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Old Wars, New Wars | January, 1983 to December, 1988

Publication Date: September, 2014

Following Bachir Gemayel’s assassination and the Sabra and Chatila massacre in 1982, Amine. Gemayel, Bachir’s brother, was elected president. On May 17, 1983, he concluded an agreement with Israel and the United States that stipulated the withdrawal of all Israeli, Syrian, and Palestinian forces from Lebanon. The National Salvation Front373 and Syria immediately opposed this agreement, and though the Lebanese Parliament ratified it on June 15, 1983, the president refused to issue the relevant decree. However, during this period Israeli forces withdrew from central Lebanon and were redeployed toward South Lebanon.

More generally, the period between 1983 and 1988 saw an escalation of all conflicts: the War of the Mountain between the LF and the PSP and its allies, new fighting in and around Palestinian camps, better known as the War of the Camps, and two successive wars in Tripoli. No region in Lebanon was spared, with continuing clashes in Greater Beirut and South Lebanon. On August 20, 1987, several hundred Lebanese citizens clad in white demonstrated against the war and formed a human chain that crossed West and East Beirut through the National Museum. Bomb attacks, abductions, and targeted assassinations took place across Lebanon, with a marked rise during this period in the abduction of foreigners or representatives of foreign institutions.