More than half a century of Israeli wars on Lebanon

Diana Estefanía Rubio

More than half a century of Israeli wars on Lebanon

The prospect of a full-scale war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon may be inevitable, as Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza is still ongoing and as ceasefire negotiations have faltered.

Hezbollah says it won’t agree to a ceasefire on the Israel-Lebanon border before there’s one in Gaza—a prospect that looks increasingly unlikely.

Israel and Lebanon have been embroiled in a decades-long conflict, from which both sides drew lessons—particularly from their last war in 2006, six years after Israeli forces withdrew from the occupied southern Lebanon. War started in response to the killing of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two others. It killed some 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers, and ended in a draw.

In March 1978, around 25,000 Israeli troops invaded southern Lebanon in a campaign to drive the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) out. This attack was in response to PLO raids into northern Israel from their bases in southern Lebanon.

In 1982, Israel began its offensive into Lebanon. Calling this invasion "Operation Peace in Galilee," Israel invaded Lebanon up to the outskirts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

While eventually allowing the PLO to leave Lebanon, Israeli forces remained in control of south Lebanon near the border until 2000, when the troops were withdrawn after 22 years of occupation in order to end the ongoing guerilla war with Hezbollah.

In 1996, Israel mounted the 17-day “Operation Grapes of Wrath” offensive that killed more than 200 people in Lebanon, including 102 who died when Israel shelled a UN base near the south Lebanon village of Qana.

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