Cleveland Chapter 18 pg. 376 – 382

1982 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon

June 1982
Israel’s longest and most controversial war
3 months
Israeli Defense Forces
Engaged units of PLO
Beirut under siege
Civilian deaths

Menachem Begin
Goal of annexing West Bank
If Israel could drive PLO from Lebanon – Palestinians in West Bank would be isolated
Lebanese government weakening control
Allowed PLO to gain autonomy in a belt = West Beirut to Israeli border
1978 Invasion
25,000 Israeli troops entered Lebanon
UN and United States pressured Israel to withdraw
Thousands of mainly Shi’a refugees
Two lessons:
1. PLO guerrillas could not be eliminated by military action in southern Lebanon alone
2. influence of Palestinians on Lebanese affairs was directly tied to Lebanon’s political stability

The Plan – Begin and Minister of Defense Sharon
3 Main objectives:
1. destruction of PLO as a fighting force
2. withdrawal of Syrian troops in Lebanon
3. forge an alliance with dominant Maronite faction (led by Bashir Gemayel)
Bashir Gemayel
Son of Pierre – founder of Phalange
Commander of Lebanese Forces – mix of Christian militias
Launched a series of campaigns in 1970s and 80s to bring all militias under his control
Disliked PLO and Syrian presence in Lebanon

“Peace for Galilee”
Israel’s response to series of PLO mortar and rocket attacks against Galilee settlements (northern Israel)
Purpose: to destroy PLO bases in southern Lebanon
Destroy PLO infrastructure in West Beirut
Ensure election of Bashir as president of Lebanon
Summer 1982
Beirut under siege
Civilians subjected to intense air, sea and land bombardments
Mediation*
Called for multinational force headed by France and US
Evacuation of PLO fighters
Guaranteed safety for Palestinian civilians left behind
US forces withdrew by Sept. 1; agreement signed Aug. 18

*mediation was pushed by mounting domestic criticism in Israel and deteriorating conditions in West Beirut

Bashir assassinated
2 weeks after elected President
Israel sent army into West Beirut
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps
units of Phalange massacred over 1,000 Palestinian men, women and children

Kahan Commission
International, domestic criticism
Created to investigate events at Sabra and Shatila
Singled out Sharon’s role – forced to resign
Minister Begin’s reputation was ruined – resigned in 1983
Disillusioned by failures and high casualty rates of Israeli soldiers

Effect of Lebanon war on PLO
Headquarters moved to Tunis
Organization less cohesive and more vulnerable from Arab state pressures

Partial Israeli withdrawal
1983 – 1985
New President Amin Gemayel faced armed opposition from Druze and Shi’a
Turned to Syria for help
PLO returned to Lebanon

Aftermath of invasion
Lebanon suffered from violence and governmental paralysis
PLO reestablished presence
Muslim and Christian militia combat
Shi’a community rallied behind Amal and Hizbollah
Achievement of political and religious goals
Hizbollah operating on funds from Iran
40,000 Syrian troops installed

Essential Problem in Lebanon
Power given to religious groups that no longer reflected country’s demographic
Failure to agree on political reforms

Taif Accord of 1989
Lebanon’s politicians brought together under Arab League
Taif, Saudi Arabia

Transfer of some power of the Presidency to the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Less power to Maronite Prez and more to Muslim PM
Equal number of seats in Parliament for Christians and Muslims
Affirmed religious identity as core of Lebanese politics
Acknowledged existence of relationship between L and Syria
Extension of Beirut government over entire country
Made possible by aid from Syrian militias
Caused Maronites to resist Accor

Aoun rebellion
Proclaimed a war of liberation against Syrian presence in Lebanon
2 years
Artillery battles in Beirut = heavy civilian casualties
Ended by Syrian air and ground forces attack in Beirut – October 1990
World attention focused on Iraq invasion of Kuwait

Postwar reconstruction
President Ilyas Hrawi
Demilitarization of militias
Reinstatement of authority of Lebanese army
2 problems:
1. civil war had deepened sectarian identities
2. Israel still occupied sections of south Lebanon and thus Amal and Hizbollah would not voluntarily give up weapons