1982 Lebanon War

1982 Lebanon War

Overview
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee ( Mivtsa Shlom HaGalil or Mivtsa Sheleg) by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 invaded southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

. The Government of Israel
Politics of Israel
The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government and leader of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Knesset. The Judiciary is independent of the executive...

 launched the military operation after the Abu Nidal Organization's assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov was a prominent Israeli diplomat. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom whose attempted assassination led to the 1982 Lebanon War.-Attempted assassination:...

.

By expelling the PLO, the removal of Syrian influence over Lebanon, and the installment of a pro-Israeli Christian government led by Bashir Gemayel, Israel hoped to sign a treaty which Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 promised would give Israel "forty years of peace."

Israel would succeed in expelling the PLO from Lebanon.
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Encyclopedia
The 1982 Lebanon War , , called Operation Peace for Galilee ( Mivtsa Shlom HaGalil or Mivtsa Sheleg) by Israel, and later known in Israel as the Lebanon War and First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces , commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal , are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel...

 invaded southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

. The Government of Israel
Politics of Israel
The Israeli system of government is based on parliamentary democracy. The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of government and leader of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the Knesset. The Judiciary is independent of the executive...

 launched the military operation after the Abu Nidal Organization's assassination attempt against Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov was a prominent Israeli diplomat. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom whose attempted assassination led to the 1982 Lebanon War.-Attempted assassination:...

.

By expelling the PLO, the removal of Syrian influence over Lebanon, and the installment of a pro-Israeli Christian government led by Bashir Gemayel, Israel hoped to sign a treaty which Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 promised would give Israel "forty years of peace."

Israel would succeed in expelling the PLO from Lebanon. After attacking the PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

, as well as Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n, leftist and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 forces, Israel occupied southern Lebanon and eventually surrounded the PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 and elements of the Syrian army
Syrian Army
The Syrian Army, officially called the Syrian Arab Army, is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the senior most posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the...

. Surrounded in West Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 and subjected to heavy bombardment, the PLO forces and their allies negotiated passage from Lebanon with the aid of Special Envoy Philip Habib
Philip Habib
Philip Charles Habib was a Lebanese-American career diplomat known for work in Vietnam, South Korea and the Middle East...

 and the protection of international peacekeepers.

However following the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, Israel's position in Beirut became untenable and the signing of a peace treaty became increasingly unlikely. Outrage following Israel's role in the Christian-led Sabra and Shatila Massacre
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

 of Palestinian refugees and Israeli popular disillusionment with the war would lead to a withdrawal from Beirut to southern Lebanon
Israeli Security Zone
The Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon was a strip of territory of varying width, , from the Israeli border and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israeli forces from 1985 to 2000. Additional regions controlled by the South Lebanon Army are sometimes included under the term...

. The Shi'a militant group Hezbollah was established in 1982 to fight the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, leading to nearly 20 years of armed conflict. The Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 would continue until 1990, at which point Syria had established complete dominance over Lebanon.

Background



With the establishment of Israel and the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanon became home to more than 110,000 Palestinian refugees after fleeing their homes in the former British Mandate of Palestine. After its founding in 1964 and the radicalization among Palestinians, which followed the Six Day War, the PLO became a powerful force, then centred in Jordan. The large influx of Palestinians from Jordan after “Black September” caused an additional demographic imbalance within Lebanese society and its democratic institutions established earlier by the National Pact
National Pact
The National Pact is an unwritten agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon as a multi-confessional state, and has shaped the country to this day. Following negotiations between the Shi'ite, Sunni, and Maronite leaderships, the National Pact was born in the summer of 1943 allowing Lebanon to...

. By 1975, the refugees numbered more than 300,000 and the PLO in effect created an unofficial state-within-a-state, particularly in Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon
Southern Lebanon is the geographical area of Lebanon comprising the South Governorate and the Nabatiye Governorate. These two entities were divided from the same province in the early 1990s...

, which then played an important role in the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

.

Operation Litani



Continual violence near the Lebanese border occurred between Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and the PLO starting from 1968; this had previously peaked during Operation Litani
Operation Litani
The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

 in 1978. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security,...

 (UNIFIL) was created after the incursion, following the adoption of Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 Resolution
United Nations Security Council Resolution
A United Nations Security Council resolution is a UN resolution adopted by the fifteen members of the Security Council; the UN body charged with "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security"....

 425
United Nations Security Council Resolution 425
United Nations Security Council Resolution 425, adopted on March 19, 1978, five days after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, called on Israel to withdraw immediately its forces from Lebanon and established the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon...

 in March 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and help the government of Lebanon restore its effective authority in the area.
With the completion of Israeli withdrawals from Sinai in March 1982, under the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, the Likud
Likud
Likud is the major center-right political party in Israel. It was founded in 1973 by Menachem Begin in an alliance with several right-wing and liberal parties. Likud's victory in the 1977 elections was a major turning point in the country's political history, marking the first time the left had...

-led government of Israel hardened its attitude to the Arab world and became more aggressive.

As early as 1976, Israel had been assisting Lebanese Christian militias in their sporadic battles against the PLO. During Operation Litani
Operation Litani
The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

 in 1978, Israel established a security zone in southern Lebanon with mostly Christian inhabitants, in which they began to supply training and arms to Christian militias which would later form the South Lebanese Army. But Israel's main partner was to be the Maronite
Maronites
Maronites , is an ethnoreligious group in the Middle East that have been historically tied with Lebanon. They derive their name from the Syriac saint Mar Maron whose followers moved to Mount Lebanon from northern Syria establishing the Maronite Church....

 Phalange party, whose paramilitary was led by Bashir Gemayel, a rising figure in Lebanese politics Gemayel's strategy during the early stages of the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 was to provoke the Syrians into retaliatory attacks on Christians, such that Israel could not ignore. In 1978, Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
' was a politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Before independence, he was the leader of the Zionist militant group Irgun, the Revisionist breakaway from the larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah. He proclaimed a revolt, on 1 February 1944,...

 declared that Israel would not allow a genocide of Lebanese Christians, while refusing direct intervention. Hundreds of Lebanese militiamen began to train in Israel, at the IDF Staff and Command College. The relationship between Israel and the Maronites began to grow into a political-strategic alliance, and members of the Israeli government like Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 began to conceive of a plan to install a pro-Israel Christian government in Lebanon, as it was known that Bashir wanted to remove the PLO and all Palestinian refugees in the country.

Precursors to war


On 10 July 1981, violence erupted in South Lebanon and Northern Israel with the rocketing of Northern Israel by thousands of PLO forces who had come to occupy Southern Lebanon. Israel renewed its air strikes in an attempt to trigger a war that would allow it to drive out the PLO and restore peace to the region. On 17 July, the Israel Air Force launched a massive attack on PLO buildings in downtown Beirut. "Perhaps as many as three hundred died, and eight hundred were wounded, the great majority of them civilians." The Israeli army also heavily targeted PLO positions in south Lebanon without success in suppressing Palestinian rocket launchers and guns. As a result, thousands of Israeli citizens who resided near the Lebanese border headed south. On 24 July 1981, United States envoy Philip Habib brokered a ceasefire badly needed by both parties. Between July 1981 and June 1982, the Lebanese-Israeli border "enjoyed a state of calm unprecedented since 1968."

US Secretary of State, Alexander Haig
Alexander Haig
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford...

 filed a report with US President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 on Saturday 30 January 1982 that revealed Secretary Haig's fear that Israel might, at the slightest provocation, start a war against Lebanon. On 21 April 1982, after a landmine killed an Israeli officer while he was visiting a South Lebanese Army gun emplacement in Taibe, Lebanon, the Israeli Air Force attacked the Palestinian-controlled coastal town of Damour
Damour
Damour is a Lebanese Christian town that is 24 kilometres south of Beirut. The name of the town is derived from the name of the Phoenician god Damoros who symbolized immortality ....

, killing 23 people. On 9 May, Israeli aircraft again attacked targets in Lebanon. Later that same day, UNIFIL observed the firing of rockets from Palestinian positions in the Tyre region into northern Israel, but none of the projectiles hit an Israeli settlement--the gunners had been ordered to miss. Major-General Erskine (Ghana), Chief of Staff of UNTSO reported to the Secretary-General
United Nations Secretary-General
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the head of the Secretariat of the United Nations, one of the principal organs of the United Nations. The Secretary-General also acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations....

 and the Security Council (S/14789, S/15194) that from August 1981 to May 1982, inclusive, there were 2096 violations of Lebanese airspace and 652 violations of Lebanese territorial waters (Chomsky, 1999, p. 195; Cobban, 1984, p. 112). There were more than 240 PLO attacks against Israeli targets, and Israel considered them violations of the ceasefire. The freedom of movement of UNIFIL personnel and UNTSO observers within the enclave remained restricted due to the actions of Amal
Amal Movement
Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

 and the South Lebanon Army
South Lebanon Army
The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

 under Major Saad Haddad
Saad Haddad
Saad Haddad was the founder and head of the South Lebanon Army . Several sources have suggested Haddad's involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982.-Lebanese Civil War:...

's leadership with the backing of Israeli military forces.

International reaction


Prior to establishing ceasefire in July 1981, U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim
Kurt Waldheim
Kurt Josef Waldheim was an Austrian diplomat and politician. Waldheim was the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1972 to 1981, and the ninth President of Austria, from 1986 to 1992...

 noted: "After several weeks of relative quiet in the area, a new cycle of violence has begun and has, in the past week, steadily intensified." He further stated: "There have been heavy civilian casualties in Lebanon; there have been civilian casualties in Israel as well. I deeply deplore the extensive human suffering caused by these developments." The President of the U.N. Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, Ide Oumarou
Ide Oumarou
Ide Oumarou was a Nigerien diplomat, government minister, and journalist. He served as ambassador to the United Nations between 1980 and 1983. He then served as the foreign minister between 1983 and 1985 and was secretary-general of the Organisation of African Unity between 1985 and 1988. He was...

 of Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

, expressed "deep concern at the extent of the loss of life and the scale of the destruction caused by the deplorable events that have been taking place for several days in Lebanon".

Secretary Haig's critics have accused him of "greenlighting" the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon in June 1982. Haig denies this and says he urged restraint. The American reaction was that they would not apply any undue pressure on Israel to quit Lebanon as the Israeli presence in Lebanon may prove to be a catalyst for the disparate groups of Lebanon to make common cause against both Syrian and Israeli forces. Haig's analysis, which Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 agreed with, was that this uniting of Lebanese groups would allow President Elias Sarkis
Elias Sarkis
Elias Sarkis was the President of the Lebanese Republic from 1976 to 1982.-Early career:Born in Shabbaniah, Sarkis graduated with a Law degree from Saint Joseph University in 1948. After joining the judicial corps in 1953, he became a judge with the Accounting Department...

 to reform the Lebanese central Government and give the Palestinian refugees Lebanese citizenship.

Israel's rationale for war


Since the ceasefire, established in July 1981, until the start of the war, Israel recorded 240 “terrorist actions” committed by the PLO against Israeli targets including the assassination of an Israeli diplomat in Paris and encounters with PLO units attempting to cross from Jordan. However, according to George Ball, the PLO had observed the ceasefire. Israel he says continued looking for the "internationally recognized provocation" that Secretary of State Alexander Haig
Alexander Haig
Alexander Meigs Haig, Jr. was a United States Army general who served as the United States Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan and White House Chief of Staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford...

 said would be necessary to obtain American support for an Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

According to Avi Shlaim
Avi Shlaim
Avi Shlaim FBA is a British/Israeli historian. He is a professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the British Academy.Shlaim is especially well known as a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict...

, the real driving force behind the Israeli invasion to Lebanon was the defense minster Ariel Sharon. One of his aims was the destruction of PLO military infrastructure in Lebanon and undermining it as a political organization, in order to facilitate the absorption of the West Bank by Israel. The second aim was the establishment of the Maronite government in Lebanon, headed by Bashir Gemayel and signing the peace treaty between two countries, the third aim was the expelling of Syrian army from Lebanon.

The military plan with the code name "Big Pines", prepared by IDF, envisaged invasion to Lebanon up to the highway Damascus-Beirut and linking with Maronite forces. It was first presented to Israeli cabinet on 20 December 1981 by Begin, but rejected by the majority of ministers. According to Avi Shlaim, Sharon and chief of staff Rafael Eitan
Rafael Eitan
Rafael "Raful" Eitan was an Israeli general, former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and later a politician, a Knesset member government minister...

, realizing that there was no chance in persuading the cabinet to approve a large-scale operation in Lebanon, adopted a different tactic and intended to implement "Operation Big Pines" in stages by manipulating enemy provocations and Israeli responses.

On 3 June 1982 Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov
Shlomo Argov was a prominent Israeli diplomat. He was the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom whose attempted assassination led to the 1982 Lebanon War.-Attempted assassination:...

 was shot and seriously wounded in London by terrorists belonging to the Abu Nidal terrorist organization. The organization was the longtime rival of PLO and its head was condemned to death by the PLO court, the British police reported that PLO leaders were on the "hit list" of the attackers.

The PLO denied complicity in the attack but Israel retaliated with punishing air and artillery strikes against PLO targets in Lebanon. Sabra and Shatila refugees camps were bombed for four hours and the local "Gaza" hospital was hit there. About 200 people were killed during these attacks. The PLO hit back firing rockets at northern Israel causing considerable damage and some loss of life. According to another source, twenty villages were targeted in Galilee and 3 Israelis were wounded.

Yasser Arafat, at that time in Saudi Arabia, told the Americans through the Saudis that he was willing to suspend cross-border shelling. But that message was disregarded by the Israeli government. President Reagan also sent a message to Begin urging him not to widen the attack.

On 4 June the Israeli cabinet authorized a large scale invasion.

Opposing forces


The 1982 Lebanon War was first a conventional war up to and including when the PLO were expelled from Beirut. The war was limited by both Israel and Syria because they were determined to isolate the fighting, not allowing it to turn into an all-out war. Israeli forces were numerically superior, allowing Israel to maintain both the initiative and an element of surprise. The Syrian Army fielded six divisions and 500 aircraft, while Israel had eleven tank divisions and eleven infantry brigades, plus 600 aircraft. There were numerous other factions involved.

PLO


Palestinian Liberation Organization forces continued to grow in Lebanon with full-time military personnel numbering around 15,000, although only 6,000 of these, including 4,500 regulars, were deployed in the south. They were armed with 80 aging tanks, many of which were no longer mobile, and 100 to 200 pieces of artillery. According to Israeli analysts Schiff
Ze'ev Schiff
Ze'ev Schiff was an Israeli journalist and military correspondent for Ha'aretz....

 and Ya'ari (1984), the PLO more than quadrupled its artillery from 80 cannons and rocket launchers in July 1981 to 250 in June 1982. The same authors also refer to Israeli intelligence estimates of the number of PLO fighters in southern Lebanon of 6,000 as "divided into three concentrations; about 1,500 south of the Litani River in the so-called Iron Triangle
Iron Triangle
-Geographical:* Iron Triangle , the name U.S. forces in the Vietnam War gave to the Communist stronghold region northwest of Saigon* Iron Triangle , used during the Korean War to describe an area in Korea bounded by Ch'orwon, Kumhwa, and Pyonggang...

 (between the villages of Kana, Dir Amas, and Juya), Tyre, and its surrounding refugee camps; another 2,500 of the Kastel Brigade in three districts between the Litani and a line running from Sidon to northeast of Nabatiye; and a third large concentration of about 1,500–2,000 men of the Karameh Brigade in the east, on the slopes of Mount Hermon".

PLO primary forces consisted of three conventional brigades each of 2,000 to 2,500 men and seven artillery battalions. Each brigade was composed of contingents of the many PLO factions. The Yarmouk Brigade was stationed along the coastal strip while the Kastel Brigade was in the south. The Karameh Brigade was stationed on the eastern slopes of Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

 in the area called Fatahland.

The PLO had around 15,000 - 18,000 fighters (of whom about 5,000-6,000 were alleged to be foreign mercenaries
Mercenary
A mercenary, is a person who takes part in an armed conflict based on the promise of material compensation rather than having a direct interest in, or a legal obligation to, the conflict itself. A non-conscript professional member of a regular army is not considered to be a mercenary although he...

 (or volunteers) from such countries as Libya, Iraq, India, Sri Lanka, Chad and Mozambique http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Lebanon_War.html) and they were disposed as follows:
  • 6,000 in the Beirut, Ba'abda and Damour area,
  • 1,500 in Sidon,
  • 1,000 between Sidon and Tyre,
  • 1,500 in Tyre,
  • 1,000 deployed from Nabatiyeh to Beaufort Castle,
  • 2,000 in Fatahland, and
  • around 1,000 in the UNIFIL Zone.


Heavy weapons consisted of about 60 T-34
T-34
The T-34 was a Soviet medium tank produced from 1940 to 1958. Although its armour and armament were surpassed by later tanks of the era, it has been often credited as the most effective, efficient and influential design of World War II...

, T54
T54
The T54 was a series of prototype American tanks of the 1950s with three different turrets, all armed with a 105mm gun, mounted on the M48 Patton chassis. The original T54 had a conventional turret with an autoloader, while the turret on T54E1 was of an oscillating design with an autoloader and the...

 and T55 tanks, most of which were dug in as pillboxes, up to 250 130mm and 155 mm artillery, many BM21 Katyusha
Katyusha
Katyusha multiple rocket launchers are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Compared to other artillery, these multiple rocket launchers deliver a devastating amount of explosives to a target area quickly, but with lower accuracy and requiring a...

 multiple rocket launchers plus heavy mortars.

Non-PLO groups


Palestinian groups in the radical Rejectionist Front
Rejectionist Front
The Rejectionist Front or Front of the Palestinian Forces Rejecting Solutions of Surrender was a political coalition formed in 1974 by radical Palestinian factions who rejected the Ten Point Program adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization in its 12th Palestinian National Congress ...

 fought on the Muslim-leftist side. While others, such as Saiqa, the Arab Liberation Front, the Palestine Liberation Army and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) were essentially mercenary armies for foreign governments (Syria, Iraq, and Libya, respectively).

Syria



The Syrian Army
Syrian Army
The Syrian Army, officially called the Syrian Arab Army, is the land force branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. It is the dominant military service of the four uniformed services, controlling the senior most posts in the armed forces, and has the greatest manpower, approximately 80 percent of the...

 deployed over 30,000 troops in Lebanon.

The largest concentration was in the Bekaa Valley where the 1st Armoured Division consisting of the 58th Mechanised and the 76th and 91st Armoured Brigades. The 62nd Independent Armored Brigade and ten commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

 battalions were also assigned to the division. Syria deployed around 400 tanks in the Bekaa Valley. 19 Surface to Air missile batteries, including SA6's, were also deployed in the Bekaa Valley.

In Beirut and the Shouf Mountains were the 85th Infantry Brigade, the PLA, As-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa
As-Sa'iqa is a Palestinian Baathist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria...

 and 20 commando battalions. Syria deployed around 200 tanks in this area. Their primary mission was to protect the Beirut-Damascus Highway, which was Syria's primary supply line in the region.

Israel



IDF forces totalled 78,000 men, 1,240 tanks and 1,500 armoured personnel carriers. IDF troops were deployed in five divisions and two reinforced brigade-size units. The IDF maintained additional forces on the Golan Heights as an area reserve. IDF forces were divided into three main axis of advances called sectors:
  • Coastal Sector, (from Rosh Hanikra north to Tyre, Sidon
    Sidon
    Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

    , Damour
    Damour
    Damour is a Lebanese Christian town that is 24 kilometres south of Beirut. The name of the town is derived from the name of the Phoenician god Damoros who symbolized immortality ....

     and Beirut.) - Forces included Division 91 with three brigades including the 211th and the Golani Brigade
    Golani Brigade
    The Golani Brigade is an Israeli infantry brigade that is subordinated to the 36th Division and traditionally associated with the Northern Command. Its symbol is a green tree on a yellow background, and its soldiers wear a brown beret. It is one of the most highly decorated infantry units in the...

    . The 35 Paratroop Brigade and the Na'hal
    Nahal
    Nahal is an Israel Defense Forces infantry brigade. Historically, it refers to a program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas...

     50th Paratroop Battalion were attached to the division as needed. The Israeli Navy provided naval interdiction, shore gunfire support and landed a mixed brigade from Division 96 at the mouth of the Awali River near Sidon. Israeli Naval commandos
    Shayetet 13
    Shayetet 13 is the elite naval commando unit of the Israeli Navy. The unit is considered one of the primary Special Forces units of the Israel Defense Forces . S'13 specializes in sea-to-land incursions, counter-terrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligence gathering, maritime hostage rescue, and...

     had landed there previously.
  • Central Sector (from Beaufort Castle
    Beaufort Castle, Lebanon
    Beaufort or Belfort The castle was named "bel fort" or "beau fort" by the Crusaders who occupied the castle in the twelfth century. Its Arabic name Qala'at ash-Shqif means Castle of the High Rock...

     to Nabatiyeh) - Jezzine
    Jezzine
    Jezzine is a town in Lebanon, located from Sidon and south of Beirut. Surrounded by mountain peaks, pine forests, and at an average altitude of 950 m , it is the main summer resort and tourist destination of South Lebanon...

     was the main objective and then on to Sidon to link up with the coastal forces. IDF forces included the Divisions 36
    36th Division (IDF)
    The Israel Defense Forces 36th Armor Division, also known as the Ga'ash Formation , is the largest regular-service armor division in the IDF. It is subordinate to the Northern Regional Command....

     and 162.
  • Eastern Sector (from Rachaiya
    Rachaya Al Foukhar
    Rachaya Al Foukhar is a Lebanese village in the district of Hasbaya in the Nabatiye Governorate in southern Lebanon. It is located on the western slopes of Mount Hermon at an altitude starting at 750 m with the highest summit being at 1,250 m.The population is Greek Orthodox.-External links:*...

     and Hasbaiya
    Hasbaya
    Hasbeya or Hasbeiya is a town in Lebanon, situated about 36 miles to the west of Damascus, at the foot of Mount Hermon, overlooking a deep amphitheatre from which a brook flows to the Hasbani. In 1911, the population was about 5000....

     thru the Bekaa Valley around Lake Qaraoun
    Lake Qaraoun
    Lake Qaraoun is an artificial lake or reservoir located in the southern region of the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon. It was created in 1959 by building a 61 m high concrete-faced rockfill dam in the middle reaches of the Litani River , near Qaraoun village...

    ) - IDF forces included Divisions 90 and 252, the Vardi Force and the Special Maneuver Force which was composed of two brigades of Infantry and paratroops who were trained for anti-tank operations. These forces were primarily used to contain the Syrians with orders not to initiate combat against them.

Armed Forces


Lebanese Army - By 1982 the Lebanese Army had largely disintegrated and what was left was a Christian-staffed force of about 10,000 men in five brigades (the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th) plus some smaller independent units. The Lebanese Army was officially neutral and followed the orders of the Lebanese government, but provided tacit and active support to the Lebanese Front. The Army had lost much of its heavy equipment due to defections of its units.

A Lebanese national army unit of 1,350 was under the operational control of the UNIFIL commander, HQ located at Arzun with sub-units attached to UNIFIL Battalions.

Security Forces


Internal Security Forces
Internal Security Forces
The Internal Security Forces – ISF or Forces de Sécurité Intérieure in French, are the national police and security force of Lebanon. Modern police were established in Lebanon in 1861, with creation of the Gendarmerie...

: the national police and security force of Lebanon.

Right wing

  • South Lebanon Army
    South Lebanon Army
    The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

    , founded in 1979 the SLA fought against both the PLO and Hezbollah. The SLA was composed of Christians, Shias and Druze from the areas that it controlled but the officers were mostly Christians.

  • Guardians of the Cedars
    Guardians of the Cedars
    The Guardians of the Cedars – GoC , also designated Gardiens du Cedre or Gardiens des Cèdres in French, are a far-right ultranationalist Lebanese party and former militia in Lebanon...

    , exclusively Maronite with strong anti-Syrian views, 3,000-6,000 uniformed militiamen armed with modern small-arms. They were backed by a mechanized force consisting of a single M50 Super Sherman
    M50 Super Sherman
    The Sherman M-50 and the Sherman M-51, both known abroad as the Super Sherman, were modified versions of the American M4 Sherman tank that served with the Israel Defense Forces from the mid-1950s to early 1980s. The M-51 was also referred to as the Isherman...

     medium tank, a few M42 Duster
    M42 Duster
    The M42 40 mm Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Gun, or "Duster," is an armored light air-defense gun built for the U.S. Army from 1952 until December 1959. Production of this vehicle was performed by the tank division of the General Motors Corporation. It used components from the M41 light tank...

    s and Chaimite V200  armoured cars backed by gun-trucks (Land-Rovers, Toyota Land Cruisers, GMC
    GMC
    GMC may refer to:* Ganglion mother cell, a cell in the developing nervous system that divides once to produce two neurons* General motion control, a field of motion control concerned with single- and multi-axis motion controllers, intelligent drives, servo and stepper motors* Generalized Method of...

     and Ford light pick-ups, plus US M35A2 2-1/2 ton cargo trucks) fitted with heavy machine guns (HMGs), recoilless rifles, and a few anti-aircraft autocannons.

Left wing

  • The Lebanese National Resistance Front forces totalled about 30,000 fighting men and women. It was the successor of the Lebanese National Movement
    Lebanese National Movement
    The Lebanese National Movement or Mouvement National Libanais in French, was a front of parties and organizations active during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War...

    .

  • The Druze
    Druze
    The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

     were initially neutral but turned against the LF when the new government attempted to force their way into Druze territory. The militia of the Progressive Socialist Party
    Progressive Socialist Party
    The Progressive Socialist Party or PSP , also known as Parti Socialiste Progressiste in French, is a political party in Lebanon. Its current leader is Walid Jumblatt...

     consisted of 10,000 to 20,000 men and boys.

  • The Kurdistan Workers' Party
    Kurdistan Workers' Party
    The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

     at the time had training camps in Lebanon, where they received support from the Syrians and the PLO. During the Israeli invasion all PKK units were ordered to fight the Israeli forces. A total of 11 PKK fighters died in the conflict.

Religious

  • The Christian Lebanese Front
    Lebanese Front
    The Lebanese Front or Front libanais in French, also known as the "Kufur Front", was a coalition of mainly Christian parties formed in 1976, during the Lebanese Civil War...

    , sometimes called the Kufur Front, was a coalition of mainly Christian parties formed in 1976, during the Lebanese Civil War. It was intended to act as a counter force to the Lebanese National Movement (LNM) of Kamal Jumblatt and others. Combined Lebanese Front forces totalled about 30,000 fighting men and women. These forces were mostly Phalangist, though there were some men from Saad Haddad
    Saad Haddad
    Saad Haddad was the founder and head of the South Lebanon Army . Several sources have suggested Haddad's involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacres in 1982.-Lebanese Civil War:...

    's "Free Lebanon forces" and other smaller right-wing militias, including al-Tanzim
    Al-Tanzim
    The Al-Tanzim, Al-Tanzym or At-Tanzim was the name of an ultra-nationalist secret military society and militia set up by right-wing Christian activists in Lebanon at the early 1970s, and which came to play an important role in the Lebanese Civil War.-Emblem:The emblem of the group, a map of Lebanon...

    .
  • Shiite organizations
    • Amal Movement
      Amal Movement
      Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

       the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement. Initially neutral. The Shia Amal guerrillas had been ordered by their leaders not to fight and to surrender their weapons if necessary.
    • Hezbollah the other Shiite militia ostensibly formed during the invasion around Beirut and backed by Iran.
    • Pasdaran - In July 1982 Iran dispatched an expeditionary force of Revolutionary Guards to Lebanon, ostensibly to fight the Israeli invaders. The approximately 650 Pasdaran established their headquarters in the city of Baalbek
      Baalbek
      Baalbek is a town in the Beqaa Valley of Lebanon, altitude , situated east of the Litani River. It is famous for its exquisitely detailed yet monumentally scaled temple ruins of the Roman period, when Baalbek, then known as Heliopolis, was one of the largest sanctuaries in the Empire...

       in the Syrian-controlled Biqa Valley where they conducted guerrilla training, disbursed military matériel and money, and disseminated propaganda.
    • The political fission that characterized Lebanese politics also afflicted the Shia movement, as groups split off from Amal. Husayn al Musawi, a former Amal lieutenant, entered into an alliance with the Revolutionary Guard and established Islamic Amal.
    • Other Shia groups included Jundallah (Soldiers of God), the Husayn Suicide Commandos, the Dawah
      Dawah
      Da‘wah or Dawah usually denotes the preaching of Islam. Da‘wah literally means "issuing a summons" or "making an invitation", being the active participle of a verb meaning variously "to summon" or "to invite"...

       (Call) Party, and the notorious Islamic Jihad Organization
      Islamic Jihad Organization
      The Islamic Jihad Organization – IJO or Organisation du Jihad Islamique in French, but best known as ‘Islamic Jihad’ for short, was a fundamentalist Shia group known for its activities in the 1980s during the Lebanese Civil War...

      , reportedly headed by Imad Mughniyyah.

Timeline



Invasion


On 6 June 1982, Israeli forces under direction of Defence Minister Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 invaded southern Lebanon in "Operation Peace for Galilee".

Course of the fighting



Israel's publicly stated objective was to push PLO
Palestine Liberation Organization
The Palestine Liberation Organization is a political and paramilitary organization which was created in 1964. It is recognized as the "sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people" by the United Nations and over 100 states with which it holds diplomatic relations, and has enjoyed...

 forces back 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) to the north. Israeli forces pushed in from Southern Lebanon in a three-pronged offensive. They captured strategic positions throughout the country, with some of the fiercest fighting taking place at Beaufort Castle
Beaufort Castle, Lebanon
Beaufort or Belfort The castle was named "bel fort" or "beau fort" by the Crusaders who occupied the castle in the twelfth century. Its Arabic name Qala'at ash-Shqif means Castle of the High Rock...

, Nabatieh, and the Syrian-held town of Jezzine
Jezzine
Jezzine is a town in Lebanon, located from Sidon and south of Beirut. Surrounded by mountain peaks, pine forests, and at an average altitude of 950 m , it is the main summer resort and tourist destination of South Lebanon...

. In an effort to establish air superiority and greater freedom of action, the Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

 launched Operation Mole Cricket 19
Operation Mole Cricket 19
Operation Mole Cricket 19 was a suppression of enemy air defenses campaign launched by the Israeli Air Force against Syrian targets on June 9, 1982, at the outset of the 1982 Lebanon War. The operation was the first time in history that a Western air force successfully destroyed a Soviet-built...

. During the course of the operation, the Israeli Air Force scored a dramatic victory over the Syrians shooting down more than 80 Syrian planes and also destroyed 30 Syrian anti-aircraft missile batteries, with no air to air losses of its own. However, one A-4 Skyhawk was lost to anti-aircraft fire on 6 June. Syria acknowledged the loss of 16 aircraft. Israeli aircraft also pounded PLO targets in Beirut, and Israeli gunboats shelled the coastal roads in order to cut PLO supply lines. Although Israeli forces managed to fight their way into the Syrian-held town of Sultan Yacoub
Sultan Yacoub
Sultan Yacoub is a Lebanese village in the eastern Beqaa Valley, about seven kilometers from the border with Syria. -Battle in the Lebanon War:...

, they became surrounded. Although they successfully broke out, Sultan Yacoub was one of the few objectives the IDF failed to take over the course of the war. The Israelis swept through Lebanon, pushing towards Beirut. To cut off any PLO retreat routes, the Israeli Navy facilitated an amphibious landing of tanks, armoured vehicles, and paratroopers north of Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

. The IDF soon reached Beirut and were determined to drive the PLO from southern Lebanon. Tyre and Sidon
Sidon
Sidon or Saïda is the third-largest city in Lebanon. It is located in the South Governorate of Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, about 40 km north of Tyre and 40 km south of the capital Beirut. In Genesis, Sidon is the son of Canaan the grandson of Noah...

 (major cities in South Lebanon, still within the 40 kilometres (24.9 mi) limit) were heavily damaged, and the Lebanese capital Beirut was shelled by Israeli artillery, and bombed by Israeli aircraft for ten weeks, killing PLO members though some civilians were also killed. Israeli troops captured Beirut Airport and several southern suburbs of the city in heavy fighting.

During the course of combat operations, the Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

 conducted successful ground attack missions against Syrian and PLO targets, with Israeli attack helicopters inflicting heavy losses on Syrian armor. Israeli jets shot down between 82 and 86 Syrian aircraft in aerial combat, without losses. A single Israeli A-4 Skyhawk and two helicopters were shot down by anti-aircraft fire and SAM missiles. This was the largest aerial combat battle of the jet age with over 150 fighters from both sides engaged. Syrian claims of aerial victories were met with skepticism even from their Soviet allies.
The Soviets were so shaken by the staggering losses sustained by their allies that they dispatched the deputy head of their air defense force to Syria to examine how the Israelis had been so dominant. The Israeli Air Force also performed ground attacks, notably destroying the majority of Syrian anti-aircraft batteries stationed in Lebanon. AH-1 Cobra
AH-1 Cobra
The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-bladed, single engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It shares a common engine, transmission and rotor system with the older UH-1 Iroquois...

 helicopter gunships were employed against Syrian armour and fortifications. IAF Cobras destroyed dozens of Syrian Armored fighting vehicles, including some of the modern Soviet T-72
T-72
The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is developed directly from Obyekt-172, and shares parallel features with the T-64A...

 main battle tank
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

s. The war also witnessed the Israeli Merkava
Merkava
The Merkava is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces. The tank began development in 1974 and was first introduced in 1978. Four main versions of the tank have been deployed. It was first used extensively in the 1982 Lebanon War...

 MBT
Main battle tank
A main battle tank , also known as a battle tank or universal tank, is a tank that fills the heavy direct fire role of many modern armies. They were originally conceived to replace the light, medium, heavy and super-heavy tanks. Development was spurred onwards in the Cold War with the development...

 make its first combat debut, squaring off against Syrian T-72
T-72
The T-72 is a Soviet-designed main battle tank that entered production in 1970. It is developed directly from Obyekt-172, and shares parallel features with the T-64A...

 tanks. During these engagements, the Merkava proved superior to the T-72 destroying a number of them without sustaining a single loss to T-72 fire. Former IAF commander, David Ivri would later recall a meeting with a high ranking member of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

, in which he was told that the dominance of Israeli and U.S. technology and tactics during the war was one of the factors that changed Soviet mind-set, leading to Glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

 and ultimately, the fall of the Soviet Union.

An agreement was reached later in 1982. More than 14,000 PLO combatants evacuated the country in August and September, supervised by the Multinational Force in Lebanon
Multinational Force in Lebanon
The Multinational Force in Lebanon was an international peacekeeping force created in 1982 and sent to Lebanon to oversee the withdrawal of the Palestine Liberation Organization...

, an international peacekeeping force with troops from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. About 6,500 Fatah fighters relocated from Beirut to Jordan, Syria, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, both North
North Yemen
North Yemen is a term currently used to designate the Yemen Arab Republic , its predecessor, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen , and their predecessors that exercised sovereignty over the territory that is now the north-western part of the state of Yemen in southern Arabia.Neither state ever...

 and South Yemen, Greece, and Tunisia—the latter of which became the new PLO headquarters. Philip Habib
Philip Habib
Philip Charles Habib was a Lebanese-American career diplomat known for work in Vietnam, South Korea and the Middle East...

, Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's envoy to Lebanon, provided an understanding (i.e., assurance) to the PLO that the Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps would not be harmed. However, the United States Marines left West Beirut two weeks before the end of their official mandate following the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing
1983 Beirut barracks bombing
The Beirut Barracks Bombing occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen...

.

Sabra and Shatila massacre


On 14 September 1982, Bachir Gemayel
Bachir Gemayel
Bachir Gemayel was a Lebanese politician, militia commander, and president-elect...

, the newly elected President of Lebanon, was assassinated by Habib Shartouni
Habib Tanious Shartouni
Habib Tanious Shartouni is known to be the assassin of the Lebanese president-elect Bachir Gemayel.-Early life:Habib Tanious Shartouni, a Maronite, was born in a small village called Shartoun in Aley Mount Lebanon...

 of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party
Syrian Social Nationalist Party
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party , is a secular nationalist political party in Lebanon and Syria. It advocates the establishment of a Syrian nation state spanning the Fertile Crescent, including present day Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait,...

. Israeli forces occupied West Beirut the next day. At that time, the Lebanese Christian Militia, also known as the Phalangists
Kataeb Party
The Lebanese Phalanges , better known in English as the Phalange , is a traditional right-wing Lebanese political party. Although it is officially secular, it is mainly supported by Maronite Christians. The party played a major role in the Lebanese War...

, were allied with Israel. The Israeli command authorized the entrance of a force of approximately 150 Phalangist fighters' into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, claiming there was a remaining force of approximately "2000 PLO terrorists" in the camps. The result was the Sabra and Shatila massacre
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

 in which at least 800 civilians were slaughtered by the Phalangists, who themselves suffered only two casualties. Meanwhile, Israeli troops surrounded the camps with tanks and checkpoints, monitoring entrances and exits. Further Israeli investigation by the Kahan Commission
Kahan Commission
The Kahan Commission , formally known as the Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, was established by the Israeli government on 28 September 1982, to investigate the Sabra and Shatila Massacre . The Kahan Commission was chaired by the President of the Supreme Court,...

 of Inquiry found that Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon is an Israeli statesman and retired general, who served as Israel’s 11th Prime Minister. He has been in a permanent vegetative state since suffering a stroke on 4 January 2006....

 bore "personal responsibility" for failing to prevent the massacre, and for failing to act once he learned that a massacre had started, and recommended that he be removed as Defence Minister and that he never hold a position in any future Israeli government. Sharon initially ignored the call to resign, but after the death of an anti-war protester following an anti-war protest, he did resign as Israel's Defence Minister, however, he remained in Begin's cabinet as a Minister without portfolio.

Casualties


It is estimated that around 17,825 Lebanese were killed during the first year of the war, with differing estimates of the proportion of civilians killed. This number of civilian casualties is not the total number of civilian casualties from 1982-2000. Beirut newspaper An Nahar estimated that 5,515 people, both military and civilian, were killed in the Beirut area alone during the conflict, while 9,797 Syrian soldiers, PLO fighters, and other forces aligned with the PLO, as well as 2,513 civilians were killed outside of the Beirut area. Approximately 675 Israeli soldiers were killed.

Samuel Katz and Lee E Russell in their book Armies in Lebanon 1982-84 puts the casualties as follows:
  • Israel - 368 dead and 2,383 wounded
  • PLO - 1,500 dead and an unknown amount wounded plus around 8,000 captured
  • Syria - 1,200 dead and around 3,000 wounded plus 296 captured
  • Lebanon - civilians 17,825 dead and around 30,000 wounded.
  • Foreigners - 1800 foreigners from 26 countries on five continents, allegedly training in the Ein el Hilweh refugee camp near Sidon, were captured.


They also state that the extensive PLO political and military infrastructure in Lebanon, which had taken 15 years to build, had been destroyed.

Lebanese estimates, compiled from International Red Cross sources and police and hospital surveys, calculated that 17,825 Lebanese had died and over 30,000 had been wounded.

The security buffer zone



In September 1982, the PLO withdrew most of its forces from Lebanon. With U.S. assistance, Israel and Lebanon reached an accord in May 1983 that set the stage to withdraw Israeli forces from Lebanon while letting them patrol a "security zone" together with the Lebanese Army.

The instruments of ratification were never exchanged, however, and in March 1984, under pressure from Syria, Lebanon cancelled the agreement.

In January 1985, Israel started to withdraw most of its troops, leaving a small residual Israeli force and an Israeli-supported militia, the South Lebanon Army
South Lebanon Army
The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

 in southern Lebanon in a "security zone
Israeli Security Zone
The Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon was a strip of territory of varying width, , from the Israeli border and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israeli forces from 1985 to 2000. Additional regions controlled by the South Lebanon Army are sometimes included under the term...

", which Israel considered a necessary buffer against attacks on its northern territory. The Israeli withdrawal to the security zone ended in June 1985. Israel withdrew fully from Lebanon in 2000.

Political results


In the voting in the Knesset
Knesset
The Knesset is the unicameral legislature of Israel, located in Givat Ram, Jerusalem.-Role in Israeli Government :The legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister , approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government...

 on the war, only Hadash
Hadash
Hadash is a Jewish and Arab socialist front of organizations that runs for the Israeli parliament. It currently has four members in the 120-seat Knesset.-Background:...

 opposed the war (and even submitted a no-confidence motion against the Israeli government). Hadash Knesset member Meir Vilner
Meir Vilner
Meir Vilner was an Israeli communist politician and Jewish leader of the Communist Party of Israel , which consisted primarily of Israeli Arabs...

 said in the Knesset plenary session that: "The government is leading Israel to an abyss. It is doing something that in the course of time might lead to crying for generations." In response, they were condemned, and calls were heard, among others from the editor of Yediot Ahronoth
Yedioth Ahronoth
Yedioth Ahronoth is a daily newspaper published in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since the 1970s, it has been the most widely circulated paper in Israel. In a TGI survey comparing the last half of 2009 with the same period in 2008, Yedioth Ahronoth retained the title of most widely read newspaper in Israel...

, to prosecute them for treason. Left-wing Knesset members, including Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni
Shulamit Aloni is an Israeli politician and left-wing activist. She is a prominent member of the Israeli peace camp, founded the Ratz party and was leader of the Meretz party and served as Minister of Education from 1992 to 1993.-Biography:...

 and Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid
Yossi Sarid is a left-wing Israeli news commentator and former politician. He served as a member of the Knesset for the Alignment, Ratz and Meretz between 1974 and 2006...

, were absent from the plenary for the vote. Even the Labour faction voted in support. By mid January 1983 Rabin was saying that the Israeli attempt to impose a peace agreement on Lebanon by the use of force was a "mistake" based upon an "illusion".

Syria backed the anti-Arafat PLO forces of Abu Musa
Said al-Muragha
Col. Sa'eed Musa al-Muragha is a Palestinian militant better known as Abu Musa.-Early years:A Palestinian refugee, Abu Musa joined the Jordanian Army in 1948 and rose to become commander of an artillery battalion in 1969. During this period he was sent to receive a military education at the...

 in the Beka valley from May 1983. When Arafat castigated the Syrian government for blocking PLO supplies in June 1983, the Syrian government declared Arafat a persona non grata on 24 June 1983.

With the withdrawal of the PLO leadership from Tripoli in December 1983 there was an Egyptian-PLO rapprochement, this was found to be encouraging by the Reagan administration but was condemned by the Israeli government.

But heavy Israeli casualties, alleged disinformation
Disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

 of Israeli government leaders and the Israeli public by Israeli military and political advocates of the campaign, and lack of clear goals led to increasing disquiet among Israelis. This culminated in a large protest rally in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, organized by the Peace Now movement, following the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

. Organizers claimed 400,000 people participated in the rally, and it became known as the "400,000 rally". Other estimates put the figure much lower, maybe reaching 100,000 Israelis but including thousands of reserve soldiers back from Lebanon, .

In 2000, when Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak is an Israeli politician who served as Prime Minister from 1999 until 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011 and holds the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Binyamin Netanyahu's government....

 was Israeli Prime Minister, Israel finally withdrew from the security zone
Israeli Security Zone
The Israeli Security Zone in southern Lebanon was a strip of territory of varying width, , from the Israeli border and the Golan Heights, occupied by Israeli forces from 1985 to 2000. Additional regions controlled by the South Lebanon Army are sometimes included under the term...

 to behind the Blue Line
Blue Line (Lebanon)
The Blue Line is a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel published by the United Nations on 7 June 2000 for the purposes of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon...

. Lebanon and Hezbollah continue to claim a small area called Shebaa Farms
Shebaa farms
The Shebaa Farms are a small uninhabited territory claimed by Lebanon, but occupied by Israel which claims they are in Syria's Golan Heights. Syrian policy is to vaguely accept the Lebanese claim, while refusing any binding demarcation until Israeli forces withdraw from the area.The United Nations...

 as Lebanese territory, but Israel insists that it is captured Syrian territory with the same status as the Golan Heights. The United Nations has not determined the final status of Shebaa Farms but has determined that Israel has complied with UNSC resolution 425. The UN Secretary-General had concluded that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425 of 1978, bringing closure to the 1982 invasion as far as the UN was concerned.

Investigation into violation of International Law


In 1982, an international commission investigated into reported violations of International Law by Israel during its invasion of the Lebanon. Chairman was Seán MacBride
Seán MacBride
Seán MacBride was an Irish government minister and prominent international politician as well as a Chief of Staff of the IRA....

, the other members were Richard Falk, Kader Asmal
Kader Asmal
Kader Asmal was a South African politician. He was a professor of human rights at the University of the Western Cape, chairman of the council of the University of the North and vice-president of the African Association of International Law. He was married to Louise Parkinson and has two sons...

, Brian Bercusson, Géraud de la Pradelle, and Stefan Wild. The commission's report concluded that "the government of Israel has committed acts of aggression contrary to international law", that the government of Israel had no valid reasons under international law for its invasion of Lebanon, and that
the Israeli authorities or forces were involved directly or indirectly in the massacres at Sabra and Shatila
Sabra and Shatila massacre
The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

.

Consequences


The 1982 Lebanon War had a number of consequences:
  • From the standpoint of the Israeli Military, the invasion removed PLO presence from Southern Lebanon and destroying its infrastructure
    Infrastructure
    Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

    , as well as increasing deterrence on other Arab anti-Israeli militant organizations. The Syrian military was weakened by combat losses, especially in the air.
  • The political vacuum resulting from the Israeli withdrawal would eventually lead to the de facto Syrian occupation of Lebanon. Syria would gain much more power over Lebanon than what it enjoyed before 1982.
  • The complete dominance of U.S. and Israeli technology and tactics over those of the Eastern Bloc
    Eastern bloc
    The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

     was said to have been a factor that hastened the demise of the Warsaw Pact
    Warsaw Pact
    The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

     and Soviet Union.
  • The failure of the larger Israeli objectives of resolving the conflict in Lebanon with a peace treaty
    May 17 Agreement
    The May 17 Agreement of 1983 was a failed U.S.-backed attempt to create peace between Lebanon and Israel during the Lebanese Civil War, after Israel invaded Lebanon and besieged Beirut in 1982...

    , of securing its hold on the West Bank
    West Bank
    The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

     by destroying effective Palestinian resistance,.
  • The Israeli-Maronite alliance dissolved, and Sharon's goal of installing a pro-Israel Christian government in Beirut was not accomplished. 850,000 Christians would emigrate during the Civil War, most of them permanently.
  • The invasion that also targeted many Shiite Lebanese, has brought about the switching of sides of Amal Movement
    Amal Movement
    Amal Movement is short for the Lebanese Resistance Detachments the acronym for which, in Arabic, is "amal", meaning "hope."Amal was founded in 1975 as the militia wing of the Movement of the Disinherited, a Shi'a political movement founded by Musa...

    , which used to fight against the PLO prior to the invasion.
  • The invasion is popularly held to be the major catalyst for the creation of the Iranian and Syrian supported Hezbollah organization, which by 1991 was the sole armed militia in Lebanon not supported by Israel and by 2000 had completely replaced the vanquished PLO in Southern Lebanon.
  • The Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction
    Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction
    The Council for Development and Reconstruction is a Lebanese governmental organisation that was established after the Lebanese civil war in order to rebuild the damaged infrastructure of the country. Find more information at ....

     estimated the cost of the damage from the invasion at 7,622,774,000 Lebanese pound
    Lebanese pound
    The Lebanese pound is the currency unit of Lebanon. It is divided into 100 piastres but inflation has eliminated the subdivisions....

    s, equivalent to US$2 billion at the time.
  • Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden
    Osama bin Laden
    Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

     said in a videotape released on the eve of the 2004 U.S. presidential elections that he was inspired to attack the buildings of the United States by the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon in which towers and buildings in Beirut were destroyed in the siege of the capital.
  • The withdrawal of the IDF back to South Lebanon in the summer of 1983, led to one of the bloodiest phases of the Lebanese war, where the Christian Militia (the Lebanese Forces
    Lebanese Forces
    The Lebanese Forces is a Lebanese political party. Founded as a militia by Bachir Gemayel during the Lebanese Civil War, the movement fought as the main militia within the Christian-dominated Lebanese Front...

    ) was left alone to defend the "Mountain" area which comprised the Aley
    Aley District
    Aley is a district in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, to the south-east of the Lebanon's capital Beirut. The capital is Aley. Aley city was previously known as the "bride of the summers" during the 1960 and 70s, when Aley and neighboring Bhamdune were attractive tourist locations for Gulf tourists and...

     and Chouf
    Chouf District
    Chouf is a historic region of Lebanon, as well as an administrative district in the governorate of Mount Lebanon....

     districts against a coalition of Druze
    Druze
    The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

     PSP
    Progressive Socialist Party
    The Progressive Socialist Party or PSP , also known as Parti Socialiste Progressiste in French, is a political party in Lebanon. Its current leader is Walid Jumblatt...

    , Palestinian PLO, Syrian Army, Lebanese Communist, and Syrian Social National Party. The result was catastrophic on the civilian population from both sides (more than 5,000 killed from both sides). The war ended after the Christian forces and civilians withdrew to the town of Deir el Kamar where they were besieged for 3 months before all hostilities ceased and they were transported to East Beirut.
  • Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon led to pressure on the Syrians to withdraw their occupation forces and this pressure intensified after the assassination of the popular Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri
    Rafik Hariri
    Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

    . On 26 April 2005 the Syrian occupation forces withdrew from Lebanon.

See also


Conflicts
  • Operation Mole Cricket 19
    Operation Mole Cricket 19
    Operation Mole Cricket 19 was a suppression of enemy air defenses campaign launched by the Israeli Air Force against Syrian targets on June 9, 1982, at the outset of the 1982 Lebanon War. The operation was the first time in history that a Western air force successfully destroyed a Soviet-built...

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

  • Sabra and Shatila massacre
    Sabra and Shatila massacre
    The Sabra and Shatila massacre took place in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut, Lebanon between September 16 and September 18, 1982, during the Lebanese civil war. Palestinian and Lebanese civilians were massacred in the camps by Christian Lebanese Phalangists while the camp...

  • Lebanese civil war
    Lebanese Civil War
    The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

  • Siege of Beirut
    Siege of Beirut
    The Siege of Beirut took place in the summer of 1982, as part of the 1982 Lebanon War, which resulted from the breakdown of the cease-fire effected by the United Nations...

  • Operation Litani
    Operation Litani
    The 1978 South Lebanon conflict was an invasion in Lebanon up to the Litani River carried out by the Israel Defense Forces in 1978. It was a military success for the Israeli Defense Forces, as PLO forces were pushed north of the river...

  • 2006 Lebanon War
  • List of modern conflicts in the Middle East


Politics
  • Palestine Liberation Army
  • UN Security Council Resolution 425
  • Golan Heights Law
    Golan Heights Law
    The Golan Heights Law is the Israeli law which applies Israel's government and laws to the Golan Heights. It was ratified by the Knesset on December 14, 1981. The law was condemned internationally and determined null and void by United Nations Security Council Resolution 497.The law was passed...



Films
  • Waltz with Bashir
    Waltz with Bashir
    Waltz with Bashir is a 2008 Israeli animated documentary film written and directed by Ari Folman. It depicts Folman in search of his lost memories from the 1982 Lebanon War....

  • Lebanon (2009 film)

External links