Cleveland Chapter 18 pg. 372 – 376

First Phase of the Lebanese Civil War 1975 - 1976

  1. The Palestine/Israel conflict lasted 15 years total
  2. Black September: Palestinian commando organizations moved into southern Lebanon which resulted in more than 300,000 refugees.
  3. After, South Lebanon became a Haven for guerilla groups and these groups launched attacks on Israel
  4. To retaliate, Israel would bomb the border of Lebanon.
  5. This caused most of the Shi’ia Muslims in Southern Lebanon to move into Beirut

There was a dilemma over whether Lebanon should support the PLO’s terror attacks or help the Lebanese themselves?
Alienated Muslims welcomed Palestinians and by the early 1970s, Beirut was surrounded by a poverty belt of about 500,000 people

Sulayman Frangieh

  • President who abandoned reformist programs and reverted to nepotism
  • He distributed power among religions
  • Shi’ia Muslims were recognized as the largest single religious group and they asserted sectarian majority and demanded share of political and economic funds
  • Christians were not inclined to allow the Muslims representation and because of this, Muslims sided with Palestinians

Kamal Jumblatt – 1969

  • This man created loose coalition of Muslims which was called the Lebanese National Movement or the LMN
  • He was committed to administrative reform and recognized the new demographic change that had taken place since the 1932 census
  • He created a confessional Democracy which is Government based on religion
  • He supported political equality and freedom for PLO et al
  • Maronite leaders were very opposed to him.

Arms procurement

  • To stop the Palestinian guerrillas, Christian militias began a whole-scale initiative to secure armaments
  • In response, the PLO did the same
  • By 1975 all factions were significantly armed
  • Maronites eventually accepted a cease-fire from June – end of year


  • This group began fighting the LMN in wealthy parts of Beirut
  • They formed the Lebanese Front and laid siege to Pales, a refugee camp

The Lebanese army soon dispersed into religious affiliations

  1. April-Jnue 1976: Phalange attacks bus of Palestinians, and kicks off PLO and Maronite combat
  2. May 1976: President al-Asad of Syria sent army into Lebanon to rescue Christian militias
  3. Against PLO and LNM
  4. Oct 1976: PLO accepted a cease-fire
  5. Syrian army remained in Lebanon as “deterrent force”