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Chronology for Maronite Christians in Lebanon

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Maronite Christians in Lebanon, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38b3c.html [accessed 29 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1516 - 1918 The Ottoman Empire controlled Lebanon which at this point was still considered part of Greater Syria.
1600 - 1699 The Maronites who had resided within Syria fled en masse to remote regions in Lebanon to avoid persecution by the Byzantine Church. The Maronites developed a close relationship with Europe and with France in particular.
1918 Following World War I the League of Nations recognized the French mandate over Greater Syria (including Lebanon).
1920 The French legally extended the borders of the Mt. Lebanon province to include all of what is now Lebanon. This was done to enhance the political situation of the Maronite community who's population would exceed that of the Sunni Muslims in the new district.
1941 Lebanon formally became an independent state.
1944 Lebanon formed a sectarian government based on a census taken in 1932. This method of dividing government between dominant sects continues today.
1970 - 1971 A Palestinian revolt in Jordan was violently crushed sending thousand of Palestinian refugees to Lebanon. The Palestinian refugee issue was to become a divisive force in Lebanon and a cause of the civil wars.
1975 Civil war broke out between the Maronite forces representing the established order on one side, and the Militias of the Lebanese National Movement (LNM) and the Sunni Moslems on the other side. The PLO would eventually join the fighting on the side of the LNM and the Lebanese Army would join the side of the Maronites. Ultimately Syria would join the Maronites ensuring their victory.
1977 The Maronites declared the terms of the cease fire null and void in defiance of Syria. The Maronites now had the support of the Israeli government.
1978 Israel invaded Lebanon and then retreated leaving behind a buffer zone to be controlled by the pro-Israeli Southern Lebanon Army (SLA).
1982 With the assistance of Maronite President Gemayel, Israel again invaded. This time the PLO was formally expelled from Lebanon. In addition, an international peacekeeping force of U.S., French, and Italian soldiers was sent to Beirut. The Syrians entered Lebanon and occupied the Bekka Valley. The Israelis eventually left, but maintained a self patrolled security buffer zone in southern Lebanon.
1988 Before leaving office President Gamayel appoints General Aoun as acting Maronite Prime Minister. The administration of Sunni Prime Minister Selim al-Hoss refused to step down.
1989 Sunni representatives at the assembly blocked the Presidential aspirations of General Aoun.
Mar 1989 Maronite Prime Minister General Aoun, using the Lebanese Army, launched a "war of liberation" in which he attempted to expel Syrian forces from Lebanon.
Aug 15, 1989 The Progressive Socialist Party, Amal, Hizbollah, and pro-Syrian Palestinian militias formed the National Front. They vowed to join the Syrian troops in an attempt to overthrow the regime of Maronite General Aoun.
Aug 24, 1989 The National Front launched an offensive against the forces of General Aoun.
Sep 22, 1989 Both sides agreed to an Arab League sponsored cease fire. Over 800 people had already been killed in fighting by this point.
Sep 30, 1989 Thirty-one Christian and 31 Moslem assembly delegates met in Tail, Saudi Arabia to discuss ways the Lebanese government might be reformed so as to make it more inclusive of Lebanon's many minorities. General Aoun insisted that the Maronites would not endorse any agreement that did not include a full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.
Oct 12, 1989 In Tail, the Lebanese parliament voted to enlarge itself to 108 seats, to establish an even ratio between Muslims and Christians, and to limit the powers of the presidency. This was done in response to demands by the National Front.
Oct 17, 1989 General Aoun vowed to fight the Tail accords. The majority of Maronites and their representatives in government did, however, support the accords.
Nov 22, 1989 Maronite President Rene Mouawad was assassinated. When various Maronite members of parliament tried to meet to elect a new president, General Aoun announced that he had dissolved parliament.
Nov 24, 1989 Ilayas al-Hrawi was elected president by the dissolved Lebanese Parliament setting up a power struggle within the Maronite establishment between Hrawi and ousted former Prime Minister General Aoun who still remained in control of his forces and refused to allow the Tail reforms to be implemented.
1990 General Aoun was eventually deposed with the assistance of Syria paving the way for governmental reforms designed to make the political system more inclusive.
Feb 1990 Fighting broke out in Beirut between the forces of Gen Aoun and the Maronite Lebanese Forces led by Samir Geagas. A cease fire was agreed to on February 19. By then 600 had died and 2000 had been injured.
Apr 1 - Jul 31, 1990 President Hrawi, French diplomats, and representatives from the Vatican negotiated with General Aoun in an attempt to get him to agree to the terms of the Tail agreement.
Sep 21, 1990 President Hrawi signed the terms of the Tail agreement into law. The agreement provided for a larger assembly, an even Christian to Moslem ratio, a weaker Presidency, and a stronger cabinet.
Oct 1, 1990 Maronite supporters of General Aoun held a candle light demonstration near the "Death River". Unidentified gunmen attacked the demonstration killing 25 and injuring 82. Aoun blamed the attack on the Lebanese Forces and the Syrian Army.
Oct 10, 1990 President Hrawi asked for Syrian assistance in disarming the forces of General Aoun. The Syrians joined the Lebanese Forces on the very next day giving the Lebanese Forces an extreme advantage.
Oct 12, 1990 General Awn sought asylum in the French embassy. His troops disbanded.
Jan 28, 1991 Samir Geagas, leader of the Maronite Lebanese Forces called for a dissolution of the government on the grounds that it was controlled by Syria.
Mar 20, 1991 Samir Geagas resigned his post as Minister of State on the grounds that the government was too pro-Syrian. He was replaced by Phalangist Party leader Roger Dib.
May 22, 1991 Lebanon and Syria signed a treaty in which they agreed to cooperate on military, economic, and political issues. This was a major blow to many Maronites who view Syrian influence in Lebanon as a violation of their sovereignty. Most militias began to voluntarily disarm themselves except for Hizbollah and the Southern Lebanese Army which refused.
Jul 1991 The Government began to deploy the Lebanese Army in Southern Lebanon in an attempt to control the activities of the Southern Lebanese Army.
Jan 15, 1992 The government asked the militias to disarm themselves of all small weapons. Most militias refused.
May 4, 1992 Amnesty International released a report on Southern Lebanon alleging that torture and other human rights abuses commonly occurred in the Southern Lebanese Army-controlled Khiam Prison.
Jun 8, 1992 George Saadeh was reelected as President of the Phalangist Party.
Jul 24, 1992 It was announced that parliamentary elections would be held in three stages: on August 23 and 30, and on September 6. The Lebanese Forces and the National Liberal Party boycotted the elections on the grounds that Syria should withdraw first and elections should be postponed until people displaced by the civil war had time to return to their homes.
Aug 18, 1992 The Phalangist Party, the National Liberal Party, and the Lebanese Forces announced together that they would boycott the election on the grounds that the time was not right for elections.
Aug 26, 1992 Several high ranking Maronite leaders resigned from government to protest the elections.
Dec 2, 1992 Fifty supporters of ousted General Aoun were arrested by the Lebanese Army after they had distributed anti-Syrian leaflets.
Feb 11, 1993 At a Phalangist conference a rift formed within the organization between supporters of the Phalangist Party leader Sa'adah and the Lebanese Forces leader Geagas. The dispute emerged over how actively the administration of Prime Minister Hariri should be opposed and resulted in the expulsion from the party of 4 Geagas supporters.
Jun 11, 1993 Sunni Prime Minister Hariri dismissed George Afram from his post as minister for Water and Electricity. Afram was a close aide to Lebanese Forces leader Geagas and the dismissal increased political tensions between the Lebanese Forces and the administration of Prime Minister Hariri For most this year political developments came to a stand still as border clashes between Israel and Hizbollah intensified and as economic reform issues gained importance.
Sep 8, 1993 Lebanon demanded that the PLO in its peace agreement with Israel guarantee the right of return of all Palestinian refugees. As a matter of policy, Lebanon has maintained that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are only temporary residents and should return to their original homes.
Sep 13, 1993 Lebanese troops killed 9 protestors in Beirut during a demonstration by hundreds of Hizbollah supporters against the PLO-Israeli peace accord. The Lebanese government banned all public protests earlier this year. Palestinian opponents of the PLO-Israeli peace accord marched in Lebanon's refugee camps. PLO supporters in Lebanon celebrated.
Sep 14, 1993 About 15,000 Hizbollah supporters attended the funeral of 8 protestors killed by Lebanese troops at a demonstration yesterday. Another died from injuries sustained at the protest about a week and a half later. At the funeral, mourners condemned the Lebanese government and called for the death of its leaders.
Sep 19, 1993 About 7,000 Hizbollah supporters rallied in a southern suburb of Beirut in protest of the killing by government troops of 8 Hizbollah protesters at a demonstration last week. The government did not consider this to be in violation of its anti-demonstration edict because the rally was considered a gathering of mourners. Hizbollah was the only militia in Lebanon that did not disarme after the end of the civil war. Hizbollah claimed that it needed its weapons to fight Israel. The Lebanese government seemed content to accept this state of affairs as long as Hizbollah used its weapons only on Israel and the Israeli-supported SLA.
Sep 21, 1993 About 3,000 Hizbollah supporters rallied on the road to Beirut where 8 Hizbollah demonstrators were killed by government troops last week.
Oct 24, 1993 About 3,000 Hizbollah supporters rallied to mark the 40th day of mourning for 9 protestors killed by the Lebanese army.
Dec 20, 1993 A bomb exploded at the Phalange Party headquarters in east Beirut.
Dec 30, 1993 The spiritual guide of Hizbollah issued a religious decree banning the purchase of shares of a $1.82 billion company entrusted with reconstructing central Beirut.
1994 Throughout the year there were several assassinations, assassination attempts and bombings that seemed to be part of a power struggle between those who support and oppose PLO chairman Arafat and the PLO-Israeli peace accord.
Jan 29, 1994 Members of Abu Nidal's FRC were blamed for the assassination of a Jordanian diplomat in Lebanon.
Feb 12, 1994 A Palestinian man was charged with "terrorist acts" for giving lessons in how to build bombs and booby traps.
Feb 27, 1994 A bomb exploded in a Maronite Church at Jounieh 12 km north of Beirut. Ten people were killed and at least 60 were wounded. Prime Minister Hariri blamed the attack on un-named Palestinian groups.
Feb 27, 1994 A bomb exploded in a Maronite church killing 10 worshipers. No one claimed responsibility but the government eventually blamed the LF and outlawed the organization. The LF denied the accusation and accused the government of using the bombing as an excuse to clamp down on its political rivals. The LF was the major Christian militia during the civil war and became a political party after the war.
Feb 28, 1994 Rival Shi'i militias, Amal and Hizbollah, fought against each other with machine guns and rocket propelled hand grenades at a southern Lebanese village.
Mar 7, 1994 A Palestinian school in southern Lebanon was attacked with grenades.
Mar 11, 1994 Hundreds of armed Hizbollah members attended a rally by thousands of protestors to mark Jerusalem day. The government ordered the arrest of the armed Hizbollah members. Lebanon introduced the death penalty for politically motivated murders in an attempt to clamp down on terrorist attacks.
Mar 16, 1994 The army defused a bomb at a school in Christian east Beirut. Several bombs targeting Christians have been planted in the past few months.
Mar 23, 1994 Two members of the Maronite forces were arrested in connection to the bombing of the Maronite church. The Lebanese Forces had apparently planted the bombs in the hopes that in the aftermath the Maronites would reunite and take up arms against the government of Prime Minister Hariri. The Lebanese Forces were disbanded by the government and declared an illegal organization.
Mar 26, 1994 Lebanese Prime Minister Harari announced that he would not ban Hizbollah as long as it restricted its activities to attacks on Israeli forces occupying southern Lebanon.
Mar 31, 1994 Hizbollah handed over 11 of its members to the Lebanese army. The men were among those accused of bearing arms during the March 11 Jerusalem Day celebration.
Apr 1, 1994 Lebanon's Maronite Christian patriarch accused the Syrian-backed government of bias against the once-dominant Christians.
Apr 1994 Lebanese troops seized several arms caches belonging to Palestinian groups, especially the FRC. They also shut down a FRC training camp.
Apr 18, 1994 A local commander of the Amal militia was killed by a car bomb in southern Lebanon.
Apr 22, 1994 LF leader Samir Geagea was detained for questioning in the February 27 bombing of a Maronite church.
Apr 23 - 24, 1994 Hundreds of LF supporters protested the detention of LF leader Samir Geagea.
Apr 24, 1994 Lebanese troops fired into the air to disperse a crowd banned from attending Sunday mass at the seat of the Maronite Christian Patriarchy. This was part of a government crackdown on the LF.
May 1, 1994 Lebanon's only Druze radio station went off the air, becoming the first casualty of a government ban on private newscasts.
May 10, 1994 A Hizbollah-run television station broke the government ban on private newscasts.
May 12, 1994 A bomb killed a prominent member of the Amal militia in southern Lebanon.
Jun 1, 1994 It was announced that Lebanese troops would deploy in the mainly-Druze Shouf mountains later this month to facilitate the return of thousands of Christians who fled their houses during Lebanon's civil war. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt supported the move and announced a plan to repatriate the Christian villagers.
Jun 2 - 13, 1994 A Hizbollah television and radio station defied the government ban on private news broadcasts.
Jun 23, 1994 A bomb killed a Hizbollah commander in southern Lebanon.
Sep 9, 1994 Lebanon's social affairs minister said that half of the estimated 900,000 people who had fled Lebanon during the 1975 to 1990 civil war have returned home and that tens of thousands are returning every year.
Oct 16 - 17, 1994 Syrian forces in Lebanon arrested several Fatah officials.
Oct 30, 1994 Lebanon's foreign minister called on Arab states to take in some of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Nov 19, 1994 LF leader Geagea, the major Christian warlord of the Lebanese Civil War, went on trial for the February bombing of a Maronite church and crimes related to Lebanon's civil war. Many feel that this trial was politically motivated because Geagea was the only major warlord to be put on trial and his banned party, the LF, constituted the most serious threat to the Syrian-dominated order in post-war Lebanon.
Nov 19, 1994 Palestinians in southern Lebanon burned tires and staged strikes in protest against the killings of 12 people in inter-Palestinian fighting in Gaza.
Nov 25, 1994 Eight were killed in day-long fighting between supporters and opponents of PLO leader Yasser Arafat in the Rashidiyyeh refugee camp near the southern port of Tyre. Fighting broke out when about 400 Arafat supporters seized 6 military posts manned by 200 dissidents led by Munir al-Maqdah, a former Fatah commander who split with Arafat over the PLO-Israeli peace accord. Anti-Arafat guerrillas seemed to be victorious.
Nov 30, 1994 The Lebanese government demanded that Palestinians in refugee camps give up their weapons and threatened to send in its troops to disarm the Palestinians if they do not disarm voluntarily. This threat, to date, has not been carried out.
Dec 21, 1994 A car bomb killed three in Beirut's Shi'i southern suburbs. Hizbollah blamed Israel for the blast.
Dec 28, 1994 PFLP guerrillas clashed with Fatah guerrillas in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
Feb 10, 1995 Lebanon army intelligence officers and Palestinian gunmen clashed on the edge of a refugee camp outside the southern city of Sidon. There were also reports of fighting between pro-PLO and anti-PLO forces. Bodyguards of 2 top Shi'i politicians fought a 10-minute gun battle with each other in Beirut.
Apr 3, 1995 A Lebanese court fined the editors of a Christian opposition newspaper $5,200 for running an article in 1993 that "evokes sectarian strife" in Lebanon.
Apr 12, 1995 The UN agency caring for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon said that more than 300,000 Palestinians in Lebanon were not getting sufficient medical care due to rising costs.
Apr 22, 1995 Lebanese police shot dead the wife of a FRC guerilla when they broke into his house to arrest him.
May 8, 1995 Lebanon security forces, cracking down on the FRC stormed a guerrilla depot in the Bekaa valley and seized an ammunition cache.
Jun 1995 Two Hizbollah leaders were killed by bombs in southern Lebanon in separate incidents.
Jun 5, 1995 Reuters reported that the most important Shi'i fast of Ashoura was causing divisions among Lebanon's Shi'i and Sunni communities. For the past few years, the Shi'i had been celebrating the holiday "more aggressively" and had been bringing their celebrations to new areas of Beirut, including some Sunni areas. This had angered some Sunni residents and some minor incidents between Sunnis and Shi'i occurred.
Jun 12 - 13, 1995 Four died in clashes between pro-Fatah and anti-Fatah Palestinians in a southern Lebanon refugee camp.
Jun 24, 1995 LF leader Geagea was convicted of the murder of a rival in 1990 and sentenced to life imprisonment. Many Christians ask why Geagea was tried and convicted of acts related to Lebanon's civil war but not other former warlords with blood on their hands.
Jul 20, 1995 Reuters reported that Lebanon had arrested hundreds of armed protestors in southern Lebanon after police clashed with the protesters. While the protests were sponsored by labor unions, the government accused many Palestinians who participated of undertaking "acts of disturbance" on instructions from "outside Lebanon."
Jul 28, 1995 PLO chairman Arafat said that Palestinian refugees in Lebanon would never be permanently settled there. It has been the policy of the PLO that Palestinian refugees were not to be permanently settled anywhere outside of their original homes.
Aug 31, 1995 Amal supporters went on strike on the 17th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadir, a Shi'i cleric who founded Amal. Five Palestinian guerrillas died in what seems to be an accidental blast at a PFLP (General Command) training base in eastern Lebanon. Masked gunmen assassinated the head of the al-Ahbash association. It is a pro-Syrian, non-violent, ultra-religious, Sunni Moslem philanthropic organization with a large following in Lebanon. The association had been growing in strength and was beginning to challenge the Jama al-Islamiya, which was previously the dominant Sunni Islamic group in Lebanon.
Sep 10, 1995 Reuters reported that Lebanon had turned back several hundred Palestinians who had been expelled from Libya and arrived on two ships last week.
Sep 12, 1995 An officer of PLO chairman Arafat's Fatah faction was found stabbed to death near an southern Lebanon refugee camp.
Sep 13, 1995 A protest strike on the 2nd anniversary of the PLO-Israeli peace deal paralyzed the Ain el Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
Sep 22, 1995 Lebanon eased restrictions against Palestinians with Lebanese travel documents taken this month to curb the entry of Palestinians expelled from Libya. The decision followed protests from Lebanon-based Palestinian groups and strikes in refugee camps to protest against both the restrictions and Libya's expulsion of all of its Palestinians.
Sep 28, 1995 Palestinians in southern Lebanon refugee camps protested against the latest agreement in the Israeli-PLO peace process which was signed in Washington D.C.
Oct 11, 1995 A bomb explodes in Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon, killing 3 Israeli soldiers and injuring 6 others. Hezbollah is the main suspect in the bombing. (Reuters, October 15)
Oct 15, 1995 Hezbollah plants a bomb in south Lebanon, killing 6 Israeli soldiers. An Israeli intelligence official warned of reprisals against villages in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Nov 5, 1995 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated at a peace rally in Tel Aviv. The peace process between Israel and Lebanon will likely be slowed as a result.
Nov 13, 1995 Israeli warplanes fired 26 missiles at the hills around Naameh, south of Beirut, in an attack against a military base of the hardline PFLP-GC. Two members of PFLP-GC died during the attack, while 8 others were injured. (AFP)
Nov 26 - Dec 14, 1995 Lebanon's Catholic bishops hold their first post-war synod, urging Christians to stop fleeing Lebanon and inviting back to Lebanon the 800,000 Christians who left during the civil war. The bishop's voiced their concerns about the influence of Syria on Lebanese affairs and called upon Christians to take an active role in the country's public affairs. (Reuters; AFP)
Nov 28, 1995 Hezbollah forces launch a rocket attack on northern Israel, forcing thousands to flee to bomb shelters. (Reuters)
Dec 11, 1995 PFLP leader George Habash calls for a boycott of the upcoming elections in regions of Palestinian self-rule as a way of demonstrating objections to the agreement between Israel and the PLO. (Reuters)
Jan 1, 1996 Reports indicate that a total of 285 people died in Lebanon in 1995 as a result of violence, the lowest total since the end of the country's civil war. More than half of the fatalities--175 people--were killed in clashes between Moslem guerillas and Israeli troops and their allies in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Jan 13, 1996 Lebanese security forces defused a bobby-trapped van parked next to the office of an al-Ahbash member. The van contained enough explosives to destroy markets nearby the Beirut office.
Jan 20, 1996 Yassar Arafat became the first democratically elected leader of the Palestinian people, winning 88.1% of the vote in elections mandated by the Israeli-PLO agreement. Arafat's Fatah party also won a majority of seats in the newly established legislative council. A high percentage of the eligible 1 million voters participated in the elections. However, Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon, as well as those in Syria and Jordan, were not eligible to vote. (Reuters)
Jan 27, 1996 SLA reported that 4 Palestinian guerillas were killed as they tried to infiltrate the Israeli security zone in southern Lebanon. The guerillas were members of PFLP-GC. (AFP)
Jan 31, 1996 An appeal hearing for 3 former members of the PFLP for the 1976 murder of the US ambassador to Beirut came to a close, with prosecutors demanding 20 year sentences for the accused. (Reuters)
Feb 15, 1996 A Lebanese magistrate called for the death penalty against Palestinian fundamentalist leader Abu Mahjan for the August 1995 murder of Sheikh Nizar Halabi, a Sunni Moslem and leader of the Al-Ahbash movement. Abu Mahjan and 20 of his followers in Usbat al-Ansar were previously indicted for a variety of terrorist acts against both Muslim and Christian targets. The Palestinian leader remains at large but is suspected to be hiding within a Palestinian refugee camp. (AFP)
Mar 10, 1996 SLA officials report that Hizbollah forces killed 2 Israeli soldiers, and wounded 4 others, in an attack in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Mar 11, 1996 Lebanon declined an invitation to an Arab peace summit, noting that it refused to acknowledge that freedom fighters in Lebanon were terrorists. (Reuters)
Mar 20, 1996 An Israeli officer, who was a Druze, died when a Hizbollah suicide bomber hurled himself at an army convoy in south Lebanon. (AFP)
Mar 31, 1996 A day of fighting between Hizbollah and Israeli troops along the border erupted after 2 Lebanese civilians were killed. The fighting ended as Israel appealed to Syria to intervene diplomatically. (Reuters)
Apr 5, 1996 French President Jacques Chirac visited southern Lebanon and called for the restoration of Lebanon's full sovereignty. Chirac met with leaders of several religious communities in Lebanon in an effort to encourage cooperation among them. (AFP)
Apr 10 - 26, 1996 Israel launches an offensive against Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon, known as "Operation Grapes of Wrath." During the offensive, more than 200 people (mostly civilians) were killed in Lebanon total and hundreds more were wounded. More than 400,000 were forced from their homes in Lebanon. About 55 Israelis were wounded during the campaign, but there were no Israeli fatalities. (Reuters)
May 9, 1996 The UN issued a report stating that the bombing of a UN camp in Lebanon by Israel did not appear to be the result of either technical or procedural errors, as Israel claimed. The US criticized the report. (Reuters) A roadside bomb planted by Hizbollah forces in southern Lebanon wounded two SLA members. This was the first incident of Hizbollah violence since April's ceasefire agreement. (Reuters)
May 10, 1996 Another Hizbollah bomb exploded in southern Lebanon, seriously injuring a member of the SLA. (Some reports say that the SLA member was killed.) (Reuters)
May 12, 1996 Israeli planes fired rockets on suspected Hizbollah bases in Lebanon after two more Hizbollah attacks injured 5 Israeli soldiers. (Reuters)
May 14, 1996 Clashes between Israeli troops and Moslem guerilla forces in southern Lebanon leave one member of Hizbollah dead. (Reuters)
May 19, 1996 Both Hizbollah and Syria accuse Israel of breaking the April ceasefire after Israeli shells in southern Lebanon kill a civilian woman. (Reuters) The recent series of attacks speed up multilateral diplomatic efforts to develop and implement a cease-fire monitoring force in Lebanon. (Reuters)
May 20, 1996 A Lebanese court convicted former LF leader Samir Geagea for the murder of his rival, a leader of the Christian Phalange Party, in 1980. Geagea has been in prison since 1994 for another murder conviction. (Kaleidoscope)
May 22, 1996 Human Rights Watch calls upon the US to halt weapons shipments to Israel until the country vows to end attacks on civilians in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
May 23, 1996 Israeli forces launched a high-explosive artillery shell into southern Lebanon, but no casualties were reported. (Reuters)
May 27, 1996 More than 200,000 people gathered throughout Lebanon to commemorate the ancient Shi'ite martyr Imam Hussein, killed in 680 by Sunni Muslem troops. The rallies were seen as a massive show of public support for Hizbollah. (AFP)
May 29, 1996 Tensions between Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and Hizbollah leaders became apparent as Hariri voiced the state's opposition to the politics of the Shi'ite Moslem group in "unusually harsh terms." The Prime Minister argues that Hizbollah's political agenda was based on an attempt to weaken the Lebanese state. (Reuters)
May 30, 1996 Hizbollah attacks resulted in the deaths of 4 Israeli soldiers, and wounded 7 others, as two bombs exploded within 15 minutes of one another in a southern Lebanese town, bringing to 11 the number of Israeli soldiers killed by Hizbollah in 1996. Hizbollah claimed that the attacks were retaliation for civilian deaths in Lebanon. (Reuters) Benjamin Netanyahu, a critic of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, is elected Prime Minister of Israel.
Jun 6, 1996 Hizbollah set off a bomb near an Isreali patrol in southern Lebanon. No injuries were reported. (Reuters)
Jun 10, 1996 Hizbollah ambushed Isreali soldiers on patrol in southern Lebanon. Five Israelis and one Shi'ite guerilla were killed in the attack, and 6 more Isrealis were wounded. Israel launched a retalitory attack, killing one additional Hizbollah fighter. (Reuters)
Jun 14, 1996 SLA forces killed a Hizbollah guerilla during an gunfire exchange between the two groups in the occupied zone in southern Lebanon. (Reuters) Bahrain asked for Lebanon's assistance in stopping Hizbollah training of Shi'ite rebels in Bahrain who are trying to overthrown the Sunni-run government there. (AFP)
Jun 24, 1996 For the first time since April, Hizbollah launched a rocket attack on Israeli posts in southern Lebanon. The attack caused no casualties. (Reuters)
Jun 29, 1996 Hizbollah launched a mortar bomb attack on nine Israeli and SLA outposts in southern Lebanon, injuring 3 SLA fighters. Retaliatory attacks by Israel apparently resulted in the death of one Hizbollah guerilla. (Reuters)
Jul 2, 1996 Israeli warplanes fired four rockets at a base of the Palestinian National Liberation Organization (PNLO)--a PLO splinter group--in southeastern Lebanon. The PNLO had claimed responsibility for a recent West Bank attack in which 3 Israeli soldiers were killed and 2 were wounded. (Reuters)
Jul 7, 1996 Two Israeli soldiers received minor injuries during overnight clashes between Hizbollah and Israeli troops in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Jul 10, 1996 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told US President Clinton that he would move forward with the peace process with Syria only after all Hizbollah attacks on Israeli troops ceased. Hizbollah leaders denied that Netanyahu would be able to crush Hezbollah. (Reuters)
Jul 11, 1996 In a move intended to appease Druze leader Walid Joumblat, the Lebanese parliament voted for a new election plan which called for single constituency votes in 4 of 5 Lebanon's regions. The fifth region-- Mount Lebanon--would be broken into six districts. While this region is Christian-dominated, the majority of the Lebanese Druze population also live in Mount Lebanon. If it were to become a single-constituency district, the Druze would likely have no representation in the parliament. (UPI)
Jul 12, 1996 Two-and-a-half months after securing a cease-fire agreement in Lebanon, the Lebanon, Israel, Syria, France, and the US agreed to a 5-nation monitoring mechanism to ensure that no civilians were targeted in conflicts in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Jul 13, 1996 Former LF leader and two-time murderer Samir Geagea was found not guilty of planning a 1994 church bombing in Beirut. Both he and his deputy, Fuad Malek, were found guilty of forming armed militias after the civil war. (Kaleidoscope)
Jul 21, 1996 Based on a deal negotiated by German mediators, Lebanon handed over to Israel the bodies of 2 Israeli soldiers captured in 1986. In exchange, Israel will return to Lebanon the bodies of 123 fallen guerillas and the SLA will free more than 40 prisoners in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Jul 25, 1996 A Hizbollah bomb seriously injured one civilian in southern Lebanon. Hizbollah spokesmen claimed that the attack also killed an SLA security officer. In a subsequent clash, Israeli forces killed two Shi'ite guerillas. (Reuters)
Jul 30, 1996 The UN Security Council renewed for six months (through January 31, 1997) the mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNFIL).
Aug 6, 1996 Hizbollah shelling kills 1 Isreali soldier and wounds 2 others at posts in southern Lebanon. To date in 1996, Hizbollah has killed 17 Israelis. (Reuters, August 7)
Aug 7, 1996 Israeli planes launched rockets on Hezbollah targets and Syrian troops in eastern Lebanon in retaliation for Hizbollah shelling on Isreali troops.
Aug 8, 1996 As the 5-nation monitoring team for Lebanon met for the first time, Israel launched air raids on a Hizbollah radio station and ammunition depot. (Reuters)
Aug 13, 1996 Following an August 9 decision by Lebanon's Constitutional Court that the election laws passed in July were unconstitutional, the parliament amended the law but maintained the provisions dividing Mount Lebanon into districts. The revised law notes that the division is justified by extraordinary circumstances. (APS Diplomatic Recorder, August 17)
Aug 18, 1996 The first round of elections for Lebanon's parliament is held. Unlike in 1992 elections, Christians in the Mount Lebanon region participated in the elections and posed a challenge to the Syrian-controlled government. Election observers reported that gross irregularities and violent outbreaks--including one death--marred the elections. In the end, a candidate list headed by pro-Syrian Druze leader Walid Jumblatt won all 8 seats in the Druze dominated district, and pro-government candidates won 32 of the 35 seats contested in this round of elections. (Reuters; Financial Times, August 20; AFP, August 19)
Aug 25, 1996 Elections were held in northern Lebanon, where the electorate included 5,000 newly eligible voters from the Wadi Khaled tribes. Boutrus Harb, a Christian critic of Syria's influence over Lebanon, captured the most votes in the traditionally pro-Syrian region. (AFP; AFP, August 26)
Aug 28, 1996 SLA mortar fire hit a UN post in southern Lebanon, slightly injuring a Finnish peacekeeper. (Reuters) A Hizbollah ambush along the south Lebanon border killed one Israeli soldier and wounds another. (Reuters, August 30)
Aug 29, 1996 A clash in southern Lebanon resulted in the death of one Israeli soldier and the wounding of two Lebanese civilians. (Reuters, August 30)
Sep 1, 1996 Voting for legislators took place in Beirut, where parliamentary seats follow the region's population patterns; there are six Sunni Moslem seats, two Shiites, one Druze, five Armenians, two Greek Orthodox, one Maronite Christian, one Greek Catholic and one protestant. Allegations of corruption marred this round of voting. (AFP)
Sep 7, 1996 Syria averted a divisive vote in Lebanon's fourth round of parliamentary elections by forging an alliance between rival opposition groups Amal and Hizbollah for seats in southern Lebanon. This alliance won 21 of the 23 seats reserved for south Lebanon. (Reuters; AFP, September 9)
Sep 13, 1996 Israeli forces ambushed Hizbollah forces in southern Lebanon, killing one guerilla. Later, Israeli helicopters launched rockets at suspected Hizbollah posts in the region. (Reuters)
Sep 15, 1996 The final round of elections took place in eastern Lebanon. As in the south, Syria played an active role in forming the list of candidates for this region in an effort to quell tensions among pro-government groups. Under a deal brokered by Syria, Hizbollah leaders were able to select the Maronite Christian candidate for the Baalbeck-Hermel region. (Reuters)
Sep 17, 1996 A gunfight broke out at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon between a Saadi clan of PLO guerillas and members the small faction Osbet al-Ansar (Band of Supporters). Abu Obaidah, the leader of the latter group, was severely wounded during the attack. (Reuters) The Lebanese cabinet granted broadcasting licenses to a handful of television and radio stations under pro-Syrian, pro-government ownership. The government then ordered the shutdown of the approximately 45 TV stations and almost 100 radio stations that are led by opposition forces. Members of both the Lebanese Druze and Christian communities condemned the decision. (AFP)
Sep 19, 1996 The SAL reported that 2 Israeli soldiers were killed, and another 2 were injured, in an ambush by Hizbollah guerilla forces. Later reports indicated that 8 soldiers were injured. (Reuters) In response to the ambush, Israel launched three air raids on Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon. Hizbollah reported that the attacks injured a civilian woman, in violation of the April cease-fire agreement. (Reuters)
Sep 20, 1996 Lebanese President Hrawi met with Syrian President Assad to discuss heightening tensions between Lebanon and Israel. (Reuters)
Sep 21, 1996 Clashes broke out throughout southern Lebanon between Israeli soldiers and Hizbollah forces, with each side reported to have launched rockets and artillery fire. (Reuters)
Sep 22, 1996 Lebanese officials arrested 11 sympathizers of the Sunni opposition group the People's Lebanese Congress in Beirut for burning the US flag. The group stated that they were burning the flag to voice opposition to US involvement in Lebanon's parliamentary elections. (AFP)
Sep 24, 1996 Hizbollah launched two separate ambushes in southern Lebanon, injuring 4 SLA fighters. (Reuters, September 25)
Sep 25, 1996 Israel fired four rockets at Hizbollah bases in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Sep 26, 1996 Palestinians in southern Lebanese refugee camps staged an anti-Israel strike to protest the killing of 7 Palestinians in the West Bank by Israeli troops.
Oct 9, 1996 Almost 200 people demonstrated outside the government palace in Beirut, protesting the restrictive media rules announced in September. Plain-clothes intelligence officers broke up the protest. Following a meeting with Christian leader Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir, Prime Minister Hariri announced that religious leaders, not the state-run channels, would remain responsible for the broadcast of religious news. (AFP, October 11)
Oct 11, 1996 The Israeli army reported that its troops had killed 2 Amal soldiers, and wounded one guerilla, in clashes in southern Lebanon (Reuters, October 12)
Oct 12, 1996 Israel launched an artillery attack on a south Lebanese village, wounding 13 civilians--eight of whom were from one family. The attack was in retaliation for Hizbollah mortar attacks on Israeli bases, in which no injuries were reported. (Reuters)
Oct 18, 1996 The five-nation group formed to monitor the Israeli-Lebanese cease-fire announced that Israel was responsible for the civilian injuries in southern Lebanon on Oct. 12 and that it "deplored" the damage caused by the attack. (Reuters) A roadside bomb, planted by Hizbollah, exploded in southern Lebanon and killed 2 SLA fighters, while seriously wounding 2 others. The militiamen were the 15th and 16th SLA fighters killed in Lebanon in 1996. (Reuters)
Oct 25, 1996 A Hizbollah bomb killed 2 Israeli soldiers and wounded 4 others. (Reuters, November 9)
Oct 31, 1996 Two guerillas from the Amal movement were killed during clashes with Israeli forces within the occupation zone. (Reuters, November 3)
Nov 3, 1996 A SLA fighter died when a Hizbollah-planted bomb exploded in Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Nov 9, 1996 One Israeli soldier died, and two more were wounded, in an ambush by Hizbollah forces. (Reuters)
Nov 13, 1996 A SLA militiaman died after receiving fatal wounds during clashes with Hizbollah forces. (Reuters)
Nov 22, 1996 Israel released a man from a Druze community in southern Lebanon who had been arrested and secretly transported to Israel because of suspicions that he was a member of Hezbollah. (AFP)
Nov 28, 1996 Baton-wielding Lebanese police forces broke up a demonstration in Beirut protesting Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri's government. Police reportedly arrested 70 protestors who were demonstrating against the government's poor record on social reforms and Hariri's edict to impose censorship and shut down a number of television and radio stations. (Reuters; Kaleidoscope)
Nov 30, 1996 Israeli troops killed 2 Arab guerillas alnong the border of the occupied zone of southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Dec 4, 1996 The Israeli army announced that it had formed an elite unit--known as the Egoz unit--to battle terrorism in southern Lebanon and that it had killed at least 16 guerillas in the year since it had been put into practice. (Reuters) A bomb exploded near the home of the parents of Abu Mahjan, the Palestinian being tried in absentia for the August 1995 murder of a Sunni fundamentalist leader. No group claimed responsibiliry for the bombing. (AFP)
Dec 13, 1996 Israel reports that Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon had struck northern Israel. Hizbollah denied launching these rockets, but the international monitoring group found it responsible for the launch of at least one rocket. Israel later claimed that the PFLP-GC was responsible for the rocket attack. (Reuters, December 15; December 18; AFP, December 24)
Dec 14, 1996 Two Arab guerillas died and one Israeli soldier was injured in clashes in southern Lebanon. (Reuters, December 15)
Dec 15, 1996 Israel launched three separate rocket attacks on Hizbollah bases in southern Lebanon as Lebanese leaders prepared to meet with US officials about increasing aid for Lebanon. (Reuters)
Dec 16, 1996 US President Clinton refused to lift his country's ban on travel to Lebanon as international donors agreed to give Lebanon over $3 billion in long-term aid.
Dec 18, 1996 Israeli warplanes three times launched rockets on suspected Hizbollah bases outside of the Israeli occupied zone of southern Lebanon. (Reuter)
Dec 19, 1996 After Hizbollah launched a mortar attack on Israeli posts, Israel fired 2 air-to-surface missiles at suspected Hizbollah targets.
Dec 24, 1996 Two Israeli soldiers died, and two more suffered injuries, following the detonation of a large explosive in southern Lebanon. Hizbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks. During 1996, twenty-six Israeli soldiers died in clashes with Hizbollah, and another wighty-six suffered injuries. (AFP)
Jan 1, 1997 A total of 27 Israeli soldiers died in fighting in south Lebanon in 1996Cthe highest total in 11 years. In addition, 19 SLA fighters died. Fifty-four Arab guerillas mostly members of Hizbollah also perished during fighting in 1996, as did 155 Lebanese civilians. Lebanon's National News Agency reported that, excluding the 17 days of fighting in April, guerilla forces launched 365 attacks on Israeli or SLA forces during 1996. (Reuters)
Jan 3 - 5, 1997 Israel launches a series of rocket attacks against suspected Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Jan 8, 1997 Israeli warplanes launched two air raid strikes against suspected Hizbollah guerrilla targets in south Lebanon after Katyusha rockets from Lebanon hit northern Israel. Both Hizbollah and Amal denied invovlement with the rocket attack. Earlier in the day, one Israeli soldier was killed and 4 others were wounded in a clash with Amal guerilla forces. Israeli forces reported that 3 guerillas also died in the clashes. (Reuters)
Jan 10, 1997 Lebanese security forces arrested two members of the Syrian-based Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) who were suspected of being involved with the January 8 rocket launch on Israel. (Reuters)
Jan 16, 1997 Both Hizbollah and PFLP-GC condemned an agreement made between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli leaders on a partial Israeli withdrawal from the town of Hebron. (AFP)
Jan 19, 1997 The bodyguard of a Fatah leader is shot dead in a Palestinian refugee camp. No group claimed responsibility for the murder.
Jan 29, 1997 Israel launched its twelfth air raid attack of the year on suspected Hizbollah targets in Lebanon. (Hizbollah)
Jan 30, 1997 A Hizbollah bomb killed 3 Israeli soldiers and seriously wounded another on foot patrol in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Feb 5, 1997 Seventy-three Israeli soldiers en route to southern Lebanon died when their helicopter crashed. The accident re-opened questions concerning Israel's continued involvement in Lebanon. (New York Times, February 6)
Feb 9, 1997 A clash between Hizbollah guerillas and Israeli forces involving bombs, machine guns, and anti-tank rockets, left 7 Israeli soldiers wounded. (Reuters)
Feb 11, 1997 Israel launched a series of attacks against Hizbollah and PFLP-GC guerilla bases in Lebanon. The attacks disabled a Hizbollah radio station. At least one civilian was injured in the attack. (Reuters; Reuters, February 13)
Feb 13, 1997 Israeli helicopters launched an attack on Palestinian and Hizbollah targets north of the Israeli-occupied sector of Lebanon. (Reuters)
Feb 21, 1997 Lebanon's top Shiite Moslem cleric, Sheikh Mohammad Mahdi Shamseddin, and the head of the Egypt's Sunni Moslem bastion, agreed during a meeting in Cairo that all Moslems were one people and that no fundamental differences existed between Shi'ites and Sunnis. (AFP)
Feb 27, 1997 An Israeli attack on guerilla targets resulted in the shelling of a market town in southern Lebanon, outside of the Israeli-occupied zone. The attack caused no casualties but did significantly damage structures in the town. (Reuters)
Feb 28, 1997 Five Hizbollah guerillas and one Israeli soldier were killed in a series of retaliatory clashes in southern Lebanon. This was the fifth Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon in 1997. (Reuters)
Mar 2, 1997 Israeli launched its twentieth raid of the year of guerilla targets in Lebanon. No injuries were reported. (Reuters)
Mar 3, 1997 A Hizbollah machine-gun attack left two SLA militiamen wounded. Israel and Hizbollah launched a retaliatory artillery attack. (Reuters)
Mar 8, 1997 Isreali forces raided Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon, launching a total of 4 rockets. (Reuters)
Mar 9, 1997 Muslim guerilla forces wounded an Isreali soldier in southern Lebanon. Israel responded by launching its 23rd air ride of the year at Hizbollah targets. (Reuters)
Mar 10, 1997 An Israeli soldier was wounded when a car bomb exploded in southern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Mar 22, 1997 Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon held a massive strike to protest Israel's construction of a new Jewish settlement in Arab east Jerusalem. (AFP)
Mar 24, 1997 A Palestinian and two Lebanese--all followers of Abu Mahjan--were hanged in Beirut for the August 1995 murder of Sunni fundamentalist Sheick Halabi. Abu Mahjan, considered to be the mastermind of the murder, remains missing but is strongly believed to hiding in a Palestinian refugee camp, off limits to the Lebanese army. (AFP)
Apr 9, 1997 A roadside bomb in south Lebanon wounded 4 SLA members. (Reuters)
Apr 13, 1997 A roadside bomb in south Lebanon killed one member of the SLA and wounded 2 others. (Reuters)
Apr 15, 1997 Israeli troops crossed into non-Israeli Lebanon and raided a Hizbollah base, killing two guerillas and wounding several others. (Reuters)
Apr 18, 1997 On the one-year anniversary of the killing of over 100 Lebanese civilians, fighting with fists and sticks broke out between backers of Hizbollah and Amal. (Reuters)
May 1, 1997 An Israeli military leader reported that Hizbollah was having difficulty gaining new recruits. (Reuters)
May 9, 1997 Lebanon's Judicial Council sentenced Samir Geagea, former leader of the now-disbanded Christian Lebanese Forces, to death for the attempted murder of a government official in 1991. The Council immediately commuted the sentence to life in prison. (AFP)
May 10, 1997 Pope John Paul II arrived in Lebanon for a 32-hour visit, intended to help Christians in Lebanon become fully integrated in the post-war society. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt expressed hope that the Pope would encourage Christians in Lebanon to work for and accept a secular Lebanon. (AFP, April 30) At the end of his visit, the Pope issued an Apostolic Exhortation entitled "A New Hope for Lebanon," in which he called for Lebanon's complete independence and implored Christians to remain in Lebanon, despite complaints of discrimination. (Reuters)
May 12, 1997 Four SLA fighters and an Israeli soldier were injured when Hizbollah forces attacked their post in southern Lebanon. Israel retaliated by firing six rockets at suspected Hizbollah bases, in Israel's 27th air raid in Lebanon in 1997. (Reuters)
May 15, 1997 Three Israeli soldiers were injured after Hizbollah guerillas ambushed their base. (Reuters) In a separate clash, Hizbollah guerillas killed one Israeli soldier and wounded five others. Israel responded by launching 2 air raids against Hizbollah targets. Isreali sources claimed that one guerilla was killed in these attacks, but Hezbollah denied the report. (Reuters) Over night, three Israeli soldiers died during clashes with Hizbollah forces. Lebanese army forces were also involved after the Israeli army apparently shot at one of its bases. (Reuters, May 16)
May 16, 1997 Israel launched two separate air raids on Hizbollah targets. At the same time, Israeli officials--prompted by the loss of three soldiers--stated that Israel had no plans to take over Lebanese territory and is interested in reaching a peace agreement with Lebanon.
May 17, 1997 The SLA reported that Hizbollah guerillas destroyed a SLA outpost and wounded a SLA militiaman. Israel and SLA shot artillery fire and launched the 44th air raid of the year at Hizbollah regions. (Reuters)
May 18, 1997 For the third consecutive day, Israel raided Hizbollah targets in Lebanon. (Reuters)
May 19, 1997 Four Lebanese MPs lost their legislative seats after the country's Constitutional Council discovered irregularities in last year's elections. Three of parliamentarians were Maronite Christians and one was a Sunni Moslem. (AFP)
May 21, 1997 A roadside bomb exploded in southern Lebanon, injuring an Israeli soldier. (Reuters) During an interview on Arab television, Maronite Christian leader Nasrallah Sfeir stated that Syrian troops have been in Lebanon for too long and that the situation is benefiting neither Lebanon nor Syria. He pointed out that the 1989 Taif accord, approved by the Lebanese National Assembly, had called for Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon within two years, but that this agreement had been ignored. (AFP)
May 24, 1997 The Israeli army killed one Hizbollah guerilla and wounded three others in north of Israel's occupation zone in southern Lebanon. This was the twelfth Hizbollah guerilla killed in 1997. (Reuters)
May 28, 1997 A gunfight erupted between members of rival Palestinian factions at a south Lebanon refugee camp. The conflict was between members of the Moslem-fundamentalist Ansarollah (Supporter of God) group and a pro-Syrian group named Sae'qa (Thunder). (Reuters)
Jun 4, 1997 One Lebanese villager died when four roadside bombs exploded in eastern Lebanon. A Hizbollah guerilla was also injured in the explosion. Hizbollah leaders claim that Israel detonated the bombs via remote control. (Reuters)
Jun 6, 1997 Hizbollah ambushed an Israeli patrol within the occupied zone of southern Lebanon, wounding several soldiers. (UPI)
Jun 11, 1997 Hizbollah rocket fire wounded one SLA militiaman in the occupied zone and prompted a retaliatory bombardment by Israeli forces. (UPI)
Jun 15, 1997 One Israeli soldier died as a result of serious wounds caused by the explosion of a roadside Hizbollah bomb. Three other soldiers were injured in the explosion. (New York Times, June 16)
Jun 16, 1997 SLA reported that the explosion of a roadside bomb near the Christian town of Jezzine within the Israeli-occupied zone injured a Lebanese civilian. No group took immediate responsibility for the blast. (UPI)
Jun 18, 1997 The explosion of a roadside bomb killed in Jezzine an SLA fighter and a Lebanese civilian (possibly also an SLA fighter) and injured another man, while another bomb in the occupied region injured two Lebanese policemen. No group claimed immediate responsibility for the blasts. Israel reacted by launching four rockets at Hizbollah positions in the southwest Bekaa valley. (UPI)
Jun 19, 1997 Residents of Jezzine observed a strike to protest the placement of bombs along roads used by civilians in the town, claiming that the attacks violated the April 1996 cease-fire agreement and demanding that Lebanese officials do something to stop the explosions. Two SLA security officials died following the explosion of another roadside bomb in Jezzine. (The SLA claimed that the men were civilians). (UPI)
Jun 21, 1997 Six UN peacekeepers, part of UNIFIL, were wounded--two critically--when a roadside bomb exploded as the UNIFIL unit patrolled the border of Israel's occupied region. (UPI) During a visit to Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon, EU envoy Miguel Angel Moratinos promised that the EU would support the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) to help improve the conditions of the refugees. (UPI) Israeli airplanes rocketed suspected Hizbollah posts in Lebanon. (UPI)
Jun 27, 1997 Israel launched an overnight air raid on Hizbollah positions in Lebanon, firing at least five rockets at a cluster of Shi'ite villages in the Iqlim al- Toffah region. At least one guerilla fighter died and three others were injured. (UPI)
Jun 30, 1997 An exchange of gunfire between Hizbollah and Israeli forces left two Muslim guerillas dead. (UPI)
Jul 1, 1997 Hizbollah fighters and Israeli soldiers clashed overnight. Israel claimed that at least one guerilla died during the fighting, while Hizbollah claimed that several Israelis were killed or wounded and had to be evacuated by an Israeli helicopter. (UPI) The French ambassador to Israel announced that France would be willing to commit troops to Lebanon to facilitate Israel's evacuation of the country. (UPI)
Jul 2, 1997 Hizbollah forces attacked an Israeli convoy within the occupied region of Lebanon. Each side offered conflicting reports on casualties from this attack. Israel later bombarded villages near the southern Lebanon border, injuring one civilian and damaging five houses. (UPI)
Jul 3, 1997 Israeli jets fired at least six rockets upon PFLP-GC posts in a coastal village south of Beirut, injuring three Palestinians. A member of Hizbollah and a SLA fighter were killed in a separate clash in Lebanon. (UPI)
Jul 6, 1997 Following the reported killing of an Israeli soldier by Hizbollah forces during a machine gun and rocket-fired grenade attack, Israel launched an artillery attack on Shi'ite villages in the Iqlim al- Toffah region, suspected to be a Hizbollah post. At least one civilian and 7-year-old boy were injured in the Israeli attacks. (UPI) Among 4,000 protestors in the Bekaa Valley, former Hizbollah Secretary-General Sheikh Sobhi Tofaili called for a "Revolution of the Hungry," a protest against declining living standards in Lebanon. Sheikh Sobhi demanded free education and free hospitals for Lebanon and encouraged a campaign of civil disobedience against the Lebanese government, including the refusal to pay taxes. (The Independent, July 7)
Jul 10, 1997 An overnight attack by Hizbollah, using machine guns and grenades, left one Israeli soldier dead--the twelfth Israeli soldier to die in Lebanon in 1997. Israel responded by inflicting material damage to several posts outside of its occupied zone. (UPI; UPI, July 13)
Jul 13, 1997 Hizbollah guerillas exchanged fire with Israeli troops and SLA forces. At least two Israeli soldiers were injured in the exchange. (UPI)
Jul 14, 1997 An Israeli bombardment of Muslim villages left one woman and her son dead and injured the woman's daughter as they worked in a field near the village of Barti. Hizbollah retaliation injured two SLA militiamen. (UPI)
Jul 15, 1997 Hizbollah launched a rocket attack on Israeli and SLA posts in the occupied region of Lebanon and into northern Israel. The attacks injured 2 Lebanese farmers. The rocket attack was a retaliatory attack for the bombing of Barti. (UPI)
Jul 17, 1997 The five-nation group monitoring the April 1996 cease-fire condemned both Israel and Hizbollah for the recent round of bombings at or near civilian targets. (UPI)
Jul 24, 1997 Two separate guerilla attacks injured 6 SLA militiamen near Jezzine. (UPI)
Jul 25, 1997 For the first time in 23 years, the internationally renowned Baalbeck Festival resumed in Lebanon. The festival is considered to be a symbol of Lebanese pride for members of all the ethnic and religious groups in Lebanon. (UPI)
Jul 26, 1997 A 70-year-old Lebanese woman was injured during Israeli shelling of the Bekaa valley. (UPI, July 27)
Jul 27, 1997 Hezbollah bombs injured one civilian woman and damaged three houses near Jezzine, according to SLA reports. Hezbollah confirmed the bombing but not the damage reports. (UPI)
Jul 28, 1997 Hizbollah and Israeli exchanged attacks throughout the night. Both sides reported that its opponent suffered injuries. (UPI)
Jul 30, 1997 The US State Department lifted a 10-year ban on travel to Lebanon by US citizens. Secretary of State Albright noted that Lebanon remained very dangerous but had made great strides under Prime Minister Hariri. (New York Times, July 31)
Aug 1, 1997 After holding her for 40 days, Israel released a Lebanese woman, who had been suspected of assisting the resistance guerillas, from the Khiyam detention camp within the Israeli security zone. It is believed that Israel is holding more than 150 Lebanese (including 5 other women) at Khiyam, a facility which Amnesty International has reported as a site of human rights abuses. Israel reportedly is holding another 75 Lebanese in jails within Israeli territory. (UPI)
Aug 4, 1997 Following a clash involving both Hezbollah forces and the Lebanese army against Israeli troops, Israeli bombs exploded in a Shi'ite village, killing 5 guerillas and injuring 5 civilians. (UPI)
Aug 5, 1997 Israeli air strikes against Hizbollah targets in the Bekaa valley killed 2 Lebanese civilians and injured 4 others, including a young boy. (UPI)
Aug 7, 1997 A mine placed beneath a car exploded near Markaba, within the Israeli-occupied zone, killing a woman and her two children, and injuring the woman's husband. Israel blamed Hizbollah for the massacre, while Hizbollah forces claimed Israel was attempting to cover-up the civilian attacks with which Israel was involved. (UPI)
Aug 8, 1997 Israeli Air Force jets dropped six rockets on PFLP-GC positions south of Beirut, apparently targeting a tunnel previously used by the PFLP-GC to stockpile ammunition. (UPI)
Aug 9, 1997 Four Israeli warplanes attacked a Hizbollah artillery post and training facility in the Bekaa valley, killing one guerilla and injuring four others. (UPI)
Aug 10, 1997 A grenade exploded in an orphanage in Jezzine, injuring one girl. While Israel blamed Hizbollah for the attack, it was not clear who was responsible. An Israeli soldier died following an ambush by Muslim guerillas within the occupied zone of Lebanon. Israel responded with a helicopter air strike and rounds of machine-gun fire at border villages. (UPI)
Aug 16, 1997 Israeli warplanes struck suspected PFLP bases in the hills of Naameh. PFLP leader Ahmed Jibril denied that the group maintains military posts in this region. (UPI)
Aug 18, 1997 Six civilians were killed by Israeli artillery fire in the southern port town of Sidon. An additional 32 people were injured. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern about the upsurge of violence in Lebanon. (UPI)
Aug 19, 1997 Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu threatened military retaliation against Lebanon after a Hezbollah rockets killed one person and injured three in the Israeli security zone in Lebanon, and injured three others in northern Israel. Hizbollah claimed this attack was in retaliation for the Sidon bombing. (UPI)
Aug 20, 1997 Israeli warplanes struck a number of Hizbollah targets in southern and eastern Lebanon, injuring several guerillas, as well as civilians. (UPI)
Aug 21, 1997 A Druze truck driver in southern Lebanon died after a bomb exploded near his truck. Israeli forces and Hizbollah each blamed their opponent for the explosion. (AFP)
Aug 22, 1997 The explosion of a roadside bomb within occupied Lebanon left one SLA militiaman dead. (UPI)
Aug 23, 1997 At least one Hezbollah guerilla was injured during an attack on Israeli and SLA forces. Israel launched a series of air strikes following the attack. (UPI)
Aug 24, 1997 The five-nation monitoring group responsible for enforcing the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hezbollah finds both sides responsible for recent violations of the agreement. (UPI)
Aug 25, 1997 An attack by Israeli warplanes inflicted material damage on a PFLP site 10 miles south of Beirut Israel reacted to the wounding of a SLA soldier by the explosion of a Hizbollah-planted roadside bomb by launching an artillery attack on Shi'ite villages in the Iqlim al- Toffah region, outside of the occupied zone. (UPI)
Aug 28, 1997 During a burst of fighting within the southern occupied zone and near its northern border, six Israeli soldiers and four Amal guerillas died. Another 20 or more Israeli soldiers were injured in the fierce fighting. (UPI; UPI, September 1)
Sep 1, 1997 Hizbollah guerillas wounded a SLA soldier in an attack on a SLA post within occupied Lebanon. Israel responded by launching shells near the city of Tyre. (UPI)
Sep 2, 1997 Two brothers, aged 11 and 12, were wounded when an explosive detonated in a field near Israel's occupied zone. Hizbollah accused Israel of planting such devices. (UPI)
Sep 5, 1997 Israel lost 12 soldiers in a pre-dawn battle with both guerillas and the Lebanese army. Israeli forces were attempting to land in the town of Ansariyeh, twelve miles north of the Israel's occupied zone, in what has been described as a commando raid when the battle occurred. A Lebanese woman and child were also killed, and six Lebanese civilians and six Moslim guerillas were injured in the battle. (UPI) Following this battle, the five-nation monitoring group issued warnings to both Israeli forces and to guerilla groups in Lebanon that each needed to be more cautious and precise in selecting targets. (UPI, September 9)
Sep 7, 1997 An Israeli soldier died from wound inflicted by a Hizbollah mortar attack. Hizbollah reported that a number of other Israeli soldiers were injured. (UPI)
Sep 10, 1997 Lebanese soldiers fired upon Israeli helicopters and gunboats approaching the Lebanese coast and the port city of Sidon. Muslim guerillas attacked an Israeli post in the southern occupied zone of Lebanon. (UPI)
Sep 12, 1997 Israel launched air strikes on Lebanese army posts near Sidon, outside of Israel's security zone. The strikes killed 6 Lebanese soldiers and one civilian woman and injured 6 more Lebanese soldiers. (UPI)
Sep 13, 1997 Two Hizbollah guerillas died and one was reported missing following a failed attempt by the men to enter the Israeli security zone. One of the guerillas killed was the son of the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah. Nasrallah immediately proclaimed his son a martyr for the Muslim cause in Lebanon. (UPI)
Sep 14, 1997 A remote-control activated bomb, planted by Hezbollah, exploded in the occupied zone of Lebanon, killing 2 Israeli soldiers and wounding a third. Israel responded by launching a shell attack at seven villages outside of the occupied zone. (UPI)
Sep 15, 1997 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared that the conflict between Lebanon and Israel was a fundamental obstacle to the Arab-Israeli peace process and that Lebanon's reputation and chances for post-war recovery were hampered by the Lebanese government's failure to bring terrorists in its country to justice. (UPI)
Sep 18, 1997 Hizbollah forces killed one Israeli soldier and wounded two other soldiers as well as a SLA militiaman in a attack on Israeli posts using machine guns, rocket-launched grenades, and roadside bombs. In a retaliatory attack, Israel shelled villages in the Bekaa Valley, wounding at least five Lebanese civilians. (UPI)
Sep 19, 1997 Israeli forces arrested five Lebanese within the Israel's occupied zone on the suspicion that the five were plotting to blow up SLA's security headquarters. The five Lebanese were taken to the Khiyam detention camp to be held without trial. (UPI)
Sep 21, 1997 One member of the Sunni Islamist movement LMIU died and three others suffered wounds when Lebanese security forces stormed a building housing the groups radio station (Voice of Justice) and television station (The Crescent). Another 74 members of LMIU were arrested in the incident. Restrictive broadcast laws adopted a year ago banned both stations. (AFP; AFP, September 23)
Sep 23, 1997 The Lebanese army fired upon an Israeli gunboat approaching the Lebanese city of Tyre. Israeli Defense Minister Mordechai warned that Israel would retaliate against any attacks by the Lebanese army on Israeli forcs. (UPI) Lebanese security forces surrounded the building housing the radio station Voice of Beirut and forced it to shut down. The station was owned and operated by Sunni Muslim opponent of Prime Minister Hariri. (AFP)
Sep 25, 1997 Hizbollah guerillas fired upon SLA forces within Israel's security zone, injuring 2 SLA fighters and a civilian woman. Israel and the SLA retaliated by bombarding villages outside of its security zone. (UPI)
Sep 29, 1997 A Hizbollah attack on an Israeli army position within the security zone left one Israeli soldier dead. Hizbollah also launched an attack on SLA forces in the western portion of the zone, but no injuries were reported there.
Oct 1, 1997 A SLA fighter died after suffering severe wounds during a machine-gun and grenade attack on SLA positions in southern Lebanon. (UPI)
Oct 5, 1997 SLA blamed Hezbollah for a bomb which killed a Lebanese woman and her son in the village of Houla within the Isreali security zone. (UPI)
Oct 8, 1997 Two roadside bombs planted by Hizbollah exploded in the Israeli security zone, killing at least 2 Israeli soldiers and 1 SLA fighter and injuring 7 other Israeli soldiers. The SLA militia expelled from the border region a Lebanese man, his two wives and eight children. The SLA questioned the man about his 16-year-old son, who fled the security region in September, and then ordered him to leave the Israeli region. (UPI)
Oct 14, 1997 During an hour-long clash between Muslim guerillas and Israeli forces, an anti-tank rocket exploded, wounding two Israeli soldiers. Israel warplanes then struck at Hizbollah positions in eastern Lebanon, injuring at least one person and damaging the antenna of a Hizbollah radio station. (UPI)
Oct 16, 1997 The Lebanese parliament voted to allow the country's government to sign an international treaty against taking hostages. Three of the five members of parliament voting against the move were Hizbollah representative. (UPI)
Oct 17, 1997 Israeli warplanes fired on PFLP posts ten miles south of Beirut. Sources indicated that these posts had already been abandoned by PFLP. No injuries were reported in the attack. A Lebanese civilian was wounded an exchange of shellfire between Hizbollah and Israeli soldiers across the occupied zone. (UPI)
Oct 18, 1997 A Hizbollah attack on an Israeli tank within the security zone of southern Lebanon left one Israeli soldier dead and two others injured. Israel responded by launching an artillery attack on a cluster of Shi'ite villages outside of Sidon. (UPI)
Oct 19, 1997 Hizbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah restated his groups overall goal of the "total elimination of Israel." Nasrallah also stated his plans to incorporate more Druze, Christians, and Sunnis into Hizbollah's struggle against Israel. (AFP)
Oct 20, 1997 For the second time in four days, Israeli warplanes attacked PFLP positions outside of Beirut. (UPI)
Oct 22, 1997 Israeli planes fired rockets at suspected Hezbollah targets near Sidon in Lebanon. Israeli officials released a Lebanese policeman from Khiyam detention center. Israeli soldiers arrested the policeman two months earlier, as he was visiting his parents in occupied zone, on the suspicion that he had links to the Muslim guerillas in Lebanon. (UPI)
Oct 24, 1997 In the occupied region of southern Lebanon, Israeli troops shot at and killed three Palestinians affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement, the members of which are opposed to the Middle East peace process and to Israel's presence in Arab territories. (UPI)
Oct 25, 1997 Israel launched overnight airstrikes against both Hizbollah and PFLP-GC targets within Lebanon. No casualties were reported. One Palestinian was killed during the attacks. (AFP; AFP, October 26)
Oct 31, 1997 After an explosion in Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon killed two SLA fighters, Israeli launched a series of air raids against suspected Hizbollah targets near Sidon, as well as Jezzine.
Nov 4, 1997 As part of an effort to expand its fight against Israel, Hizbollah announced the formation of a group to parallel its Islamic Resistance to be comprised of resistance fighters from non-Shiite communities in Lebanon. (AFP)
Nov 6, 1997 Four Israeli jets launched rockets on PFLP posts near Beirut. The PFLP reported that the strikes targeted and damaged health, social, and humanitarian centers run by the organization. (UPI)
Nov 7, 1997 During a visit to Lebanon, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfero stated that Israel should observe UN resolutions (especially UN Security Council Resolution 425 (1978)) and withdraw from southern Lebanon. (UPI) A Hizbollah-planted roadside bomb exploded in the Israeli-occupied sector of Lebanon, injuring 2 SLA fighters. Israeli gunners then launched an attack on villages in Iqlim al- Toffah. (UPI)
Nov 12, 1997 Israel launched another air raid on suspected PFLP-GC posts in the hills of Naame despite repeated statements by PFLP leader Ahmed Jibril that the PFLP has no military posts at this site. (UPI) Ten days after former Hizbollah chief Sheikh Sobhi Tofaili encouraged thousands of people to block the roads to the Bekaa Valley in order to keep out two deputies to whose voting record he objectes, the Lebanese cabinet ordered heightened security in the eastern section of Lebanon. Lebanon had to send in 2000 troops to end the November 2nd blockade. (UPI)
Nov 17, 1997 Israeli jets fired upon Hizbollah posts in Iqlim al-Toffah. No casualties were reported. (UPI)
Nov 19, 1997 A SLA militiaman was injured when a roadside bomb, planted by Hizbollah, exploded in the Israeli-oocupied zone of Lebanon. Israel responded by again attacking targets in Iqlim al-Toffah. (UPI)
Nov 20, 1997 In continued fighting, a Hizbollah bomb exploded in southern Lebanon, injuring 4 SLA fighters. (UPI)
Nov 23, 1997 The SLA reported that 9 Lebanese civilians died during an overnight bombardment of the border town of Beit Leif by Muslim guerillas. At least 7 others were injured in the attack. This was one of 12 reported overnight attacks by Hizbollah and Amal guerillas. Four Amal guerrillas died and two Israelis were injured during another clash at the edge of the border area, near the village of Tair Harfa. Israel responded by firing rockets at suspected guerilla bases just outside of the border region.
Nov 24, 1997 Israeli forces killed three Muslim guerillas within the occupied zone during a day of persistent fighting in Lebanon. Israel also fired at least 70 shells at the villages of Iqlim al-Toffah, injuring at least 2 Lebanese civilians. (UPI)
Dec 5, 1997 An assassination attempt against the top Lebanese Shiite cleric, Sheikh Mohamad Mehdi Shamseddine, was unsuccessful. Two unidentified gunmen opened fire at the Sheikh as he prayed at a mosque in south Beirut. (AFP)
Dec 11, 1997 Lebanon's Central Security Committee began enforcing a censorship law that requires the government to screen all programs before they air on private channels. The move was made in an effort to stop both sexually explicit programming and interviews with anti-government leaders. (AFP)
Dec 26, 1997 The Israeli army detained twelve residents of a mainly Sunni village in its occupied zone of southern Lebanon after searching homes and buildings throughout the town. (AFP)
Jan 1, 1998 The PFLP-GC reported that it had killed one Israeli soldier and wounded others during an attack an Israeli unit it the occupied zone of southern Lebanon. (AFP)
Feb 27, 1998 In separate attacks, Hezbollah forces killed 3 Israeli troops, while Israeli soldiers killed 2 guerillas in southern Lebanon. (UPI)
Mar 4, 1998 During a 4-day visit to Iran, Druze leader and Lebanese Minister of the Displaced Walid Jumblatt announced that his Progressive Socialist Party was investigating ways in which it could work with Hizbollah to present Israel with a united Lebanese front. (AFP)
Mar 20, 1998 A move by the Lebanese cabinet to allow civil marriages in the country sparked an outcry of opposition from Christian, Shiite and Sunni leaders throughout Lebanon. Prime Minister introduced the idea, saying that it was a positive first step to getting rid of Lebanon's confessional political system. (AFP)
May 13, 1998 In the first attacks of the year against Palestinian positions in Lebanon, Israeli air raids near the Bekaa valley left six Palestinian fighters dead and 21 others injured, seven seriously. The raids targeted bases of both PFLP-GC and Fatah-Intifada. (AFP)
May 24, 1998 Lebanon held its first round of municipal elections in 35 years, with voting beginning in the Mount Lebanon district. The municipal districts are not distributed according to confessional quotas as they are for national elections. In the first round of elections, Hizbollah candidates defeated candidates backed by an alliance between Sunni Prime Minister and Syrian-backed Amal, and opposition Christian candidates proved successful in the Christian-dominated portions of the region. (AFP; AFP, May 26)
May 31, 1998 Israeli troops killed one civilian and injured another near the town of Arab Salim, while guerrillas seriously injured a SLA soldier. In a separate clash, Israeli troops ambushed suspected guerrillas traveling north of the security zone, but no injuries were reported. (UPI)
Jun 2, 1998 Sunni fundamentalist Sheikh Saeed Shaaban, one of the founders of Jamaa Islamiya and a leader of LMIU, died after suffering a heart attack in the northern town of Tripoli. (AFP)
Jun 3, 1998 Sunni fundamentalists, running under the Jamaa Islamiya banner, won a third of the available positions in municipal elections in northern Lebanon. (AFP)
Jun 8, 1998 Candidates backed by Prime Minister Hariri were victorious in municipal elections in Beirut, where voting turnout was lower than expected, while Hizbollah and Amal candidates split the votes in southern Lebanon. (AFP)
Jun 17, 1998 Two Israeli soldiers were injured when a Hizbollah bomb exploded near the border of the Israeli security zone. (UPI)
Jun 18, 1998 In a surprise development, Sunni candidates defeated Hizbollah candidates in municipal elections in the Bekaa valley. All predictions had indicated that Hizbollah would be victorious in this region. (AFP)
Jun 25, 1998 Israel and Lebanon began the trade of the remains of Israeli soldier for the bodies of 40 slain guerillas and the release of 60 Lebanese prisoners. (UPI) Two Israeli soldiers died and at least four others were wounded during fighting with Hezbollah forces in the Israeli-occupied zone of southern Lebanon.
Jul 2, 1998 Fighting broke out all along the border of the Israeli security zone, as Israeli forces and Hizbollah troops exchanged mortar and artillery fire. Guerillas penetrated a SLA position in southern Lebanon, but quickly retreated. Both sides reported injuries, and at least one civilian and guerilla reportedly died during the fighting. (UPI)
Jul 13, 1998 Israeli jets bombed suspected guerilla positions in south Lebanon, injuring a Lebanese civilian and 2 UN peacekeepers from Ireland. (UPI)
Jul 21, 1998 One SLA fighter died and two others were injured when a Hizbollah bomb exploded in southern Lebanon. (UPI)
Jul 22, 1998 Israeli jets launched an air raid on suspected Hizbollah positions in eastern Lebanon. (UPI)
Jul 30, 1998 Hizbollah forces attacked Israeli posts within the occupied zone of Lebanon, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding at least four others. (UPI, July 31)
Jul 31, 1998 An explosive device killed a SLA fighter in southern Lebanon. The man's 12-year-old sister, with whom he was travelling when the device exploded in his car, was also injured in the attack. No group claimed immediate responsibility for the bombing, and Hizbollah denied any knowledge of the attack. (UPI; UPI, August 4)
Aug 9, 1998 An explosion near the offices of Fatah in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon left one man wounded. No group claimed responsibility for the explosion. (AFP)
Aug 10, 1998 The explosion of a Hizbollah bomb near Jezzine in southern Lebanon left one SLA fighter dead. Hizbollah also fired at Israeli's attempting to install a radar system near the border of the Israeli region. Israel also reported that one of its soldiers and one guerilla were injured in earlier clashes in the occupied region. Israeli gunners attacked a number targets outside of its security zone, damaging a number of Lebanese houses. (UPI)
Aug 12, 1998 Hizbollah attacked an Israeli position in southern Lebanon and injured 2 Israeli soldiers during the attack. (UPI)
Aug 14, 1998 Israel launched air raids on PFLP-GC targets in eastern Lebanon and Hizbollah targets in southern Lebanon. No casualties were reported. (AFP)
Aug 16, 1998 Fighting broke out between the SLA and the Lebanese Communist Party in southern Lebanon, leaving the commander of the communist squad dead and capturing one of his deputies. (UPI)
Aug 17, 1998 Israeli planes launched an attack on suspected guerilla targets near the northern zone of the Israeli occupied zone of Lebanon. (UPI)
Aug 18, 1998 In intensive fighting, Muslim guerillas killed an Israeli soldier and injured four others as Israeli forces were attempting to heighten surveillance of guerillas throughout the occupied zone. (UPI)
Aug 19, 1998 In retaliation to yesterday's attack, Israel fired over 200 shells at suspected guerilla targets within southern Lebanon. (UPI)
Aug 21, 1998 A roadside bomb exploded near the Beaufort Castle in Israel's security zone overnight, killing two Israeli soldiers. Israel responded by launching an air attack against suspected Hezbollah targets near both Tyre and Sujud. At least one civilian was injured during the air attack.
Aug 22, 1998 Following a call by the Israeli security minister for attacks on Lebanon's infrastructure whenever an Israeli soldier is killed in Lebanon, Israeli helicopters tried to land near an oil refinery in Lebanon, north of its security border. Lebanese military forces had been placed on alert and were able to stop the helicopters from landing. Lebanese forces remain on alert against Israeli advances. (UPI)
Aug 25, 1998 Anonymous sources reported that the Palestinian guerilla leader Abu Nidal had been detained in Egypt in July following a coup within his Fatah Revolutionary Council which permanently divided the organization. The FRC denied reports that Abu Nidal, its leader, had either been arrested in Egypt or that he was suffering from leukemia, as other reports had indicated. Egpytian officials also denied these reports.(UPI, August 24; AFP)
Aug 25, 1998 A SLA militia fighter was killed when a roadside bomb exploded in southern Lebanon. Following an Israeli rocket attack that killed an Amal official, Hizbollah and Amal forces launched Katyusha rockets into northern Israel. Reportedly, the rockets injured 17 people and damaged Israeli infrastructure. (UPI; UPI, September 1)
Aug 28, 1998 A Hizbollah bomb exploded in southern Lebanon, injuring a SLA fighter in south Lebanon. In a separate incident, a Lebanese civilian was injured after a bomb exploded near Jizzine; no group claimed responsibility for the explosive. (UPI)
Sep 1, 1998 Hizbollah attacked an Israeli foot patrol in the occupied sector of Lebanon and wounded one Israeli soldier after a Lebanese woman was injured during an Israeli shelling attack. The five-nation monitoring group for Lebanon condemned both sides in this conflict, noting that neither the Israelis nor the Lebanese had done enough to ensure the safety of civilians in the midst of this fighting. (UPI)
Sep 8, 1998 Israeli jets launched two sustained attacks on suspected terrorist targets near Sujud. No casualty reports were immediately available. (UPI)
Sep 9, 1998 Four SLA members died and another sustained injuries from an explosion during a Hizbollah guerilla attack on a SLA mobile patrol in southern Lebanon. (UPI)
Sep 10, 1998 Israel retaliated for yesterday's attack on SLA by shelling a number of villages outside of its security zone, wounding two Lebanese civilians. (UPI)
Sep 22, 1998 Lebanese officials denied entry into the country to Palestinians planning to attend an Arab conference on population and development in Beirut. The Palestinians carried passports from the Palestinian Authority, an entity that Lebanon does not recognize as legitimate. (UPI) Two Israeli soldiers died in Lebanon. It remained unclear whether their deaths were the result of the explosion of a Hizbollah bomb or an innocent traffic accident. (UPI)
Sep 24, 1998 Druze leader Walid Jumblatt expressed interest in running for the post of president of Lebanon, a seat usually reserved for a Maronite Christian. Earlier in the year, President Hrawi had called for a rewritten consitution which would end the country's practice of having parliament appoint the president, who had to be a Christian. (AFP; AFP, April 24)
Sep 25, 1998 Two SLA militiamen sustained injuries when Hizbollah forces opened fire on a SLA patrol in the eastern part of the Israeli-occupied zone. A 10-year-old boy received injuries as Israeli shells rained down on the village of Arab Salim, outside of the Isreali zone. (UPI)
Oct 2, 1998 SLA forces expelled elderly Druze couples from southern Lebanon. A son of each of the couples had recently defected from the SLA. (AFP)
Oct 5, 1998 A powerful bomb, planted by Hizbollah, exploded in southern Lebanon and killed at least one Israeli soldier, while injuring two others. A soldier in the Lebanese army suffered head wounds during a shelling attack by Israeli forces throughout the Bekaa Valley. A shop and two houses were damaged in the attack. The five-nation monitoring force found this offensive by Israel to be in violation of the 1996 agreement intended to protect civilians. (UPI; UPI, October 14)
Oct 7, 1998 While Lebanon's Maronite community welcomed the selection of Emile Lahoud as the president of Lebanon, in a deal blessed by Syrian president Assad, Druze leader Walid Jumblatt strongly criticized the decision. (AFP)
Oct 14, 1998 Hizbollah guerillas launched a mortar attack along the Lebanon-Israeli border, hitting some sites in northern Israel. One Israeli soldier suffered minor injuries during the attack.
Oct 27, 1998 Hizbollah forces killed a SLA fighter at his post within the Israeli-occupied zone of Lebanon. (UPI)
Nov 4, 1998 A 110-pound bomb blew up near Jezzine, killing 3 SLA militiamen and seriously wounding a fourth. Hizbollah claimed responsibility for the attack. The bombing followed two sets of air raids by Isreal on suspected Hizbollah targets in the Bekaa Valley. (UPI)
Nov 13, 1998 US Secretary of Commerce William Daley declared Lebanon open for US investment for the first time since Americans in Lebanon fell prey to terrorists in the country. (AFP)
Nov 16, 1998 For the ninth consecutive day, Israel launched air rides on the Bekaa Valley. Three Israeli soldiers died and four others suffered injuries following the explosion of a Hizbollah bomb near an Israeli post within its occupied zone. (UPI)
Nov 23, 1998 Within the last three weeks, Israel launched 23 air strikes against suspected Hizbollah targets in Lebanon. The strikes have not caused any Hizbollah casualties. One Israeli soldier was killed and two others were injured as Hizbollah launched an attack at the edge of Israel's occupied zone. Two SLA fighters and three Lebanese civilians were also injured in the fighting. Israel responded by launching a series of air attacks on border villages. These attacks injured three Lebanese civilians. (UPI)
Nov 24, 1998 Emile Lahoud was sworn in as the new president of Lebanon, replacing Elias Hrawi. Lahoud is a Christian Maronite who remains loyal to Syria and encourages strong ties between his government and that of Assad in Syria. (UPI)
Nov 26, 1998 Two bombs exploded in the western portion of Israel's occupied region in Lebanon, leaving 2 Israeli soldiers dead. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to re-assess Israel's actions in and plans for Lebanon as these were the sixth and seventh Israeli soldiers killed in Lebanon during the last ten days. (UPI)
Nov 29, 1998 Hizbollah forces continue to bomb Israeli posts all along the front of its security zone in Lebanon. (UPI)
Dec 1, 1998 One SLA fighter died and another suffered injuries following two separate explosions near the SLA stronghold of Jezzine. Hizbollah claimed responsibility for both attacks. The attacks coincided with a renewed call from the five-nation monitoring group for all parties involved in the conflict to refrain from harming citizens. (UPI)
Dec 2, 1998 President Lahoud replaced Prime Minister Hariri with former Prime Minister Selim Hoss, a Sunni Moslim, after Hariri refused a request to stay on in the position. (UPI)
Dec 8, 1998 An Israeli patrol, backed by 40 soldiers, arrested 11 Lebanese residents of its security zone, accusing them of collaborating with guerillas in the region. The detained included seven women and a 75-year-old man. (UPI)
Dec 9 - 10, 1998 Israel staged mock air raids, described as "sound bombardment" over Beirut, causing panic among Lebanese civilians, many of whom believe that Israel is practicing for an attack on the city. (UPI)
Dec 14, 1998 Thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East protested Arafat's decision to annul the anti-Israel clauses included within the Palestinian charter. (AFP)
Dec 21, 1998 In forming the new government, Lebanese officials broke with tradition and named officials to two securiyt posts on the basis of straight professional credentials. A Greek Catholic was named to a security spot traditionally held for Shiites, and a Shiite was named to a security position traditionally reserved for Maronite Christians. (AFP)
Dec 22, 1998 Eight Lebanese civilians in the village of Nabi Sheet died when an Israeli rocket attack, intended to hit a Hizbollah radio station, missed its target. Israeli officials apologized for the attack to both Syrian and Lebanese officials. (UPI)
Dec 23, 1998 Hizbollah launches a rocket attack on towns in northern Israel, leaving 16 people injured. (UPI, December 30)
Dec 26, 1998 A SLA intelligence officer was shot dead near the Sunni town of Shebaa within the Israeli occupied zone. (AFP, January 7)
Dec 30, 1998 In the most serious in a series of Israeli army accidents in southern Lebanon, Israeli soldiers killed a fellow soldier and wounded two others while trying preparing to stage an ambush in the occupied zone. The accident raised concerns about Israeli practices and leadership in Lebanon. (UPI)
Jan 7, 1999 Israeli security forces arrested two borther, residents of the Sunni village Shebaa, for the murder of a SLA intelligence officer in late December. Twenty-four family members of the arrested men were expelled from Israeli-occupied southern Lebanon. Lebanon's Prime Minister Salim Hoss condemned the expulsion of the family members. (AFP)
Feb 1, 1999 The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Lebanon and met with leaders from a variety of faiths to try to promote better relations between Christians and Moslems in Lebanon. (AFP)
Feb 6, 1999 An Israeli shell attack on the town of Majdel Selim, outside of Israel's occupied zone, left 9 Lebanese civilians injured. (UPI, February 7)
Feb 7, 1999 Two Irish peacekeepers were injured--one seriously--when six Israeli shells hit a UN post in southern Lebanon. The shelling attack followed three guerilla attacks on Israeli and SLA posts in southern Lebanon. (UPI) Marnoite church leader Nasrallah Sfeir condemned the Syrian government's decision to place voting booths for the Syrian election on Lebanese territory. Exiled Christian leader Raymon Edde seconded Sfeir's complaints, noting that the move indicated that Lebanon had become nothing more than a "Syrian province." (AFP)
Feb 18, 1999 Israeli and SLA forces surrounded the town of Arnoun, near Beaufort Castle, with barbed wire and announced that they would incorporate into its south Lebanese security zone. Israeli officials claimed that Arnoun posed a danger to Israel because it had served as a launching post for Hizbollah attacks. (AFP)
Feb 21 - 28, 1999 Three Israeli officers and four Hizbollah guerillas died in separate clashes during a week of intense fighting. (UPI, February 28; AFP, February 24)
Feb 26, 1999 More than 2,000 villagers and students alike marched on the town of Arnoun to protest Israel's claims that the town was now to be included as part of the country's security zone within Lebanon. Representatives of the Shi'ite group Amal also help lead the protest. Following the first such public revolt years, Israel withdrew its claims on Arnoun. (AFP)
Feb 28, 1999 Brigadier General Erez Gerstein, Israel's most senior military commander in southern Lebanon, was killed when two bombs, planted next to his car by Hizbollah, exploded. An Israeli journalist also died as a result of the blast. Intense fighting followed the announcement of Gerstein's death, including shelling of both Hizbollah and Palestinian targets in Lebanon by Israel. (UPI)
Mar 5, 1999 The PLO has reportedly allowed the return of several former FRC officials to Palestinian territories following their break with FRC leader Adu Nidal.(AFP) As part of an effort to rid the government of corruption, Lebanese judicial officials ordered the arrest of five oil ministry officials from Hariri's government. (UPI)
Mar 21, 1999 Amid suspicions of collaboration with Hizbollah by Druze members of the SLA, the SLA questioned over 40 members of the Druze community in southern Lebanon and, as a "punitive measure," ordered that no Druze inhabitants of the security zone could cross out of the zone into Lebanon. (AFP)
Apr 1, 1999 A clash between DFLP forces and members of the Fatah-Intifada at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon left one DFLP member dead. (AFP)
Apr 6, 1999 Following the desertion by four SLA members (3 Sunnis and 1 Christian), Israel expelled from the town of Shebaa within its occupied zone 25 family members of the deserters, mostly women, children, and elederly. (AFP)
Apr 8, 1999 Another 2 SLA security officers posted near Shebaa deserted the SLA, bringing the total to 8 SLA who men have turned themselves in to the Lebanese army in less than month. (AFP)
May 3, 1999 The explosion of a Hizbollah bomb and a subsequent firefight between Hizbollah and SLA left one Israeli soldier dead, another wounded, and one SLA fighter injured. This was the ninth Israeli killed in southern Lebanon in 1999. In response, Israel bombarded villages around Tyre, inflicting material damage but no casualties. (UPI)
May 17, 1999 Ehud Barak defeated Netanyahu in a race for the Prime Minister of Israel. During the campaing, Barak promised that he would withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon within a year of his election. (UPI; UPI, June 25) Israel launched an artillery attack on several villages just outside of its security zone in southern Lebanon. The attack killed 2 Lebanese civilians, 19- and 20-year-old cousins in the village of Zawtar al-Sharkieh. (UPI)
May 18, 1999 In retaliation for the killing of two Lebanese civilians, Hizbollah launched a mortar attack on northern Israel, injuring 4 people in Galilee. (UPI)
May 19, 1999 The head of intelligence for Arafat's Fatah movement in the city of Tyre was assassinated near the southern port of Sidon by unidentified, masked gunmen. (AFP)
May 26, 1999 Hezbollah attacked twelve Israeli posts in southern Lebanon overnight, firing more than 100 mortar shells. Two guerillas were killed during the attack, and one SLA fighter was injured. In subsequent clashes, one SLA militiaman died and four others suffered injuries. Israel released to the Lebanese army a Lebanese woman who had been arrested in November 1997 and held in prison in Israel for 18 months without trial. (UPI)
May 30, 1999 Israel reported that the SLA would withdraw from the Christian Lebanese town of Jezzine "imminently." Jezzine has served as a logistical hub for SLA operations in southern Lebanon. This would be the first reduction in the Israeli security zone since 1985. (AFP)
May 31, 1999 One Irish peacekeeper in southern Lebanon died and another suffered critical injuries during an Israeli shell attack in the region. (UPI)
Jun 3, 1999 A SLA shell hit the compound of Irish peacekeepers in southern Lebanon. While no one was hurt in this attack, it raised calls in Ireland for withdrawal of troops from the UNIFIL force. Israeli officials stated that Hizbollah forces operate near UNIFIL posts, thus causing the injuries to the peacekeepers. Forty-one Irish soldiers have been injured since arriving in Lebanon in 1978 as peacekeepers. (UPI)
Jun 9, 1999 The SLA called upon Israel to establish an autonomous government in southern Lebanon before it withdraws its military presence from the region. SLA leaders argued that without such an arrangement, members of SLA and their families remaining in the region would be persecuted by the Lebanese and, specifically, by Hizbollah forces. (AFP)
Jun 24, 1999 A Lebanese newspaper reported that Israel planned to withdraw SLA forces from the town of Jezzine possibly as early as July as part of a broader agreement between Israel and Syria. (UPI)
Jun 24 - 25, 1999 Exchanges between Israel and Hizbollah were the most violent in years. Hizbollah shelling of villages in northern Israel killed 2 and wounded 16, while Israeli airstrikes near Beirut left at least 10 people dead and another 74 injured. Reports linked the escalation in violence to complimentary comments made by Syrian leader Assad about Israeli Prime Minister-elect Barak. A peace agreement between Syria and Israel would likely include an agreement to restrain the behavior of Iranian-backed Hizbollah. Hizbollah's attacks may have been intended to disrupt negotiations between Israel and Syria. UPI) Leaders and officials from countries around the world condemned the attacks. (UPI)

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