georges Adwan, and another movement was “The Cedars”, with Etienne Saqr as their leader. They established a joint coordination committee for all the organizations and all the weapons were divided equally between them.
- In June 1976, it was decided to send a delegation that consisted of a representative of the Mossad and representatives of Military Intelligence Research and General Staff Operations to study firsthand what is happening in the war there among these communities. Fuad [Ben-Eliezer] was sent as representative of the IDF, as a military adviser, and the lieutenant colonel at the time, Amos Gilboa, was a representative of Military Intelligence Research.
- During the three days we were in Lebanon, we visited the headquarters of the Phalanges and the Chamounites. He held a reception and invited Lebanese personalities to it, among them was Frangieh’s son, Tony Frangieh, who shortly after was murdered by the Phalanges. We had another meeting with Bachir Gemayel at his parents’ house in the village, where we had lunch and while eating our hearts out, Amine Gemayel appeared in uniform from the front, and said that he came from the war from the refugee camp at Tel al-Zaatar, after all, that’s when they finished occupying this camp. By the way, Amine was very reserved with us, he barely agreed to shake our hands when we were sitting there, then later he agreed and told a little about the experiences of the battle.
- It is important to say that the IDF included Fuad [Ben-Eliezer] in all these meetings as his representative, and it was the first time that the IDF got in contact with the Christians, and this has significance later when the war broke out.
- I think it is important to deal with the Lebanese issue today in an attempt to understand what Lebanon is, what Lebanon was when the “new” Middle East was created in general, not recently but when the Sykes-Picot agreement was signed between the British and the French and they decided on the division of the Middle East, and decided that Lebanon would be part of Syria, and since then Syria looks at Lebanon as being part of it — it has never been a state and it will never be a state. Lebanon was and will remain a country that is not a country, there is no government there, as there wasn’t in the past, that can be dealt with and lead to the taking of political responsibility of one kind or another.
- The preparations for the war started a long time in advance, at least two years ahead if not more. Here it is also worth mentioning the process of taking decisions, how things grew in preparation for this war. First of all, in Lebanon they established “Fatahland” after the organization was expelled from Jordan in the well-known “Black September” and established itself in southern Lebanon, and it was really terrible for the northern settlements to endure the Fatah attacks from there. There were several attempts to eliminate this phenomenon, one of the last major operations was Operation Litany in 1978, but it did not help. Then the struggle continued, and the inhabitants of the north continued to be relentlessly attacked.
- The Mossad assumed responsibility [for the meetings] since the first meetings of 1976 onwards, on the basis of Israel’s policy to help the Christians as discussed here in great detail, and of course we need to help the IDF in its preparations.
- Arik Sharon asked to travel in January 1982 to meet the Christian leadership — Chamoun, Pierre Gemayel and his whole gang. And then they argued against Arik that he had led to war by deceit, and then Arik Sharon, in the same discussion, told Pierre Gemayel who was then the president, the main leader of the Christians in Lebanon: “We are embarking on a full-scale war, and it is fitting that as a result of it there will also be a change in the relationship between Lebanon and Israel.” Then Pierre Gemayel told him: “Honorable Minister, you must understand, we Christians in Lebanon must maintain a bridge to the Arab world.”
- After the Zahle affair, this terrible bloodshed, a meeting at the Vatican at the request of the Christians, because in light of the continued massacre and this reality that Christians continue to be slaughtered, we had some sympathy with them. I met with the Vatican’s foreign minister, trying to explain to him: “Help the Christians, protect the Christians in the Middle East”. Of course, we didn’t always see the interests correctly, and the church, with all the importance it gives to Christians in the Middle East, also had to maintain contact with the Arab world because that’s where the Christian minorities should continue to live.
- An important issue that was dealt with was the coordination of various courses. At a certain point, the Lebanese began to send people to many courses in Israel. A partial list — there was a course of one month, seven of the senior staff members of the Lebanese forces sat a month and learned how to organize an army. There was an armor course, there was a parachuting course, there was a course for maintenance officers, there was a computer course for intelligence purposes, there was a research course, several research seminars were held on the subject of counter terrorism in Syria, meaning there was a lot of activity here in the field as well as at the headquarters.
- Preparations for war began in the middle of 1981. They entered a faster pace towards the end of the year.
- The Mossad and its ties with the Lebanese must have been used as a tool by Israel — here we have the Lebanese to do what we want them to do, and we bring this policy to the attention of the state authorities. This is the property we have, now tell us what to do with it. Since the country is not so organized in making decisions, the one who told us what to do with the property was not [Menachem] Begin and the government, but the military personnel.
- As early as 1975, the army established direct contact with the Christians. The first mission was in cooperation with Fuad [Ben-Eliezer], it was not an intelligence connection, it was a military connection, and from then on the army had connections with the Christians. And when preparations were made for war, the army was all over [/attacked?] the Christians, we had no ability to criticize it.
- Everyone talked to everyone.
- I understand that this was Israel’s most planned war, because division commanders arrived at the field, saw where they were going to fight, and more. Why didn’t the military intelligence say that this was a war based on understanding the Shiites in Lebanon, of the relationship between the Shiites [there] and Shiites in Iraq and in the Shah’s Iran? In the period of the Shah, it seems to me that one of the most prominent Shia leaders was sent to Lebanon against the background of our wars in Lebanon, not this war but all of the operations. It seems to me that among other things he came [to Lebanon] to find the disappeared Shia leader. That is — we did not give importance to such a developments and went with the Christians.
For more context read ‘Israel’s Most Planned War’: Historical Mossad File Details Lebanon Policy here: https://archive.ph/1wbmz