The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recruited militants in Lebanon from among the families of Palestinian refugees who had been expelled or fled due to the creation of Israel in 1948. By 1968, the PLO and Israel were committing cross border attacks against each other. After the PLO leadership and its Fatah brigade were expelled from Jordan for fomenting a revolt, they entered Lebanon and the cross-border violence increased. Meanwhile, demographic tensions over the Lebanese National Pact lead to the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990). Israel's 1978 invasion of Lebanon pushed the PLO north of the Litani River, but the PLO continued their campaign against Israel. Israel invaded Lebanon again in 1982 and forcibly expelled the PLO. Israel withdrew to a slim borderland buffer zone, held with the aid of proxy militants in the South Lebanon Army (SLA). In 1985, a Lebanese Shi'te resistance movement sponsored by Iran, calling itself Hezbollah, called for armed struggle to end the Israel occupation of Lebanese territory. When the Lebanese civil war ended and other warring factions agreed to disarm, Hezbollah and the SLA refused. Combat with Hezbollah weakened Israeli resolve and led to a collapse of the SLA and an Israeli withdrawal in 2000 to their side of the UN designated border. Citing Israeli control of the Shebaa farms territory, Hezbollah continued cross border attacks intermittently over the next six years. Hezbollah now sought freedom for Lebanese citizens in Israeli prisons and successfully used the tactic of capturing Israeli soldiers as leverage for a prisoner exchange in 2004. The capturing of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah ignited the 2006 Lebanon War. Its ceasefire called for the disarmament of Hezbollah and the remaining armed camps of the PLO, and for Lebanon to control its southern border militarily for the first time in four decades.
References[change | change source]
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