a peace deal brokered with its Arab neighbor Egypt, Israel's northern
border with Lebanon remained a major trouble spot.
Palestinian Liberation Organization, which had been founded in 1964
in Beirut, continued to use Lebanon as its main base of operations against
Israel. By the early 1970s, attacks and counterattacks by the PLO across
the border prompted Israel to launch an invasion of southern Lebanon
in 1978. The United Nations reached an agreement for Israel to withdraw
and an international peacekeeping unit to monitor the area.
June 1982, Israel viewed the Syrian and PLO presence in southern Lebanon
as a threat and attacked. Yasser Arafat and PLO followers were forced
to evacuate Beirut strongholds and later reestablished their headquarters
in Tunisia. With the help of U.S. envoy Philip Habib, the international
community in August negotiated the PLO withdrawal agreement and deployed
U.S., French, and Italian forces to Beirut to facilitate the move.
war and violence continued to rage in Lebanon and key political figure,
president-elect Bachir Gemayel was assassinated before he could even
take office. The turmoil and the continued presence of PLO fighters
prompted a second Israeli invasion in September 1982. This time Israeli
forces moved all the way up to the capital of Beirut, occupying the
western half of the city.
the U.S. worked to find a settlement to the Lebanon situation, Islamic
extremists began to target American diplomats and troops. In April,
a series of suicide bombings hit the U.S. and French embassies, killing
more than 100. Despite the violence, the U.S. mediated an Israel-Lebanon
peace and withdrawal agreement in May. Israeli forces began to leave
Lebanon, but the violence did not end. In October of 1983, a suicide
car bomber destroyed the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, 241 were killed
and hundreds more injured. Much of the international community pulled
out of Lebanon within six months, including the U.S. in February.
refused to recognize the agreement and left about 40,000 troops in northern
Lebanon. Israel responded by maintaining control over a 12-mile-wide
"security zone" in southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah, an Islamic militant group that opposes Israel's presence
in Lebanon, continued to attack military posts in southern Lebanon and
northern Israel. Israeli forces continued to combat these forces for
another 22 years until Israel left southern Lebanon in January of 2000.