This claim appears on The New York Times:

ON the night of Sept. 16, 1982, the Israeli military allowed a right-wing Lebanese militia to enter two Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.

Also, Al Jazeera English:

Between September 16-18, 1982, in the middle of Lebanon's civil war and a few months after Israel's invasion of the country, hundreds of members of the Phalange party - a Lebanese Christian militia - in collaboration with the Israeli army, slaughtered about 2,000 Palestinian refugees, mostly women, children, and the elderly, in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp located in Beirut.

Were majority of those killed in the Sabra And Shatila Massacres women, children and the elderly?

  • Remember that PLO fighters - which may not have been all the men, but certainly some part of them - had left Lebanon a while before the massacre
    – einpoklum
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


SABRA AND SHATILA - September 1982 by Bayan Nuwayhed al-Hout lists 1,390 victims by name, sex, and, when known, age. The list starts on page 375.

Around a quarter of the victims were female, and a little under half of the victims were ages 19-50.

Ages are only available for a small fraction of the victims. On page 252 :

Unborn infants: 6 (1.40 per cent)
Infants in their first year: 18 (4.19 per cent)
Child victims aged 2–3: 13 (3.02 per cent)
Child victims aged 4–12: 58 (13.49 percent)
Victims aged 13–18: 66 (15.35 per cent)
Victims aged 19–30: 105 (24.42 per cent)
Victims aged 31–40: 47 (10.93 per cent)
Victims aged 41–50: 47 (10.93 per cent)
Victims aged 51–60: 29 (6.74 per cent)
Victims aged 61–70: 19 (4.42 per cent)
Victims over the age of 70: 22 (5.12 percent)

  • 1
    @MohammadSakibArifin Someone can still say "most of whom were women, children and the elderly" with the data I gave. Just reason to yourself: only 44% were age 19-50, and some of those were women, so the claim is true. Only the New York Times is wrong to say "nearly all", but the other two OP sources could be considered correct. The book is much more comprehensive than any newspaper article with numerous photographs of victims, names, location of death, cross checking of victim lists.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 18:11
  • 2
    @DavePhD That comment should probably be part of your answer, right now it reads like it's saying the claim is false. Also can you put any actual numbers to how many were male? Table 3 seems to say 70.47% male, 26.05% female and 3.49% unknown, and seems to be based on the same 430 people your above table is based on? Mentioning who this fraction of 430 is would help too (e.g. are they all those who were killed and have been named?) Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 13:30
  • 1
    @user568458 table 3 is only the 430 subset. There is male/female data for almost the full 1,390. I'll count if get the time. Page 291 of the book starts the discussion of men and women: "In List 1, female victims totalled 112(26.05%); in List 3, they totalled 201(22.18%)." So roughly 24% women.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 13:51
  • Thanks for the explanation. I will accept it if you add some more info. And you should point out in your answer that NYT report is lying. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 12:21
  • 1
    Are there estimates regarding the unnamed victims?
    – einpoklum
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 19:43

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