Key historical events in Lebanon
Created by voaweb on Jan 26, 2011
Last updated: 01/27/11 at 04:57 PM
Najib Mikati is named as Prime Minister. “Day of Rage” as angry Hariri supporters take to the streets protesting his appointment.
Caretaker Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri says he will not serve in a Hezbollah-headed government. His supporters accuse Hezbollah of a coup designed to place country under Iran’s control.
Hezbollah says it will join new government if its candidate is chosen as Prime Minister. Hezbollah-backed billionaire businessman Najib Mikati announces his candidacy.
Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri says he will run for a second term as Prime Minister. Walid Jumblatt, the influential leader of the Druse sect who heads an 11-member bloc in Parliament, comes out in support of Hezbollah and Syria.
U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon releases sealed draft verdict.
As Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri meets with U.S. President Obama in Washington DC, Hezbollah allies announce Syrian-Saudi initiative has failed. Hezbollah withdraws from government, causing its collapse.
Tribunal says pending draft indictments will not be made public. Syria and Saudi Arabia attempt to broker a post-indictment settlement in Beirut.
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah warns his group will not "remain silent" if accused by the Tribunal.
In parliamentary elections, Hezbollah retains only two seats, losing to pro-Western "March 14" coalition. Rafiq Hariri's son, Saad Hariri, is named prime minister.
The Special Tribunal orders the release of the four Lebanese generals detained for murder.
Sectarian clashes. Eventually Qatar negotiates power-sharing deal, allowing Hezbollah and its allies veto power in the cabinet. Army head, Michel Suleiman, named president.
The U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon is created to investigate Hariri assassination. It will serve international “hybrid” court.
Hezbollah captures two Israel soldiers on July 12. In retaliation, Israel launches 34-day campaign, bombing Beirut and environs, also southern Lebanon. Among the dead: 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians; 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
U.N. International Independent Investigation Commission (IIIC) charges Syrian and Lebanese intelligence officials with planning of Hariri killing - among them, the brother-in-law of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Anti-Syrian alliance led by Saad al-Hariri wins control of parliament. Hariri-ally Fouad Siniora named prime minister.
On the one-month anniversary of Hariri assassination, one million anti-Syrians stage protest. Three days later, Syria withdraws 4,000 troops and redeploys remaining 10,000 to Bekaa Valley, its own border with Lebanon.
Hezbollah sponsors massive pro-Syrian demonstration. President Emile Lahoud appoints Omar Karami as Prime Minister and charges him with forming new government.
Former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 21 others are killed by a massive car bombing in Beirut. Syria is believed to be behind the killings, and weeks of anti-Syria protests follow.
U.N. Security Council calls for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. Syria repositions 3,000 troops in a dismissive gesture. Syria insists that President Emile Lahoud serve a second term in office. Despite public outrage, Lebanon allows President Lahoud to serve for three more years. Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri resigns.
Saudi-national, Rafiq Hariri, becomes Prime Minister. He institutes economic reforms to rebuild country.
General Michel Aoun tries to drive occupying Syrian troops from Lebanon, but fails. Taif Accord ends war. The treaty calls for militias to disband, divide Parliament equally between Christians and Muslims, and calls for Syrians to withdraw in two years.
Parliament fails to elect a successor to outgoing president. Government splits between rival Christians in East Beirut under General Michel Aoun and Muslims in West Beirut under Selim el Hoss. Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups begin offering goods and relief services to Shi’ite Muslims in a bid for support.
Israel signs agreement with Lebanon, establishing security zone in southern Lebanon. In 1985, Israel withdraws from most of Lebanon, but remains in the south to support Christian military.
Israel launches full-scale invasion. Israel allies itself with Christian groups, including Phalange Party. In August, Phalange leader Bashir Gemayel is elected President of Lebanon. In September, he is assassinated. In retaliation, Phalange militia raid Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila, slaughtering hundreds, possibly thousands of men, women and children. Bashir’s brother Amine Gemayel elected president. International peacekeepers arrive in Beirut, at Lebanon’s request.
Retaliating against PLO attacks, Israel invades Lebanon. U.N. sends interim peacekeeping force. Israel turns southern Lebanon over to Lebanon’s Christian military.
Start of civil war between Christians and Muslims, reflecting Lebanon’s wider struggle between Palestinians, Israelis and Syrians. Muslims and leftists support the PLO and seek wider power. Politically dominant Christians oppose PLO. Syria fears victory by extremists in Lebanon and sends troops to help moderate fighters.
Israel raids Beirut. Lebanese government resigns.
Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sets up official base in Lebanon, after being expelled from Jordan. Lebanon threatens to curb PLO activities and fighting ensues.
Jewish settlers declares State of Israel. 100,000 Palestinian refugees, fleeing or driven from Israel, begin to arrive in Lebanon.
Lebanon achieves independence from France and sets up “confessionalist” system of government, by which power is shared by Christian, Sunni and Shi’ite, according to a 1932 census showing a Christian majority.