History of Lebanon

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Civil war and occupation

In 1975, following increasing sectarian tensions, a full scale civil war broke out in Lebanon. The Lebanese Civil War lasted fifteen years, devastating the country's economy, and resulting in massive loss of human life and property. It is estimated that 150,000 people were killed and another 200,000 wounded. Some 900,000 people, representing one-fifth of the pre-war population, were displaced from their homes. The war ended in 1990 with the signing of the Taif Agreement and parts of Lebanon were left in ruins.

Following the civil war, the Syrian occupation of Lebanon continued until 2005, while Israel remained in control of Southern Lebanon until 2000, when Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak led its full withdrawal driven by a belief that the violence would diminish and dissolve without the Israeli presence in Lebanon. Hezbollah, however declared that it would not stop its operations against Israel until this area was liberated.

21st century

The internal political situation in Lebanon significantly changed in early 2000s. After the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon and the death of Hafez Al-Assad in 2000, the Syrian military presence faced criticism and resistance from the Lebanese population.

On 14 February 2005, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a car bomb explosion. Leaders of the March 14 Alliance accused Syria of the attack, while the March 8 Alliance and Syrian officials claimed that the Mossad was behind the assassination. The UNSC Resolution 1595 called for an investigation into the assassination. The UN International Independent Investigation Commission published its preliminary findings on 20 October 2005 in the Mehlis report, which cited indications that high-ranking members of the Syrian and Lebanese governments were involved in the assassination.

The assassination triggered the Cedar Revolution, a series of demonstrations