Days of Palestine

37 Years Since Hamam Chott Massacre

Af.M | DOP -

On October 1, 1985,  Israeli occupation warplanes bombed Hamam Chott, a suburb of  Tunis, the capital city, with missiles in an attempt to eliminate the Palestinian leadership. Israeli strike massacred 50 Palestinians along with 18 Tunisians and injured 100 others. 

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 1985, a squadron of Israeli occupation warplanes_estimated between six and eight aircrafts_launched a raid on the Hammam Chott suburb.

Several structures belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) including the headquarter of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, his own house, 17 offices of the Presidential Guard Force, the (PLO) military and financial administration along with some of Abu Ammar’s staff house were demolished in less than 10 minutes in Israeli airstrikes. 

The Israeli raids were intended to target Palestine Liberation Organization headquarters after being driven out of Lebanon to Tunisia in 1982. 

The PLO headquarters were completely ruined, although Yasser Arafat, the head of the organization, was not there at the time and escaped unharmed. 

The Israeli occupation learned through its spies that the Palestinian leadership was about to host a large and important meeting in the security office in Hammam Chott at 9.30 am on Tuesday, October 1, 1985. Therefore, the Israeli occupation prepared its forces to bomb the meeting to eliminate what it could not break during the Israeli occupation and the blockade of Beirut for 88 days in the summer of 1982.

Palestine Liberation Organization leadership invited its officials and leaders in Algeria, Tunisia, and Yemen to join the meeting. On the meeting day, in the morning, Yasser Arafat was walking along the beach, and at 9:00 am his military office leader told him to postpone the meeting because a number of senior officials could not arrive in Tunisia because of flight bookings. Therefore, the meeting was delayed until the evening.

Every year, the Palestine Embassy in Tunisia lays a garland of roses at the graves of Palestinians and Tunisians killed in the Hamam Chott Massacre.

In 2020, the Medenine city Mayor, Al-Monsef bin Yamna, inaugurated a monument to the historical map of Palestine in the city center on the 35th anniversary of the Hamam Chott Massacre.