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Part 1 The Cold War Era (1945–89), 24 The Lebanon War—1982

Myra Williamson

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 May 2024

Aggression — Precedent — Occupation — Armed attack

This chapter analyses the context and legality of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, also referred to as the First Lebanon War and ‘Operation Peace for Galilee’. It began on 6 June 1982 and became an 18-year-long occupation, ending on 22 May 2000. The first section discusses the immediate pretext for Israel’s invasion—the attempted assassination in London of the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Schlomo Argov, by Abu Nidal terrorists—as well as the more complex causes, such as the political animosity between Israel, Lebanon, Syria and the PLO. Section two analyses the positions of the main antagonists—Israel, Lebanon and the PLO—as well as other interested parties (the US, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly). The third section addresses the legality of Israel’s use of force, citing the arguments of scholars on both sides of the debate. Finally, the chapter assesses the precedential value of this use of force, in light of the Security Council’s refusal to accept that the attempted assassination was an ‘armed attack’ and its condemnation of the Israeli aggression.

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