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Posted on Usenet soc.culture.lebanon Tue, 06 May 1997 by Dan K Barrett
In 1948 thousands of Palestinians took refuge or were driven from
their homes during the war that followed the proclamation of the
state of Israel. Many settled in Lebanon.
In 1968, Israeli commandos blew up 13 airliners at Beirut airport Israel said the attack on Beirut airport was a reprisal for an attack in Athens by Lebanese-trained Palestinian guerrillas.
In April 1973, Israeli elite troops, including present-day FM Ehud Barak disguised as a woman, entered Beirut flats and shot dead three Palestinian guerrilla officials. Israel said those targeted played a role in a guerrilla attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics a year earlier.
In March 1978, in retaliation for the killing of more than 30 bus riders in a raid by sea-borne guerrillas near Tel Aviv, Israel attacked PLO positions in south Lebanon and occupied a 10 km (six mile)-wide strip north of the Lebanese border. About 1,500 people were killed, mostly Lebanese and Palestinian civilians. Some of the Israeli forces pulled out, but not before handing over the area Lebanon's civil war. U.N. Security Council resolution 425 ordered the Israelis to leave. They refused. The United Nations set up UNIFIL, a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to help restore Lebanese state authority down to the border. Israeli troops did not let it reach the border.
In 1981, PLO guerrillas rained Katyusha rockets into northern Israel and the border strip. Israel launched air raids on Beirut in retaliation, killing hundreds of of civilians.
In July 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon with the declared aim of routing Palestinian guerrillas. It cited as justification an attack that seriously wounded its ambassador in London. Israeli Defence Minister Ariel Sharon promised his army would stop after 40 km (25 miles) but it encircled Beirut, 40 km further north. After bombardments, PLO fighters agreed to leave the city. About 20,000 people were killed, mostly Palestinian and Lebanese civilians.
In September 1982, Israeli forces stormed west Beirut after pro-Israeli Christian leader Bashir Gemayel, who days earlier had been elected president, was assassinated. Israeli troops ringing the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila allowed revenge-seeking Christian militiamen into the shantytowns. More than 1500 of refugees were slaughtered and Israel was widely condemned.
In 1985, Bruised by world outrage and hurt by mounting guerrilla attacks by Hizbullah guerrillas, Israel, under Prime Minister Shimon Peres, pulled most of its forces out of Lebanon and set up a 15 km (nine mile) wide occupation zone to stop cross-border attacks. But its continued presence stirred the resentment of local south Lebanese. Israel then faced a more relentless resistance, Hizbullah.
In February 1992, Israeli helicopter gunships rocketed the car of Hizbollah leader Sheikh Abbas Musawi, killing him, his wife and son. Rocket attacks into northern Israel followed, then Israeli forces stormed two villages north of the occupation zone.
In July 1993, Israel unleashed "Operation Accountability," of week-long air, artillery and naval blitz in which 130 people, mostly Lebanese civilians, died and 300,000 fled their homes. This was in response to killing seven Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah resistance.
In April 11, 1996, Israel unleashed "Operation Grapes of Wrath" in which more than 170 people, mostly women and children had been killed so far, including 102 refugees shelled at a U.N. base in the south.