chapter  8
Pages 11

The aims of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon included destroying not onlythe PLO’s military basis but its political one as well. Operation Peacefor Galilee was intended to strike a severe blow at the PLO’s international standing and to weaken the budding resistance and nationalism in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. With the evacuation of the PLO from Beirut to Tunis, Israel seemed to have achieved at least one aim of the 1982 invasion. The Palestinian guerrilla movement had lost access to Israel’s border. Yet it was exactly the PLO’s Lebanon experience which laid the foundation for the 1987 intifada uprising in the Israeli occupied territories as well as the PLO’s decision to declare an independent Palestinian state with a government in exile. The abandonment by Arab politicians, the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, and the move of the PLO to Tunis, shifted the focus to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, encouraging local politicians. At the same time, the marginalization of the PLO, now in Tunis, also led to a tactical shift from guerrilla warfare to a diplomatic offensive. Both the PLO’s international standing and Palestinian nationalism increased as a result. Thus in the long-run, Israel’s determination to remove the Palestinian presence from Lebanon achieved the opposite effect.