South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000)

South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000)

{| style="float: right; clear: right; background-color: transparent"
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=South Lebanon conflict
(Israel-Lebanon conflict)

caption=Exchange of fire in South Lebanon.
place=Southern Lebanon
result=Hezbollah political victory; Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon
commander1=Hassan Nasrallah
Imad Mugniyeh
commander2=Shimon Peres
Saad Haddad
Antoine Lahad
casualties3=2,500 killedFact|date=June 2008
During the South Lebanon conflict (19822000) Hezbollah waged a guerrilla campaign against Israeli forces occupying Southern Lebanon. It ended with Israeli withdrawal in accordance with 1978's United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 [ UN Press Release] . "Security Council endorses Secretary-General's conclusion on Israeli Withdrawal from Lebanon as of 16 June." Published 18 June 2000] . Given that prior Arab Israeli wars were characterized by either Israeli victory or UN-enforced ceasefire, this is often regarded as a success of Hezbollah, which was able to extend its control of Southern Lebanon.

The conflict has been described as a sub-conflict of the


Israel occupied a security zone of varying sizes in Southern Lebanon between 1982 and 2000. Hezbollah, along with the mainly leftist and secular groups in the Lebanese National Resistance Front, fought a guerilla war against Israel and the Israeli allies South Lebanon Army. The National Resistance Front militias disarmed in accordance with the Taif agreement, but Hezbollah continued to maintain a sizable fighting force after the Israeli withdrawal.


After a month of Hezbollah shelling and attacks on its soldiers, Israel conducted a seven-day operation called Operation Accountability in order to destroy Hezbollah.


The fighting culminated during Operation Grapes of Wrath in April 1996 when Israel launched an assault and air-campaign against Hezbollah. The campaign did not succeed and resulted in the murder of more than 150 civilians and refugees in the shelling of a United Nations base at Qana.

On 30 May, two staggered road-side bombs killed four Israeli soldiers and injured several others at Marjayoun, where the IDF had their headquarters in southern Lebanon. On 10 June, all 13 members of an Israeli patrol north of the Litani river were killed or wounded in an ambush by Hezbollah. In retaliatory fire after the 10 June incident, Israeli artillery killed one Lebanese Army soldier and wounded one civilian.

2000: Israeli withdrawal

In January 2000, Hezbollah assassinated the commander of the South Lebanon Army's Western Brigade, Colonel Aql Hashem, at his home in the security zone. Hashem had been responsible for day to day operations of the SLA. [ [ Asylum Law] .]

On 24 May "after the collapse of the SLA and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, Israel announced that it would withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon and completed its withdrawal the next day, more than six weeks before its stated deadline of 7 July." [ [ Country Profile] , BBC News.] This was widely considered a victory for Hezbollah and boosted its popularity hugely in Lebanon.

Israel considered this move as tactical withdrawal since it always regarded the Security Zone as a buffer zone only to defend Israel's citizens. With an end to the "occupation", Israel could assume it would improve its worldwide image.

As a Syrian-backed Lebanese government refused to demarcate its border with Israel, Israel worked with UN cartographers led by regional coordinator Terje Rød-Larsen to certify Israel has withdrawn from all occupied Lebanese territory. On June 16, 2000, UN Security Council concluded that Israel had indeed withdrawn its forces from all of Lebanon, in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 425 (1978).


The tentative peace, resulting from the withdrawal, did not last, as Hizbullah rejected UNSC 425, and a weak Lebanese government did not deploy its forces along the Israeli border as required by UNSC 425.

On October 7, 2000 Hizbullah attacked Israel. In a cross-border raid, three Israeli soldiers who were patrolling the Lebanese border were attacked and abducted. Their bodies were returned to Israel in a 2004 prisoner exchange. During this exchange, it was also agreed that the price for the release of Lebanon's longest-held prisoner Samir Kuntar would be solid information on the fate of captured Israeli pilot Ron Arad. As Hizbullah failed to Earth any solid evidence as to Arad's fate, Kuntar remained incarcerated for his crimes.

In July 2006, in response to Israel's failure to release the Lebanese prisoners in Israel, Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers and killed eight others. In retaliation Israel began the 2006 Lebanon War to rescue the abducted soldiers and weaken Hezbollah . [Margaret Hall, " [ American Myopia] : American Policy on Hizbollah". The Muslim World: Questions of Policy and Politics. Cornell University undergraduate research symposium. April 8 2006.] "…Hezbollah enjoys enormous popularity in Lebanon, especially in southern Lebanon…", Ted Koppel on NPR report: " [ Lebanon's Hezbollah Ties] ". All Things Considered, July 13 2006.] BBC: [ On This Day, May 26th] .] CNN report: " [ Hezbollah flag raised as Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon] ". May 24 2000.]


ee also

*Operation Accountability
*Operation Grapes of Wrath
*2006 Lebanon War

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