THE 1982 LEBANON WAR
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THE 1982 LEBANON WAR book
After 1970, peace and stability along Israel’s border with Lebanonbecame paramount for Israel’s security. The expulsion of the PLOfrom Jordan to Lebanon after Black September increasingly became a threat to Israeli interests. The Lebanese civil war which erupted in 1975 further heightened Israeli concerns. The war raised the distinct possibility that Lebanon could fall to the PLO, end up under Syrian control, or that civil unrest could contaminate the region as a whole. It is therefore not surprising that when Lebanon’s Maronite Christians appealed for aid from Israel, Israel seized upon the opportunity to influence events in Lebanon. The initially cautious approach of the Rabin government was soon replaced by the committed stance of the Begin government. Peace with Egypt, moreover, freed Israel to focus on the north. As a result, what had started as a spate of retaliatory raids against Palestinian fedayeen, developed into a grand strategy through which Israel sought to change the geo-strategic make-up of the Middle East. Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon was the means to this end.
In 1975, yet another Lebanese political crisis was unleashed during a strike of Sidon fishermen. Soldiers trying to remove a roadblock were ambushed. Tensions spread north when Maronite Kataib party leader Gemayel was fired at by Palestinians on 13 April. In retaliation, the Kataib attacked a Palestinian bus passing through the Beirut suburb Ain al-Rummana. This incident sparked off further clashes between Palestinians and Christians; the Lebanese civil war had begun.