Eastern Mediterranean 1982: 1982 Lebanon War
In June 1982, following more clashes with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Israel launched a second invasion of Lebanon, rapidly advancing as far as Beirut, where it trapped both PLO and Syrian forces. After a two-month siege, the PLO agreed to evacuate Lebanon and Israel pulled back to the Awali River, where it remained in occupation of a third of the country until 1985.
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a complicated affair which involved dozens of factions and saw fighting both between and within political/religious groups, especially within Beirut, which was often split between multiple factions. As such it is only possible to give an approximate guide on these maps, showing only the major factions. These are listed as follows, grouped by their religious and political stance: Maronite Christian and Rightist: Lebanese Front (L.F.), Free Lebanon State/South Lebanon Army (F.L.S./S.L.A.); Palestinian and Leftist: Lebanese National Movement (L.N.M.); Druze: Druze militia (D.); Shia Muslim: Amal Movement (A.), Hezbollah (H.).
7 Jun 1981 Operation Opera▲
In 1976 Iraq purchased Osirak, an “Osiris”-class nuclear reactor, from France, which the two nations began maintaining near Baghdad for what they claimed was peaceful scientific research. In 1981, a year after Iran launched the unsuccessful Operation Scorch Sword to destroy the reactor, Israel attacked Osirak with eight F-16A fighter aircraft and six F-15A escorts, heavily damaging it and killing ten Iraqi soldiers and one French civilian. Despite international criticism, Israeli PM Menachem Begin declared the action an act of self-defense and a precedent of denying potential enemies of weapons of mass destruction, establishing what would become called the “Begin Doctrine”.
14 Dec 1981 Golan Heights Law▲
In 1981 the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law by a vote of 63–21, extending Israeli law, jurisdiction, and administration to the Golan Heights (which Israel had seized from Syria in 1967). Although it did not use the term, the law was an effective annexation of the Golan Heights and as such was declared “null and void” by the United Nations Security Council three days later.
6 Jun 1982–10 Jun 1985 1982 Lebanon War▲
In response to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) activity on its northern border, Israel agreed to support the Lebanese Front, dominated by the Maronite Christian Phalange, in exchange for a peace treaty with Lebanon. Israel invaded in June 1982, defeating the PLO and their Syrian allies and advancing as far as Beirut. After US- and Arab-backed negotiations, the PLO agreed to evacuate Lebanon, dissolving the PLO-dominated Lebanese National Movement. However, the assassination of Phalangist President-Elect Bachir Gemayel in September impeded progress toward a peace treaty, and the continued Israeli presence inflamed public sentiment against the Phalange, compelling Israeli forces to withdraw to a buffer zone in the south of the country in 1985.
14 Jun–21 Aug 1982 Siege of Beirut▲
By 13 June 1982 Israeli forces had reached Beirut and—with the support of predominantly Maronite Christian Lebanese militia forces arriving from the north—effected the isolation of some 12,000 PLO and Syrian forces in Muslim-dominated West Beirut. The following day the siege of the city began, as the Israelis proceeded to bombard and starve the PLO into submission. Eventually US mediation led to a peace settlement in which the PLO agreed to evacuate its remaining forces from Lebanon while a US-French-Italian peacekeeping force would be temporarily stationed in Beirut.