Flag of Lebanon
  1. Lebanon Main Page
  2. Warring Factions Within Lebanon and Regional Conflicts Make Peace Impossible
  3. Continuing Conflict with Israel Leads to the Formation of Hezbollah
  4. Israeli Attacks and Syrian Meddling Continue
  5. Syrian Occupation Ends, but Syrian Influence Continues
  6. A Failed Israeli Attack Increases Hezbollah's Power
  7. Terrorism Within Lebanon Leads to a Troubled Government
  8. Hezbollah Flexes Its Muscle and Gains a Greater Stake in the Government
  9. Pro-Western Coalition Maintains Its Majority in Parliament
  10. Lebanon Dragged into War in Syria
  11. Prime Minister Mikati Resigns
  12. Civil War in Syria Spills over into Lebanon
Continuing Conflict with Israel Leads to the Formation of Hezbollah

The second Israeli invasion came on June 6, 1982, after an assassination attempt by Palestinian terrorists on the Israeli ambassador in London. As a base of the PLO, Lebanon became the Israelis' target. Nearly 7,000 Palestinians were dispersed to other Arab nations. The violence seemed to have come to an end when, on Sept. 14, Bashir Gemayel, the 34-year-old president-elect, was killed by a bomb that destroyed the headquarters of his Christian Phalangist Party. Following his assassination, Christian militiamen massacred about 1,000 Palestinians in the Israeli-controlled Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, but Israel denied responsibility.

The massacre in the refugee camps prompted the return of a multinational peacekeeping force. Its mandate was to support the central Lebanese government, but it soon found itself drawn into the struggle for power between different Lebanese factions. The country was engulfed in chaos and instability. During their stay in Lebanon, 241 U.S. Marines and about 60 French soldiers were killed, most of them in suicide bombings of the U.S. Marine and French army compounds on Oct. 23, 1983. The multinational force withdrew in the spring of 1984. In 1985, the majority of Israeli troops withdrew from the country, but Israel left some troops along a buffer zone on the southern Lebanese border, where they engaged in ongoing skirmishes with Palestinian groups. The Palestinian terrorist group Hezbollah, or “Party of God,” was formed in the 1980s during Israel's second invasion of Lebanon. With financial backing from Iran, it has launched attacks against Israel for more than 20 years.

In July 1986, Syrian observers took up a position in Beirut to monitor a peacekeeping agreement. The agreement broke down and fighting between Shiite and Druze militia in West Beirut became so intense that Syrian troops mobilized in Feb. 1987, suppressing militia resistance. In 1991, a treaty of friendship was signed with Syria, which in effect gave Syria control over Lebanon's foreign relations. In early 1991, the Lebanese government, backed by Syria, regained control over the south and disbanded various militias, thereby ending the 16-year civil war, which had destroyed much of the infrastructure and industry of Lebanon.

Next: Israeli Attacks and Syrian Meddling Continue
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