Lebanon

   Israel's neighbor to the north. During the War of Independence (1948—49), Lebanon joined in the fighting against Israel despite that country's Christian majority and the control of the body politic by that segment of the Lebanese population. Lebanon essentially abstained from participation in the Sinai War (1956), the Six-Day War (1967), and the War of Attrition (1969-70). After the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was ousted from Jordan in September 1970, it moved into Lebanon via Syria and established a base of operations and a virtual state within a state (known as Fa-tahland) in the south. Attacks against targets in Israel by the PLO from Lebanon led to Israeli retaliatory strikes as well as two major military operations: Operation Litani (1978) and Operation Peace for Galilee (1982).
   While the PLO was building its base of operations and striking against Israel, these developments were contributing to the disintegration of Lebanon that had already begun because of disagreements among the various Lebanese indigenous factions over the distribution of socioeconomic and political power. A civil war broke out in Lebanon in 1975 and did not end until the Arab League-sponsored Taif agreement of 1989. In the intervening years, some 40,000 Syrian troops entered Lebanon, ostensibly as peacekeepers and at the invitation of the Lebanese government and the Arab League. Under the terms of the Taif agreement, Syrian forces were to be withdrawn incrementally from Lebanon, but it was only in the spring of 2005 and under intense pressure from the United States and other international actors that Syria ended its military occupation of Lebanon.
   Meanwhile, with the absence of effective control from Beirut, the PLO was able to use Lebanese territory for attacks into Israel. After a number of these strikes, Israel launched Operation Litani in March 1978. Despite the subsequent establishment of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the border region, periodic attacks into Israel continued. In June 1982, Israel launched Operation Peace for Galilee, the War in Lebanon, to rectify the situation. A cease-fire brokered by the United States permitted the PLO to evacuate its forces from Lebanon. Subsequently, Washington brokered an agreement between Israel and Lebanon—the 17 May 1983 agreement—which called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon in return for near-normalized relations. The agreement was subsequently abrogated by the Lebanese government under pressure from Syria. Israel completed its withdrawal from much of Lebanon in 1985, while a security zone was established in Lebanon along a narrow strip of land abutting Israel's northern border.
   However, after that, Israel fought a war of attrition against Syrian-and Iranian-sponsored militant Shi'ite forces, such as Hezbollah and Amal. Attacks by these groups on Israeli forces and forces of the pro-Israel South Lebanon Army based in the security zone and Katyusha rocket strikes into northern Israel prompted two major Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operations in southern Lebanon: Operation Accountability (1992) and Operation Grapes of Wrath (1996). Continuing IDF losses led to increased public debate about Israel's status in southern Lebanon. Early in its tenure, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu floated a "Lebanon First" idea, whereby negotiations with the Lebanese government over an IDF withdrawal from the south would pave the way for broader negotiations with Syria over security arrangements in Lebanon and over the Golan Heights and related issues. This proposal was rejected by the Syrians, who feared that a separate Lebanese-Israeli deal would alleviate the pressure on Jerusalem to negotiate with Damascus over the Golan Heights on terms preferable to Syria.
   In the absence of any immediate prospect for a negotiated settlement with either Beirut or Damascus, Israel in the spring of 1998 announced its readiness to withdraw unilaterally from southern Lebanon on the basis of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 425 (1978) but conditioned this withdrawal on the readiness and the ability of the Lebanese government to apply its sovereign authority in the border region. During the 1999 election campaign, One Israel candidate Ehud Barak pledged to withdraw Israeli forces from Lebanon within one year of being elected prime minister. On 24 May 2000, Barak fulfilled this pledge. However, unable (even with the active involvement of U.S. president William J. Bill Clinton) to persuade Syrian president Hafez Assad to participate in a broader regional accord, Barak was compelled to withdraw unilaterally from southern Lebanon.
   On 24 May 2000, the government of Israel completed the withdrawal of its forces from southern Lebanon to the international border in accordance with UNSC Resolution 425. Israel announced that its withdrawal was undertaken in full compliance with UNSC Resolution 425 and redeployed its forces along the recognized international border between the two countries. The primary purpose was to ensure the security of Israel and its citizens and to promote stability and peace in the region. Israel had no territorial aspirations in Lebanon and wanted to see the Lebanese government restore and exercise its sovereignty and authority throughout the border region from which Israeli forces have left.
   The implementation of UNSC Resolution 425 constituted an important step forward, designed to bring about an end to the ongoing terrorism and confrontation on the northern border and to facilitate further progress in the peace process. Following the withdrawal, Israel hoped that peace and security will be restored to both sides of the international border. Israel also expected that the government of Lebanon would take effective control of southern Lebanon. According to UNSC Resolution 425, the United Nations was to take action to deploy appropriate armed forces with the capacity to ensure the return of Lebanon's effective authority in the area.
   In 2005 and after, the Israelis were carefully watching to see whether the formal end of the Syrian military occupation of Lebanon, coupled with efforts at democratic reform in Lebanon's diverse multiethnic society, might contribute to progress toward stabilization and normalization of the country's relations with Israel. This proved elusive with the Hezbollah attack on Israel in July 2006 that precipitated the Second Lebanon War (2006) between Israel and Hezbollah. The cease-fire involving Israel and Hezbollah imposed under UNSC Resolution 1701 (11 August 2006) formally held through much of 2007, but other conditions stipulated by the resolution were unfulfilled, including the immediate and unconditional release of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, the end of Iran and Syria's smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah, and the end of Syrian intervention in Lebanese internal affairs.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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  • LEBANON — (Heb. לְבָנוֹן), Middle Eastern state named after a mountain chain running parallel to the Mediterranean coast N. of Israel. The name Lebanon is derived from lavan (lbn; white ) in reference to the snow covering its peaks. It was variously called …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Lebanon — Lebanon, MO U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 12155 Housing Units (2000): 5745 Land area (2000): 13.628231 sq. miles (35.296956 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.031445 sq. miles (0.081442 sq. km) Total area (2000): 13.659676 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon — ist die englische Bezeichnung für den Libanon. Daneben ist es die Bezeichnung mehrerer Städte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Lebanon (Connecticut) Lebanon (Georgia) Lebanon (Illinois) Lebanon (Indiana) Lebanon (Iowa) Lebanon (Kansas) Lebanon… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lebanon — • So called from the snow which covers the highest peaks during almost the entire year, or from the limestone which glistens white in the distance Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Lebanon     Lebanon …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Lebanon, IL — U.S. city in Illinois Population (2000): 3523 Housing Units (2000): 1389 Land area (2000): 2.146312 sq. miles (5.558922 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.002244 sq. miles (0.005812 sq. km) Total area (2000): 2.148556 sq. miles (5.564734 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, IN — U.S. city in Indiana Population (2000): 14222 Housing Units (2000): 6202 Land area (2000): 7.282579 sq. miles (18.861792 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 7.282579 sq. miles (18.861792 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, KS — U.S. city in Kansas Population (2000): 303 Housing Units (2000): 204 Land area (2000): 0.317128 sq. miles (0.821357 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.317128 sq. miles (0.821357 sq. km) FIPS code …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, KY — U.S. city in Kentucky Population (2000): 5718 Housing Units (2000): 2555 Land area (2000): 4.410156 sq. miles (11.422251 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.004396 sq. miles (0.011385 sq. km) Total area (2000): 4.414552 sq. miles (11.433636 sq. km) FIPS …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, MO — U.S. city in Missouri Population (2000): 12155 Housing Units (2000): 5745 Land area (2000): 13.628231 sq. miles (35.296956 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.031445 sq. miles (0.081442 sq. km) Total area (2000): 13.659676 sq. miles (35.378398 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, NE — U.S. village in Nebraska Population (2000): 70 Housing Units (2000): 48 Land area (2000): 0.160348 sq. miles (0.415300 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.160348 sq. miles (0.415300 sq. km) FIPS… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Lebanon, NH — U.S. city in New Hampshire Population (2000): 12568 Housing Units (2000): 5707 Land area (2000): 40.362794 sq. miles (104.539152 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.994132 sq. miles (2.574790 sq. km) Total area (2000): 41.356926 sq. miles (107.113942 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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