South Lebanon Conflict (1982–2000)

The South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) or the Security Zone conflict in Lebanon refers to nearly 20 years of warfare between the Israel Defense Forces and its Lebanese proxy militias and Lebanese Muslim guerrillas led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah within what was defined by Israelis as the "Security Zone" in South Lebanon. It can also refer to the continuation of conflict in this region, beginning with PLO operations transfer to South Lebanon, following the civil war events of 1971 Black September in the Kingdom of Jordan. Historical tension between Palestinian refugee and Lebanese factions fomented the violent Lebanese internal political struggle between many different factions. In light of this, the South Lebanon conflict can be seen as a part of the Lebanese Civil War.

Earlier conflicts prior to 1982 Israeli invasion, including Operation Litani attempted to eradicate the PLO bases from Lebanon and support Christian Maronite militias, following PLO's constant attacks on civilian population of Galilee (Northern Israel). The 1982 invasion resulted in the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) departure from Lebanon. The creation of Security Zone in South Lebanon has benefited civilian Israeli population as Galilee suffered less violent attacks by Hezbollah (44 Israeli civilian casualties), than previously by PLO in the 1970s (hundreds of Israeli civilian casualties). Despite this Israeli success in eradicating PLO bases and partial withdraw in 1985, the Israeli invasion had actually increased the severity of conflict with local Lebanese militias and resulted in the consolidation of several local Shia Muslim movements in Lebanon, including Hezbollah and Amal, from a previously unorganized guerrilla movement in the south. Over the years, military casualties of both sides grew higher, as both parties used more modern weaponry, and Hezbollah progressed in its tactics. By the early 1990s, Hezbollah, with support from Syria and Iran, emerged as the leading group and military power, monopolizing the directorship of the guerrilla activity in South Lebanon.

By the year 2000, following his campaign promise, newly elected Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrew Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon within the year. in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 425, passed in 1978; the withdrawal consequently resulted in the immediate total collapse of the SLA. Despite the Israeli actions, Lebanese government and Hezbollah consider the withdrawal incomplete until Israel withdraws from Shebaa Farms. Following the withdrawal, Hezbollah has monopolized its military and civil control of the southern part of Lebanon.

Read more about South Lebanon Conflict (1982–2000):  Background, Aftermath, See Also

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