July - An armistice is signed at Acre after French and British forces defeat the Vichy government in Lebanon. [6]

November - After considerable national and international pressure, France declares Lebanon independent. [6]


September - Bishara al Khuri is elected as Lebanon's first president. [6]

November - The Lebanese government abolishes the French mandate. In response the French arrest a number of politicians including the president and prime minister. After much internal and international pressure the prisoners are released on November 22nd, which the Lebanese thereafter celebrate as Independence Day. [6]

The National Pact establishes that the government shall have a balance of representatives from the Maronite Christian, the Sunni Muslim and the Shia Muslim communities. [6]


December - The last French troops leave. [6]


September - The Social National Front (SNF) led by Kamal Jumblatt, head of the Progressive Socialist Party; Camille Chamoun, former ambassador to Britain; Emile Bustani, a self-made millionaire businessman; and other prominent personalities, calls for a general strike to force President Khuri to resign. He finally does so on September 18th. [6]

The CIA apparently aids the election of president Camille Chamoun. [3]


The Chamoun government insists on maintaining ties with the West despite pressures from the Muslim community to form more ties with the Arab nations, especially after the attack on Egypt by Britain, France and Israel in 1956. [6]


June - The CIA supplies money to Chamoun to use in the support of candidates in the Chamber of Deputies (Parliament) June elections. There is a landslide victory for pro-government deputies. Now deprived of a legal platform from which to voice their opinions, leaders with pan-Arab sympathies turn to extralegal means, starting with demonstrations. [3] [6]

September - The US sends its Sixth Fleet to the Mediterranean and sends arms and other military equipment to Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to goad Syria into military action. [3]


May - The inordinate pro-USA stance of Chamoun's government leads to violent protests and armed rebellion in some parts of the country. The US sends its Sixth Fleet to the region again and police supplies as well as tanks and other heavy equipment are airlifted into Lebanon. Syria and Egypt support the rebels with arms, men and money. [3] [6]

July - Chamoun invokes the Eisenhower Doctrine, calling on the US for help in fighting the rebels. The Eisenhower Doctrine is supposed to be for combatting "aggression from any country controlled by international communism". Communism is playing no real part in the insurrection in Lebanon, but the US sends troops anyway. Some 70 naval vessels and hundreds of aircraft are employed in the operation. By August 14,000 US troops are in Lebanon, more than the entire Lebanese Army and gendarmerie combined. [1] [2] [3] [6]

The US presence is unpopular with rebels and government supporters alike and clashes nearly occur between government tank forces and US troops. [3]

The civil war increases in intensity after the arrival of the US forces and the CIA broadcasts propaganda by radio in an attempt to deflect anti-US feelings onto the Soviet Union and others. [3]

After the Chamber of Deputies chooses General Chehab to succeed Chamoun as president in September the fighting subsides. Tension is further reduced by the US announcing its intention to withdraw. [3]

President Chehab (or Shihab) restored balance in the Chamber of Deputies and observed the terms of the National Pact. One of his first acts was to ask the US to withdraw its troops. [6]

October - The last US troops leave Lebanon without having fired a shot in anger. [3]


August - President Chehab is succeeded by Charles Hilu (or Helou). [6]


June - Lebanon does not participate in the Arab-Israeli war, but there are repercussions for Lebanon. Most significantly the Palestinian guerilla groups take an increased role in the struggle with Israel and many of them use Lebanon as a base. Their presence creates tensions because most of the Muslim groups want to support them and most of the Christian groups do not. [6]


December - Israel attacks Beirut International Airport. [6]


Periodic clashes between the guerrillas and the Lebanese Army continue throughout the late spring, summer and autumn. In the late summer, several guerrilla groups move to new bases, better located for attacks against Israel. Israel regularly raids these bases in reprisal for guerrilla raids. [6]

October - The Lebanese Army attacks some guerrilla camps in order to restrict their activity, an action that leads to several demonstrations in support of the guerrillas. [6]

November - The Lebanese commander in chief and Yasir Arafat, the head of Al Fatah, the leading faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), agree in Cairo to a cease-fire. The secret Cairo Agreement sets limits on Palestinian guerrilla operations in Lebanon and helps to restore calm. [6]

The Lebanese government's efforts to curtail guerrilla activities continue through late 1969 and 1970. Migration from southern Lebanon, particularly of large numbers of Shias, increases, primarily because of inadequate security against Israeli shelling and raids along with lack of economic opportunity. In Beirut the migrants, estimated to exceed 30,000, often can not find adequate shelter and meet with indifference on the part of predominantly Christian military leaders. These problems result in occasional clashes between the migrants and government forces. [6]


January - The government announces a plan to arm and train Lebanese civilians in southern villages and to fortify the villages against Israeli raids. This action is apparently the result of an intentional government policy to avoid committing the army to action in southern Lebanon, presumably for fear of polarizing the religious groups that compose the army. [6]

After the army's commander is replaced clashes between the army and the guerrillas recur, but southern Lebanese villagers continue to protest governmental inaction. [6]

May - After several bloody clashes between the guerrillas and the Lebanese Army and a nationwide general strike in May, the government approves additional appropriations for the defense of the south, and it presses the guerrillas to abide by the Cairo Agreement and to limit their activity. [6]

August - Sulayman Franjiyah (or Franjieh) is elected president. [6]


Large numbers of Palestinian guerrillas are expelled from Jordan in late 1970 and 1971. Many of the guerrillas enter Lebanon, seeing it as the most suitable base for launching raids against Israel. They ally themselves with existing Lebanese groups or form new ones and receive support from the Lebanese Muslim community and further splintering arises in the Lebanese body politic. Clashes between the Palestinians and Lebanese right-wing groups, as well as demonstrations on behalf of the guerrillas, occur during the latter half of 1971. PLO head Arafat holds discussions with leading Lebanese government figures, to establish acceptable limits of guerrilla activity in Lebanon under the 1969 Cairo Agreement. [6]


April - The Chamber of Deputies elections are accompanied by violence. The high rate of inflation and unemployment, as well as guerrilla actions and retaliations, occasions demonstrations, and the government declares martial law in some areas. The government attempts to quiet the unrest by taking legal action against the protesters, by initiating new social and economic programs, and by negotiating with the guerrilla groups. However, the pattern of guerrilla infiltration followed by Israeli counterattacks continues. Israel retaliates for any incursion by guerrillas and for any action anywhere against Israeli nationals. [6]

September - An Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon is made in retaliation for the massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich. [6]


April - In an Israeli commando raid on Beirut three leaders of the Palestinian Resistance Movement are assassinated. The army's inaction brings the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Saib Salam, a Sunni Muslim leader from Beirut. [6]

May - Armed clashes between the army and the guerrillas in Beirut spread to other parts of the country, resulting in the arrival of guerrilla reinforcements from Syria, the declaration of martial law, and a new secret agreement limiting guerrilla activity. [6]

October - Lebanon does not take part in the Arab-Israeli war, but it deeply affects the country's subsequent history. As the PLO's military influence in the south grows, so too does the disaffection of the Shia community that lives there, which is exposed to varying degrees of unsympathetic Lebanese control, indifferent or antipathetic PLO attitudes, and hostile Israeli actions. The Franjiyah government proves less and less able to deal with these rising tensions. [6]


April - Gunmen kill four Phalangists during an attempt to kill Phalangist leader Pierre Jumayyil in Beirut. Perhaps believing the assassins to be Palestinian, the Phalangists retaliate later in the day by attacking a bus carrying Palestinian passengers across a Christian neighborhood, killing about twenty-six of the occupants. Street fighting between Phalangists and Palestinian militiamen intensifies the following day. With the government not able to agree on how to act the fighting spreads to other areas of the country, becoming a civil war. [6]

Those in favour of maintaining the status quo come to be known as the Lebanese Front. The groups include primarily the Maronite militias of the Jumayyil, Shamun, and Franjiyah clans, often led by the sons of zuama. Also in this camp are various militias of Maronite religious orders. The side seeking change, usually referred to as the Lebanese National Movement, is far less cohesive and organized. For the most part it is led by Kamal Jumblatt and includes a variety of militias from leftist organizations and guerrillas from rejectionist Palestinian (nonmainstream PLO) organizations. [6]

By the end of the year no side holds a decisive military advantage. The political hierarchy, composed of the old zuama and politicians, is still incapable of maintaining peace, except for occasional, short-lived cease-fires. Reform has been discussed, but little headway has been made toward any significant improvements. Syria, deeply concerned about the flow of events in Lebanon, has also proved powerless to enforce calm through diplomatic means. And the Lebanese Army, which has generally stayed out of the strife, begins to show signs of factionalizing and threatens to bring its heavy weaponry to bear on the conflict. [6]


January - The Syrian government organises a ceasefire and sets up the High Militray Committee through which it negotiates with all sides. Battles between the Lebanese Front and Palestinians hamper these efforts. The Lebanese Front lays seige to the Palestinian refugee camp of Tall Zatar in East Beirut and overruns and levels Karantia, a Muslim quarter in East Beirut. This brings the main forces of the PLO, the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA) into the battle. Together with the Lebanese National Movement they take the town of Ad Damur, a Shamun stronghold south of Beirut. [6]

February - Syria helps negotiate a seventeen point reform program known as the Constitutional Document. [6]

March - The Syrian led peace process is derailed when dissident Muslim troops in the Lebanese Army mutiny, creating the Arab Army. They join with the Lebanese National Movement in an assault on Christian held Beirut and attack the presidential palace forcing Franjiyah to flee to Mount Lebanon. [6]

May - Rejecting the proposed successor to Franjiyah chosen by the Chamber of Deputies, the Lebanese National Movement successfully presses assaults on Mount Lebanon and other Christion controlled areas. [6]

Seeking to end a conflict likely to result an undesirable outcome for Syria whoever won, Syria intervenes militarily against the Lebanese National Movement. Syrian forces meet strong resistance and suffer many casualties. Syria is also condemned by much of the Arab world by fighting for the Christian side. [6]

July - Syria lauches a renewed assault against the Lebanese National Movement, subduing most oppostion within two weeks. [6]

October - Rather than completely crushing the Lebanese National Movement, Syria takes part in an Arab peace conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This conference and a following one in Cairo, formally end the Civil War. The underlying causes are not eliminated, but fullscale warfare is ended. Syrian forces remain in Lebanon as part of the Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) established by the Arab League. [6]


January - The ADF now constists of 30,000 men. 27,000 of these are Syrian, the rest being from a mixture of Arab states and Sudan. Difficulties in reforming the Lebanese army lead to the ADF's mandate being renewed several times. [6]

The human cost of the war is estimated to be nearly 44,000 dead and 180,000 wounded, with many thousands more displaced or homeless. Much of the once magnificent city of Beirut is reduced to rubble and the town is divided into Muslim and Christian sectors, separated by the so called Green Line. [6]

Fighting in the South between the Christian militia backed by Israel and Palestinian forces backed by Syria, goes on to cause large scale destruction and causes the migration of about 200,000 people, one third of the population. [6]

August - The Shtawrah Accord calls for the Palestinians to withdraw 15 kilometers from the Israeli border, with this area to be occupied by the Lebanese Army, with the ADF protecting the southern coastal area. Execution of the agreement, however, is difficult because neither the Palestinians nor the Lebanese Army wish to make the first move, and Israel doesn't want increased Syrian influence in the area. [6]


February - Relations between Lebanon and Syria deteriorate further when fighting occurs between the ADF and the Lebanese Army in East Beirut. [6]

March - Israeli forces invade southern Lebanon after a Palestinian guerilla attack on a bus near Tel Aviv in which several people are killed. Over 25,000 Israeli troops occupy positions as far north as the Litani River and remain for 3 months. The UN calls for Israel to withdraw and the UN Interim Force in Lebanon is sent to replace them in stages. [6]

June - When Israel withdraws from southern Lebanon, Major Saad Haddad's Christian militia, the South Lebanon Army (SLA), takes over most of the areas Israel had controlled. [6]

July - The ADF begins to bombard Christian sectors of Beirut. [6]

October - Syrian bombardment of East Beirut ends after a UN Security Council cease fire resolution indirectly implicates Syria as a party to the civil war. [6]


May - After a relatively cordial meeting between presidents Sarkis and Assad in Damascus, Syria states that the ADF, which has become a totally Syrian force, will "remain in Lebanon as long as the Arab interests so require." [6]


From early this year Syria has become increasingly preoccupied with its domestic difficulties, leaving the Sarkis administration with a freer hand. However, significant ADF action against the Phalange Party militia, the now dominant Christian militia, headed by Bashir Jumayyil, takes place around Zahlah (fifty kilometers east of Beirut) late in the year. [6]


April - After further ADF action against the Phalange Party militia, an ally of Israel, Israel intervenes, shooting down two Syrian helicopters over Lebanon. Syria then introduces SA-2 and SA-6 surface-to-air missiles into Lebanon. The situation is in danger of escalating but this is averted and Israel's support for the Lebanese front is curtailed. [6]

September - An escalation in violence leads to automobile bombings in West Beirut, Sidon and Tripoli. [6]


April - Attacks are made against Muslim and Christian religious leaders. The increasing violence leads to calls for the Lebanese Army to intervene. The unrest is seen as an opportunity for Bashir Jumayyil to put himself forward as a presidential candidate. However, Bashir's close ties to Israel and his proposals for eliminating both the ADF and the PLA from the Lebanese scene are understandably met with sharp opposition from Assad and Arafat, both of whom considered Jumayyil's brother Amin more acceptable. [6]

June - Israel invades Lebanon with US backing. About 20,000 people are killed, plus about 25,000 in the following years. Israel's excuse is the attempted assassination of its ambassador in London by the terrorist group led by Abu Nidal. The real purpose is to destroy the PLO and install a friendly regime in Lebanon. UN attempts to stop the aggression of Israel are blocked by US vetoes. [5] [6]

The Israeli cabinet authorized the invasion, called Operation Peace for Galilee, but it set strict limits on the extent of the incursion. The IDF was to advance no farther than forty kilometers, the operation was to last only twenty-four hours, Syrian forces were not to be attacked, and Beirut was not to be approached. [6]

First IDF aircraft bomb Palestinian targets in West Beirut. The PLO responds by resuming artillery fire on Israeli settlements in northern Galilee. IDF ground forces then enter Lebanon. Only the PLO resists the invasion, since other groups feel they have suffered under Palestinian domination, this gives credence to Israel's claim that they are "liberating" Lebanon. [6]

Palestinian resistance to the invasion proves strong and Israeli forces abandon any attempts at avoiding civilian casualties, saturation bombing refugee camps in the vicinity of Tyre and Sidon. [6]

Israeli forces then go on to attack Syrian forces, to cut off the Beirut-Damascus highway. The Israelis destroy 17 of Syria's 19 anti-aircraft batteries and about 80 aircraft, with little loss on their side. On June 11th, after international pressure, Israel and Syria agree to a truce. [6]

Israel then lays siege to Beirut for 70 days, employing a relentless barrage of air, naval and artillery bombardment, resulting in appalling civilian casualties. After negotiations an international peace keeping force was deployed in Beirut as PLO forces evacuated to Cyprus and Damascus. [6]

August - Bashir Jumayyil is elected president of Lebanon. [6]

September - US marines withdraw from Beirut followed by the rest of the peace keeping forces. The Lebanese army begins to move into West Beirut and the Israelis withdraw from the front lines. [6]

On 14th September Jumayyil is assassinated in a huge explosion and his brother Amin is elected president. [6]

On 16th September the IDF surrounds the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. They then direct the massacre of 700 to 800 Palestinian men, women and children by mainly Phalangist militiamen. [6]

At the behest of the Lebanese government, the Multinational Force (MNF) is deployed again in Beirut, to separate the IDF from the Lebanese population. They enable the Lebanese government to regain control and start rebuilding Beirut. [6]

October - President Jumayyil delcares Beirut reunited and the barricades along the Green Line that had been in place since 1975 are demolished. [6]

Ariel Sharon is removed from his post as Israeli Minister of Defense because of his role in the Sabra and Shatila massacres. The Israeli forces then withdraw to the outskirt of Beirut. [6]


April - A terrorist attack destroys the US embassy. [6]

May - Israel and Lebanon sign an agreement halting the war. Israeli forces are to withdraw and the security of Israel's northern border is to be provided for. But the agreement is contingent on Syria's withdrawal, although Syria has not been consulted. Syria refuses to withdraw. [6]

Now they are no longer fighting the Israeli forces the various Lebanese factions start to fight each other again. US forces, present as part of the MNF, also come under attack, as their presence is now seen as an interference. [6]

September - After Israeli forces withdraw from the Shuf Mountains region, Phalangist and Druze militias resume their conflict there. The Phalangists are routed and retreat to Dayr al Qamar where they and its Christian residents are besieged. In the surrounding region the Druze massacre about 1,500 Christian civilians. [6]

In Suq al Gharb and Khaldah the Lebanese Army fights the Druze militias. The US helps the Lebanese Army retain control of Suq al Gharb by having its ships shell Druze positions until a cease fire is declared. [6]

This hollow victory leaves the Lebanese Army discredited and some Druze members, including officers, defect to join the Druze militias. The US Congress then adopts a resolution to continue its military presence in support of the Lebanese government. [6]


February - Shia Amal militiamen clash with the Lebanese Army in southern Beirut, gain control of Beirut International Airport, evict the army from West Beirut and reestablish the Green Line partitioning the capital. After this the Lebanese Army slowly disintegrates as its soldiers defect. US Marines stationed near the airport are left surrounded by mostly Shia militia groups and as Lebanon sinks into violence Britain, France, Italy and the US decide to withdraw their MNF forces. [6]


February - Residents of Sidon celebrate as Israel withdraws its forces south of the Litani River. Sidons factions avoid violence by agreeing to have a contingent of the Lebanese Army take over Israeli positions. [6]

March - A bomb explodes outside a mosque, killing about 80 people, mostly women and girls, and wounding over 200 more. The bombing was organised by the CIA and Saudi agents with the assistance of Britain's MI6. The intention was to kill Sheikh Fadlallah a Shia leader accused of complicity in terrorism. He escaped. [4] [5]

The withdrawal of the MNF leaves Syria as the dominant force in Lebanon. Syria has Jumayyil abrogate the May 1983 agreement with Israel which required Syria to withdraw. [6]

Peace in Sidon is shortlived as a Palestinian-Druze-Shia coalition fights the Phalangists. The Phalangists are defeated and thousands of Christian civilians retreat behind Israeli lines or east to Jazzin. [6]

Guerilla attacks against Israel resume and Israel responds with merciless strikes on villages. [6]

April - Under Syria's aegis, the Shia Amal organization attempts to consolidate its control over West Beirut. They rout the Sunni Murabitun militia, then lay seige to the Palestinian refugee camps of Abra, Shatila and Burj al Barajinah. The Palestinians retain control of the camps, but the seige continues on and off for another two years before Syrian forces disperse the Shias. [6]

June - A new security accord, the Bikfayya Agreement, is made. The armed forces are restructured with great Shia involvement and a cease fire is agreed with the withdrawal of militias from Beirut and the reopening of the airport and port. [6]

Israel withdraws its forces from Southern Lebanon; it closes its Ansar detention center and frees 752 inmates, but in violation of the Geneva Conventions, which forbids transporting prisoners of war across international boundaries, 1,200 prisoners are transferred to Israel. Israel establishes a security zone 5 to 10 kilometers wide, which it hands over to the SLA, with some 150 Israeli combat troops and 500 advisers. [6]

August-September - The Bikfayya Agreement fails to bring peace. Druze, Shia and Sunni militias fight in West Beirut and there are attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy, the British embassy and the US embassy. Also Israeli forces conduct air raids on Palestinian guerilla camps. [6]

December - Syria brokers the Tripartite Accord signed by the leaders of Lebanon's three main militias: Nabih Birri of Amal, Walid Jumblatt of the Druze Progressive Socialist Party, and Hubayka of the LF. It is to bring an immediate ceasefire and the end of the civil war is to be declared within a year. The militias are to be disarmed and then disbanded, and sole responsibility for security is to be relegated to the reconstituted and religiously integrated Lebanese Army, supported by Syrian forces. More broadly, the accord envisages a "strategic integration" of the two countries in the spheres of military affairs, national security, and foreign relations. The accord also mandates fundamental, but not sweeping, political reform, including the establishment of a bicameral legislature and the elimination of the old confessional formula, which is to be replaced by majority rule and minority representation. [6]

Jumayyil refuses to endorse the agreement and fighting soon rages within the Christian camp. [6]


January - Syria retaliates against Jumayyil's forces, urging militias to attack the Christian areas. The Presidential Palace and Jumayyil's home town of Bikfayya are shelled, but the Christians close ranks and the Tripartite accord is never implemented. [6]

July - Samir Jaja announces the creation of the Free Lebanon Army, but is opposed LF loyalists. [6]

September - LF forces, supported by Syria, launch a surprise attack across the Green Line against Jaja's militiamen. Jaja's forces are driven back, but the invasion is halted by the intervention of the Lebanese Army and Air Force loyal to the president. [6]


February - Heavy fighting breaks out in West Beirut between Druze and Shia militias. Both forces use tanks, there are heavy casualties and much of West Beirut is set aflame. Syria intervenes, entering areas it has not controlled since driven out by Israel in 1982. Syrian troops close down seventy militia offices, deploy along major roads and at Beirut International Airport, establish checkpoints and patrol the streets. They also attack the headquarters of Hizballah in the Basta neighbourhood. [6]

April - Syrian troops fight alongside Lebanese Army troops to take up key positions south of Beirut along the coastal highway and take control of the bridge over the Awwali River, near Sidon. [6]

May - Lebanon abrogates the 1969 Cairo agreement with the PLO as well as officially cancelling the 17 May 1983 agreement with Israel. [7]

June - After Prime Minister Rashid Karami is killed when a bomb explodes in his helicopter, Salim al-Huss becomes acting prime minister. [7]


September - When no candidate is elected to succeed him, outgoing President Amin al-Jumayyil appoints a six-member interim military government, composed of three Christians and three Muslims, though the latter refuse to serve. Lebanon now has two governments - one mainly Muslim in West Beirut, headed by Al-Huss, the other, Christian, in East Beirut, led by the Maronite Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Gen Michel Awn. [7]


March - Awn declares a "war of liberation " against the Syrian presence in Lebanon. [7]

July - Shaykh Abd-al-Karim Ubayd, Hezbollah leader in Jibshit, is abducted by Israeli forces. [7]

October - The National Assembly, meeting in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia, endorses a Charter of National Reconciliation, which reduces the authority of the president by transferring executive power to the cabinet. The National Assembly now has an equal number of Christian and Muslim members instead of the previous six to five ratio. [7]

November - President-elect Rene Mu'awwad is assassinated on 22 November and succeeded by Ilyas al-Hirawi on 24 November. The following day, Salim al-Huss becomes prime minister and Gen Emile Lahoud replaces Awn as Commander-in-Chief of the Army on 28 November. [7]


October - The Syrian air force attacks the Presidential Palace at B'abda and Awn takes refuge in the French embassy. This date is regarded as the end of the civil war. [7]

December - Umar Karami heads a government of national reconciliation. [7]


The National Assembly orders the dissolution of all militias by 30 April but Hezbollah is allowed to remain active and the South Lebanon Army (SLA) refuses to disband. [7]

May - A Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination is signed in Damascus by Lebanon and Syria and a Higher Council, co-chaired by their two presidents, is established. [7]

July - The Lebanese army defeats the PLO in Sidon so that it now confronts the Israelis and the SLA in Jazzin, north of the so-called "security zone". [7]

August - The National Assembly grants an amnesty for all crimes committed during the civil war, 1975-1990. Awn receives a presidential pardon and is allowed to leave for France. [7]

October - Lebanon participates in the Middle East Peace Conference launched in Madrid. [7]


February - Shaykh Abbas al-Musawi, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, is killed when Israeli helicopter gunships attack his motorcade on a road south-east of Sidon. [7]

June - By 17 June all Western hostages held by Shia groups have been released. [7]

October - After elections in August and September (the first since 1972), Nabih Birri, secretary-general of the Shia Amal organisation, becomes speaker of the National Assembly. [7]

Rafik Hariri, a rich businessman, born in Sidon but with Saudi Arabian nationality, becomes prime minister, heading a cabinet of technocrats. [7]


June - Hizballah fires rockets at Kiryat Shmonah causing some injury and damage. [8]

July - Attacks by Ahmad Jibril's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Council Command (PFLP-GC) and Hizballah cause the deaths of 5 IDF soldiers in the security zone. [8]

Israel attempts to destroy Hezbollah and the PFLP-GC by launching "Operation Accountability", an artillery and aerial bombardment against Shi'ite towns and villages, and the heaviest attack since 1982. It lasts one week after which a ceasefire is agreed. [7] [8]

Israeli forces violate the rules of war by attacking civilians and using weapons such as flechette shells and incendiaries. Hizballah also violates the rules of war by attacking civilians. The Israeli attack kills some 120 Lebanese civilians and injures about 500 more. Some 300,000 civilians are driven from their homes. 2 Israeli civilians are killed in retaliatory attacks by Hizballah. [9]


May - Mustafa Dib al-Dirani, head of the Believers' Resistance, a breakaway group from the Shia Amal organisation, is abducted by Israeli commandos from his house in eastern Lebanon. [7]


April - After a series of attacks by Israeli forces and Hizbollah, Israel launches "Operation Grapes of Wrath". This entails air and artillery attacks against villages, towns in southern Beirut. This is followed by Israeli warships blockading Beirut, Sidon and Tyre. The attacks are not restricted to military targets and in one instance a helicopter gunship attacks an ambulance, killing 2 women and 4 children. In another instance a strike on a village kills a woman, here 7 children and a cousin. In another a makeshift refugee compound at a UNIFIL post at Qana is deliberately attacked killing more than 100 civilians. On 15th April over 700 shells and 30 air-to-surface missiles and bombs pour down in a four-hour period, in an area south east of Tyre. More than 400,000 Lebanese civilians are internally displaced. Hizballah responds with solvos of Katyusha rockets, which cause little damage. [9]

Israeli pilots carry out 600 air raids with fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and artillery units fire some 25,000 shells into Lebanese territory. Some 154 civilians are killed in Lebanon, and another 351 injured. The guerrillas fire 639 Katyusha rockets into Israel. There are no Israeli civilian deaths, although three Israeli women sustain serious injuries. [10]

A Truce is agreed on 26th April and is monitored by the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG), with members from the US, France, Israel, Lebanon and Syria. [7]


April - Israel's inner cabinet votes to accept UN Security Council Resolution 425 of 1978 if Lebanon guarantees the security of Israel's northern border. Both Lebanon and Syria reject this condition. [7]

November - Army head Emile Lahoud is sworn in as president, succeeding Ilyas al-Hirawi. [7]

December - Salim al-Huss becomes prime minister heading a cabinet which includes no militia leaders and only two ministers from the previous administration. [7]


June - The South Lebanon Army (SLA) completes its withdrawal from the Jazzin salient (north of the "security zone") occupied since 1985. [7]


March - Israeli cabinet votes for the withrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon by July 2000. [7]

April - Israel releases 13 Lebanese prisoners held without trial for more than 10 years but extends the detention of Shaykh Abd-al-Karim Ubayd and Mustafa Dib al-Dirani. [7]

May - After the collapse of the SLA and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, Israel withdraws its troops from southern Lebanon, more than six weeks before its stated deadline of 7 July. [7]

25 May declared an annual public holiday, called "Resistance and Liberation Day". [7]

October - Rafik Hariri takes office as prime minister for a second time. [7]


March - Lebanon begins pumping water from a tributary of the River Jordan to supply a southern border village despite opposition from Israel. [7]


January - Elie Hobeika, a key figure in the massacres of Palestinian refugees in 1982, dies in a blast shortly after disclosing that he held videotapes and documents challenging Israel's account of the massacres. [7]

September - Row with Israel over Lebanon's plan to divert water from a border river. Israel says it cannot tolerate the diversion of the Wazzani, which provides 10% of its drinking water, and threatens the use of military force. [7]


August - Car bomb in Beirut kills a member of Hezbollah. Hezbollah and a government minister blame Israel for the blast. [7]


September - A UN Security Council resolution - aimed at Syria - demands that foreign troops leave Lebanon. Syria dismisses the move. [7]

Parliament extends President Lahoud's term by three years. Weeks of political deadlock end with the unexpected departure of Rafiq Hariri - who had at first opposed the extension - as prime minister. [7]


February - Former prime minister Rafik Hariri is killed by a car bomb in Beirut. The attack sparks anti-Syrian rallies and the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karami's cabinet. Calls for Syria to withdraw its troops intensify. [7]

March - Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese attend pro- and anti-Syrian rallies in Beirut. [7]

Days after his resignation, pro-Syrian former PM Omar Karami is asked by the president to form a new government. [7]

April - Omar Karami resigns as PM after failing to form a government. He is succeeded by moderate pro-Syrian MP Najib Mikati. [7]

Syria says its forces have left Lebanon, as demanded by the UN. [7]

June Prominent journalist Samir Qasir, a critic of Syrian influence, is killed by a car bomb. [7]

Anti-Syrian alliance led by Saad Hariri wins control of parliament following elections. New parliament chooses Hariri ally, Fouad Siniora, as prime minister. [7]

George Hawi, anti-Syrian former leader of Lebanese Communist Party, is killed by a car bomb. [7]

July - Lebanese PM Siniora meets Syria's President Assad; both sides agree to rebuild relations. [7]

December - Prominent anti-Syrian MP and journalist Gibran Tueni is killed by a car bomb. [7]


February - Denmark's embassy in Beirut is torched during a demonstration against cartoons in a Danish paper satirising the Prophet Muhammad. [7]

July - Israel launches air and sea attacks on targets in Lebanon. Civilian casualties are high and the damage to civilian infrastructure wide-ranging. Thousands of people are displaced. [7] Israel claims the attack is in self defense and in response to the capture of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah, but it is soon revealed that the attack had been planned several years ago and that those plans had been shown to the US. In the attacks Israel targets bridges, roads, power plants, fuel depots, petrol stations, radio stations, factories, schools, hospitals, ambulances, warehouses, moving vehicles, churches, mosques and residential homes. They use incendiary weapons and cluster munitions; the latter supplied by the USA along with aircraft and other weapons. Israeli ground forces later lay mines in southern Lebanon which remain after they withdraw. [11] [12] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [29] [31] [32] 1,200 Lebanese civilians are killed, 30% of them being children below the age of 12. [13] The US later refills stockpiles of US weapons in Israel which Israel used in their attack on Lebanon. [20]

August - Israeli ground troops thrust into southern Lebanon. [7]

A truce between Israel and Hezbollah comes into effect on 14 August after 34 days of fighting and the deaths of around 1,000 Lebanese - mostly civilians - and 159 Israelis, mainly soldiers. A UN peacekeeping force, expected to consist of 15,000 foreign troops, begins to deploy along the southern border. [7] Israeli forces met with strong resistance during the war and in the end failed to achieve their aim of defeating Hizbullah and driving them north of the Litani river in southern Lebanon. The US aided Isreal's assault not only by supplying Israeli forces but also by blocking international calls for a ceasefire, because they too wanted Hizbullah to be defeated. The US only began to back ceasefire calls when it became apparent that Israel was not going to achieve its aims. [22] [23] [24]

Of the 4 million cluster bomblets dropped by Israeli forces, about 1 million are thought to have not exploded. These continue to cause death and injury, mostly to children. [25]

September - Lebanese government forces deploy along the Israeli border for the first time in decades. [7]

October - Israel is criticised for repeatedly violating Lebanese airspace. [14]

November - Ministers from Hezbollah and the Amal movement resign shortly before the cabinet approves draft UN plans for a tribunal to try suspects in the killing of the former prime minister Hariri. [7]

Leading Christian politician and government minister Pierre Gemayel is shot dead. [7]

December - Thousands of opposition demonstrators in Beirut demand the resignation of the government. A tent town springs up housing the sit-in protestors. [7]


January - The Hezbollah led opposition steps up pressure on the government to resign by calling general strike. [7]

The CIA is authorised by the US government to take covert action against Hizbollah. [21]

May-September - The army lays seige to the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared following clashes between militants and the military. More than 300 people die and 40,000 residents flee before the army gains control of the camp. [7] The Lebanese army is accused of abuses against the Palestinians of the camp. [30] The Sunni militant group Fatah al-Islam was formerly covertly supported by the US government via Saudi Arabia. [26] [27]

May - The UN Security Council votes to set up a tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of ex-premier Hariri. [7]

June - Anti-Syrian MP Walid Eido is killed in a bomb attack in Beirut. [7] [28]

September - Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanim is killed by a car bomb. [7]

Parliament adjourns the session to elect a new president until 23 October, after a stay-away by the opposition pro-Syrian bloc. [7]

November - President Emile Lahoud steps down after parliament fails to elect his successor. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora says his cabinet will assume powers of presidency. [7]

December - A car bomb kills Gen Francois al-Hajj, who had been tipped to become army chief. [7]


January - A bomb blast apparently aimed at a US diplomatic vehicle in Beirut kills four. [7]

February - Hezbollah's Imad Mughniyeh is murdered, apparently by Israeli forces. [33]

The US posts a warship of the coast of Lebanon to influence the political deadlock. [34]

April - Israeli jets continue to violate Lebanese airspace. [35]

May - At least 80 people are killed in clashes between Hezbollah and pro-government factions, sparking fears of civil war. [7]

Parliament elects army chief Michel Suleiman as president, ending six month long political deadlock. President Suleiman reappoints Fouad Siniora as prime minister at head of new unity government. [7]

Hezbollah takes control of West Beirut and the airport after the government tries to shut down its communications network and sack the airport's head of security. The government subsequently backs down and Hezbollah withdraws its forces. [36] [37]

Rival leaders agree on formation of new government. [38]

June - Heavy fighting n Tripoli between rival groups. [39]

July - Unity government is formed. [40]

Hezbollah and Israel exchange prisoners and bodies. [41]

August - Lebanon and Syria agree to establish full diplomatic relations. [42]