Assess the impact of the Israeli invasions of Lebanon in 1978 and 1982 on the development of the Arab Israeli Conflict
The Israeli invasions in Lebanon negatively contributed to the development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. The impact of the assaults lead to an increase in Palestinian hostilities, a switch in international sympathies, the development of a terrorist organisation and ultimately, a step back on the road to peace. This is due chiefly to the nature of the violence and the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon.
From the beginning of the Arab Israeli conflict, Lebanon had been a very minor player, contributing only in sending troops during the 1948 war. Following the Israeli War of Independence, approximately 100 000 Palestinian refugees settled in Southern Lebanon. This number more than doubled following the 1967 war and Black September, leaving more than 300 000 refugees in camps along Israel’s northern border. This increase in Palestinian settlement had two key negative effects on Israel, causing their interest in Lebanese affairs to greatly increase to the point of drastic and violent action. The first of these effects was the unbalancing of the Christian majority in Lebanon. Throughout the 1960’s, Lebanon had a predominately Christian government. This was a security blanket for Israel as they had significant sympathy from the Lebanese government. The influx of Palestinian Sunni Muslims on such a large scale threw off this balance, leaving Israel vulnerable to Palestinian hostile attacks from Lebanon, with the Christian minority government unable to prevent them. Secondly, Palestinian settlement in refugee camps along the southern boarder of Lebanon lead to the development of a ‘state within a state’. Such a large group of Palestinians prompted the Fatah to relocate to West Beirut, Lebanon’s capital. The Fatah used these camps as a base for guerilla attacks on Israel. By 1971 the PLO controlled the camps and became...
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