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The Israeli Experience In Lebanon, 1982-1985
CSC 1987
                 THE ISRAELI EXPERIENCE IN LEBANON, 1982-1985
                            Major George C. Solley
                    Marine Corps Command and Staff College
                Marine Corps Development and Education Command
                              Quantico, Virginia
                                 10 May 1987
Author:   Solley, George C., Major, USMC
Title:    Israel's Lebanon War, 1982-1985
Date:     16 February 1987
     On 6 June 1982, the armed forces of Israel invaded Lebanon in
a  campaign  which,  although initially perceived  as  limited  in
purpose,  scope,  and duration,  would become the longest and most
controversial  military  action in  Israel's  history.   Operation
Peace  for  Galilee  was launched to meet five  national  strategy
goals:  (1) eliminate the PLO threat to Israel's northern  border;
(2)  destroy the PLO infrastructure in Lebanon;  (3) remove Syrian
military  presence in the Bekaa Valley and reduce its influence in
Lebanon;  (4)   create  a  stable  Lebanese  government;  and  (5)
therefore  strengthen Israel's position in the West Bank.
     This study examines  Israel's experience in Lebanon from  the
growth  of  a  significant  PLO threat during the  1970's  to  the
present,  concentrating  on  the events from the  initial  Israeli
invasion in June 1982 to the completion of the withdrawal in  June
1985.   In doing so,  the study pays particular attention to three
aspects  of the war:  military operations,  strategic  goals,  and
overall results.
     The  examination of the Lebanon War lends itself to  division
into three parts.   Part One recounts the background necessary for
an  understanding of the war's context -- the growth of PLO  power
in Lebanon, the internal power struggle in Lebanon during the long
and continuing civil war, and Israeli involvement in Lebanon prior
to  1982.   The second part deals with the four distinct phases of
Israeli  military  operations  in  Lebanon:   (1)  the   eight-day
offensive  which  shattered the PLO and seriously  damaged  Syrian
occupation  forces;  (2)  the consolidation of gains and seige  of
West  Beirut;  (3) the occupation of territory  pending  political
settlement; and (4) the phased withdrawal from Lebanon.
Part  Three  examines the results of the war in terms of  military
lessons  learned,  degree  of success of war  goals,  and  overall
effects  of  the  war on  Israel,  Lebanon,  and  the  Palestinian
     In brief,  the Israeli Defense Force conducted a   successful
combined  arms  offensive which achieved every military  objective
assigned  it,   but  which  revealed  certain  weakness  in  force
structure  and tactics.   Strategic goals were initially met  with
the  evacuation of much of the PLO  from Beirut and the defeat  of
Syrian forces in the Bekaa;  however,long term results have been a
renewed  PLO  presence  in Lebanon,  the rise  of  militant  Shi'a
fundamentalist militias in the south, the almost total collapse of
any semblance of a Lebanese government,  restored Syrian  presence
and  influence,  deep domestic divisions in Israel concerning  the
war, and increased political violence in the West Bank.
                        TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter I.  Introduction                              1
Chapter II.  Background                               4
Chapter  III.  Plans and Preparations                40
Chapter  IV.   Invasion                              58
Chapter  V.    Seige                                 97
Chapter  VI.   Occupation and Withdrawal            106
Chapter  VII.  IDF Lessons Learned                  126
Chapter  VIII. Conclusions                          142
Bibliography                                        150
Figure  1.   IDF Expansion, 1973-1982                     16
Figure  2.   IDF Organization                             18
Figure  3.   PLO Organization                             23
Figure  4.   Palestinian Factions                         25
Figure  5.   Lebanese Factions                            29
Figure  6.   IDF Order of Battle                          48
Figure  7.   PLO Order of Battle                          50
Figure  8.   Syrian Order of Battle                       55
Map  1.     Religious Communities in Lebanon              27
Map  2.     Areas of Control in Lebanon                   35
Map  3.     Topography of Lebanon                         43
Map  4.     PLO Dispositions                              51
Map  5.     Syrian Dispositions                           53
(Vp6w6n?p  6.     Israeli Advances -- 6 June                  65
Map  7.      Israeli Advances -- 7 June                   68
Map  8.      Israeli Advances -- 8 June                   73
Map  9.      Israeli Advances -- 9 June                   78
Map  10.     Israeli Advances -- 10 June                  82
Map  11.     Israeli Advances -- 11-12 June               85
Map  12.    Beirut-Damascus Highway -- 22-25 June         91
Map  13.    Beirut                                        96
Map  14.    Beirut -- 1-4 August                         102
Map  15.     Israeli Dispositions -- Sept 82-Sept 83     113
Map  16.     Israeli Dispositions -- Sept 83-Jan 85      115
Map  17.     Israeli Dispositions -- Jan 85-June 85      123
                    CHAPTER I -- INTRODUCTION
     Any  attempt to examine one segment in the continuing  Arab-
Israeli conflict runs into an immediate and unavoidable  dilemma,
and this study of the Israeli invasion and occupation of southern
Lebanon from 1982 to 1985 is no exception.   The dilemma is this:
the  threads  that must be woven together to produce  a  tapestry
which accurately and thoroughly depicts a particular conflict are
long  and convoluted;  the Lebanon conflict especially cannot  be
understood  without  a  knowledge  of  the  greater  Arab-Israeli
conflict,  its  roots and history -- both military and political.
Even  that knowledge must be reinforced by further  understanding
of both Arab and Jewish-Israeli history,  culture,  and  society.
Obviously,  a study which attempted such an encyclopedic approach
could  not  be confined to one volume -- much less to a  research
paper.   The approach of this study, therefore, is to rely on the
reader  to  bring with him an overall awareness  of  the  greater
conflict  and  to  provide only a brief account  of  the  broader
struggle  in  order  to concentrate on  background  events  which
directly influenced the events and conduct of the Lebanon War.
     The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982 and the ensuing
three-year occupation are themselves multi-faceted.  There is the
purely military struggle between Israel, on the one hand, and the
Palestinian  Liberation Organization (PLO),  Syria,  and Lebanese
militias on the other.   There is a political struggle on several
levels -- within the Israeli government,  within Israeli society,
between  Israel  and both its friends  and  adversaries,  between
Syria and Lebanon,  and within Lebanon.   There is the effect  of
the war  on the pre-existing confessional conflict  in  Lebanon.
And  there  is the effect on the Palestinian problem as a  whole,
including  not only the PLO but also the Palestinian  communities
in Lebanon,  Israel,  and elsewhere.   Again,  a relatively brief
examination  of the war cannot hope to deal adequately  with  its
many  facets  in  any detail,  so this study will  focus  on  its
military  aspects.   But  to concentrate solely on  the  military
aspects  of this war in particular would be to remove it from its
context and to mislead the reader,  so the attempt has been  made
to include enough related information that the reader may gain an
understanding of military events in their political context.
     An additional problem in writing of the Lebanon War concerns
the   matter  of  sources.    One  might  expect  to  find   only
contemporary   press  accounts  supplemented  by  a  few  journal
articles,  but  in fact a number of full-length works  concerning
the  war (or at least the invasion through the siege  of  Beirut)
have  appeared  in  the last few years.   In dealing  with  these
works,  and in particular when dealing with press  reports,  care
must  be  exercised  to  maintain  a  balanced  viewpoint.   This
conflict, like the Arab-Israeli conflict in general, brings forth
an emotionally charged reaction from anyone who subscribes to the
views  of  one  side  or the other,  and in this  case  the  deep
division  within  Israel over the war has  led  to  substantially
different  accounts  even among Israeli  writers.   The  sources,
then,  can be divided into four points of view,  each represented
by  writers  whose approach varies from  balanced,  factual,  and
reasoned to biased,  unreliable,  and emotional: anti-Israeli and
pro-Palestinian,   anti-Israeli  and  anti-Palestinian  but  pro-
Lebanese,  pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian,  and pro-Israeli and
reasonably balanced concerning the Palestinians.  In dealing with
these  sources the researcher must recognize any inherent  biases
on  the parts of the authors and accept as legitimate  only  that
information  which  can be verified.   In  addition,  all  Israel
Defense  Force  reports  are kept secret for  thirty  years,  and
American  reports resulting from liaison with the  Israelis  also
remain classified.   Nevertheless,  one can build an accurate and
fairly  complete picture of the war by comparing information from
a number of sources.
     This study represents an attempt to build such a picture  by
examining the events which led to the war, the characteristics of
its participants, the way in which it was fought, and its overall
                       CHAPTER II -- BACKGROUND
     It   is   difficult  to  define  the  amount  of   background
information  the  reader  may need for an  understanding  of  the
Lebanon  War,  but there is no doubt that some knowledge  of  the
roots  of the war is necessary.  In order to dig out those  roots
without trying to cover the entire history of the Middle East, it
is  possible  to examine the influences on the conflict  in  four
areas:  the  military aspects of the Arab-Israeli  conflict;  the
development  of  the  Israel Defense Force;  the history  of  the
Palestinians  and  the PLO in Lebanon;  and the growing  role  of
Israel in Lebanese affairs.
     The historical roots of Arab-Israeli hostility can be traced
as  far  back as one wishes to go,  and some Arabs  and  Israelis
argue the issue from a Biblical starting point,  anchoring  their
key points in events of 3,000 years ago.  Be that as it may,  the
modern  conflict  has its genesis in the Zionist movement of  the
late  19th  century,  when  the Jewish  population  in  Palestine
increased from some 25,0002 in 1881 to more than 80,0002 in 1914.
Unlike the Palestinian Jews, the Zionist immigrants came to till
the soil and were determined to defend themselves in a land where 
Bedouin and other Arab bandits regularly plundered villages and
robbed travelers; these Zionists established barricaded villages
guarded by the first Jewish defense organizations, Hashomer ("the
     World War I was a watershed for both Jews and Arabs.
Palestinian Jews served initially at Gallipoli in the Zion Mule
Corps; later, after the Balfour Declaration gave British approval 
for "establishment in Palestine of a national homeland for the
Jewis people," the Jewish Legion participated in Allenby's
campaign to drive the Ottoman Turks from Palestine, Lebanon, and
Syria. Also serving under Allenby was the Arab Legion, commanded
by the Arabian Sheik Faisal--great-uncle of Jordan's King
Hussein--and advised by the T. E. Lawrence.5  At war's end, Britain 
received the Palestinian mandate, but in order to conquer the 
region, she had encouraged both Zionist aspirations and Arab
nationalism in Arabia, Trasnsjordan, and Palestine.
     These conflicting aspirations resulted in bloody clashes
during the period of the British Mandate in Palestine. The
increasing number of authorized Jewish immigrants spurred Arab
anti-Jewish riots in the 1920's, which in turn led to the
creation of the country-wide militia that was father of the
Israel Defense Force--the Haganah.6  By the outbreak of World
War II, the Jewish population had reached 445,000; thousands of
Jews had received paramilitary training as part of the Jewish
Settlement  Police;  and  the  best of  these  underwent  special
training  under Orde Wingate in the counterguerilla Special Night
Squads. In addition, the Zionist radical right had formed its own
militia,  the  Irgun Zvai Leumi.On the Arab  side,  banditry  and
riots had begun to be supplemented by trained guerillas under the
command of a former Ottoman army officer named Fawzi al-Kawukji.
     World   War  II  again  brought  military  training  to   the
Palestinian  Jews,  as  some  32,000 joined the  British  forces.
Meanwhile,  the Haganah organized a full-time military force, the
Palmach,  which  participated  as  scouts and  commandos  in  the
British  operations against Vichy Lebanon and  Syria.  After  the
war,  the Haganah concentrated on building an army-in-waiting and
on facilitating illegal immigration from Europe,  while the Irgun
and  its  offshoot Lohamei Herut Yisrael ("Fighters for  Israel's
Freedom",  LEHI to Israelis and the Stern Gang abroad),  indulged
in a terrorist campaign against the British. Arab guerilla groups
--  many of whom had also received British training -- fought both
British and Jews.7
     The  first Arab-Israel war actually began in November  1947,
when the United Nations commenced its plan to partition Palestine
and  the  British agreed to withdraw within six months.  The  war
unfolded in several phases,  the first two of which consisted  of
an   offensive  by  mostly  Palestinian  elements  and  a  Jewish
counteroffensive.  The Palestinians had formed a number of  units
manned  by armed Palestinians and Arab volunteers.  One of  these
units was commanded by the same Fawzi al-Kawukji;  another by the
talented  Abdul  Kader  Husseini -- a kinsman of  Yasser  Arafat.
During  these phases,  the Palestinians attacked Jewish  villages
throughout  Palestine,  until  the  Jewish  forces  mustered  the
strength to strike back. In April 1948, the Irgun seized the Arab
village of Deir Yassin,  near Jerusalem,  and massacred some  250
men,  women,  and children in an action which more than any other
stimulated Palestinian flight into neighboring countries. By May,
the  Palestinian  offensive reached its apex when Arabs  captured
the  Jewish  kibbutz  of Kfar Etzion  and  committed  their  own,
retaliatory,  massacre. However, soon after the Palestinians were
     The final phases of the war began on 14 May 1948: the day the
British   evacuation   was   completed,   Israel   declared   her
independence,  and  forces  from five Arab  countries,  including
Lebanon,  invaded  Palestine.  On 26 May,  the Israeli  Army  was
officially established by combining the various militias into the
Zva  Haganah LeyIsrael (literally "Defense Army for Israel",  and
officially Israel Defense Forces,  or IDF, but known in Israel by
its  popular acronym--Zahal).  In a campaign which  lasted  until
June  of 1949 (although the fighting was mostly over by  December
1948), the Israeli Army defeated each invading force in detail.8
     The  signing  of armistice agreements  with  Egypt,  Jordan,
Syria, and Lebanon in 1949 did not end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Rather,  the  conflict  became institutionalized.  In  the  years
following the War for Independence, Israel continued to build her
army  and to define a defense doctrine,  while at the  same  time
strengthening   her  population  base  by  the  encouragement  of
unlimited Jewish immigration.  On the other side,  the Arabs were
struggling to come to grips with the disaster of 1947-48, both in
Arab capitals and in the many Palestinian refugee camps scattered
throughout the Middle East.  In the main,  the early 1950's was a
time  when both sides tested each other -- and  themselves  -- in
small  raids,  both  by  regular  forces  and  armed  Palestinian
Fedayeen  (Arab  for "self-sacrificers") guerillas from Gaza  and
Jordan's  West  Bank.   By  October  1956,   Egypt  had  regained
sufficient  strength and confidence to close both the Suez  Canal
and  the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping,  prompting Israel  to
act  in concert with Britain and France and launch  an  offensive
against Egyptian forces in the Sinai.  That fast-moving operation
resulted  in a swift Israeli victory:  IDF mechanized and armored
columns  reached the Suez Canal in less than four  days,  and  in
another  four  days  they  seized  the  entire  Sinai  Peninsula,
destroying  the  equivalent  of  two Egyptian  divisions  in  the
     Again,  a  period  of relative peace followed  the  Egyptian
defeat;  but again, Egypt rebuilt its strength in preparation for
another clash with Israel.  In May 1967,  Egypt began to mass its
forces in the Sinai,  concentrating some 95,000 men and nearly  a
thousand  tanks;  President  Nasser made  increasingly  bellicose
announcements and declared the closing of the Straits of Tiran to
Israeli  shipping,  while  at  the  same time  Jordan  and  Syria
mobilized   their   forces.   To  counter  what   it   considered
increasingly dangerous preparations by the Arabs, Israel launched
a  pre-emptive  attack on 5 June.  Begun with Israeli  Air  Force
(IAF)  attacks  on  the airfields of  all  three  countries,  the
Israeli  attack routed all three Arab forces in a mere six  days,
with relatively low losses to the IDF.10
     The  Six Day War was an unparalleled success for Israel  and
an  unmitigated disaster for the Arabs.  Egypt had suffered  some
10,000  dead and lost the Sinai Peninsula for the second time   in
11 years. Jordan had 1,000 killed and lost its remaining foothold
in Palestine on the West Bank,  but more important to Arabs   and
Israelis  alike,  it had lost the city of Jerusalem;  Syria  lost
over  2,000 killed and most of the Golan Heights,  the  strategic
hills  overlooking   northern  Galilee.   Moreover,  the  Israeli
success  brought  about  an entirely new equation  in  the  Arab-
Israeli conflict. Although the territorial gains greatly enhanced
the security of Israel proper by distancing her from her enemies,
the  gains  also  brought hundreds of thousands  of  Arabs  under
Israeli control,  caused a new wave of Palestinian refugees,  and
stimulated   the   fortunes   of   the   Palestinian   Liberation
Organization  as Palestinians lost faith in the ability  of  Arab
governments.  As  the Arabs despaired,  Israelis rejoiced in  the
belief  that they had so thoroughly destroyed any threat to their
survival that lasting peace would now follow.
    However, the war did not bring peace, but a three-year period
of  non-stop  conflict known in Israel as the War  of  Attrition.
This  war  was most intense along the Suez Canal,  but  was  also
fought on the Syrian and Jordanian fronts;  artillery  exchanges,
ground  raids,  and  air  strikes exacted a steady toll  on  both
sides,   and  terrorist  and  guerilla  attacks  against  Israeli
civilian targets became frequent.  Although Israel fortified  its
front  lines,  particularly along the Suez Canal and in the Golan
Heights,  it  also  conducted long-range air  strikes  and  armor
raids.  It  was  Israeli air power,  which struck deep into  Arab
countries  and destroyed over 60 MiG-21's (with the loss of  only
two Mirages),  which caused the Arabs to agree to a ceasefire  in
August  1970.  Israelis  counted this non-war a victory,  but  --
although it cost nearly 600 Israeli lives -- the fighting did not
seriously test Israeli defenses in the occupied territories.11
     That  test  came  in October 1973.  On the  afternoon  of  6
October,  on the Jewish Day of Atonement (Yom  Kippur),  Egyptian
and  Syrian Forces launched a well-coordinated surprise attack in
in the Sinai and on the Golan Heights.  On both  fronts,  Israeli
defenses  were  overrun and the small IDF forces were reduced  to
fighting desperate holding actions while mobilization was  slowly
taking  place.  In  the  Golan,  the threat to  Israel  was  more
immediate,  since a short Syrian advance would put them among the
towns and settlements of northern Galilee.  In the Sinai, the IDF
did  not  stem the Egyptian advance until 14  October,  when  IDF
armor  defeated  that  of  Egypt  in  a  tremendous  tank  battle
involving  nearly  2,000 tanks.  The Israelis quickly seized  the
offensive  and  crossed the Suez Canal,  and by  24  October  had
completely encircled  the 45,000 men of the Egyptian  3rd  Army.
Therefore  the  IDF conducted simultaneous offense  and  defense,
holding  on  by a thread in one sector while counterattacking  in
another.  By 11 October,  the Syrian attack had been broken,  and
IDF  units had advanced to within artillery range of Damascus  by
the next day.  After a near superpower confrontation; a ceasefire
was imposed in 22 October.
     The   Yom  Kippur  War  shook  the  Israelis  out  of  their
complacent  sense  of military superiority -- for it had  been  a
near  thing.  On  the other hand,  the war increased  Arab  self-
respect  and demonstrated that when supplied  with  sophisticated
weaponry   and equipment,  they became more formidable  opponents.
The  war   also led to a number of developments in the  continuing
conflict:  Egypt signed the first peace treaty between Israel and
an  Arab country;  Jordan,  which had stayed out of the  war  and
ceased  providing  a  haven   for  PLO  guerillas,   became  more
determined  to shift attention from military to political  action;
and attacks by the PLO,  both within Israel and abroad, increased
in frequency.  Now,  however,  these attacks did not emanate from
Egypt or Jordan, but from the growing PLO base in Lebanon. And it
was  toward Lebanon that Israel turned her attention  during  the
     Much of the doctrine and fighting characteristics of the IDF
stem  from  the pre-state era and the War for  Independence.  The
Haganah,  which  formed the core of the new IDF,  emerged from  a
strong pacifist background and at first strongly opposed the  use
of  force  except  in  self-defense.   This  principle  of  self-
restraint,  known  to the Haganah as "to keep your weapon clean,"
later developed into the IDF concept of tohar haneshek, or purity
.of  arms -- a concept which can loosely be described as  morality
in  war.  Not  all members of the Haganah agreed with  what  some
considered  such a naive approach,  and the establishment of  the
Irgun  and  LEHI  reflected  that  counter-policy,   whose  chief
characteristics were lack of restraint and a tendency to identify
as enemies all who stood between them and their goals.  It was in
the Haganah that the first operational doctrine was formulated --
based  particularly  on  the main  principles  espoused  by  Orde
Wingate.   These   principles  included  leadership  by  personal
example, purposeful discipline based on operational requirements,
careful  planning  down  to  the  lowest  levels,  delegation  of
authority  to  subordinates,   encouragement  of   improvisation,
concentration on the main objective, exploitation of surprise and
mobility,  use  of night operations,  and emphasis on ideological
     In matters of training,  the chief influence on the IDF  was
the  Palmach,  both because it served as the training ground  for
many  of the future leaders and because the training methods were
unconventional.    Palmach    training   emphasized    individual
responsbility,  stressed the need for independence of action even
to the squad leader level,  and instilled as military answers  to
the  Jewish lack of a conventional military force the concepts of
cohesion,   group   morale,   inventive   tactics,   and   daring
leadership.13    The  War  for Independence  molded  the  different
elements   of  the  Jewish  defenses  into  a   single   military
organization  based  on  these  principles  and  practices.   The
doctrinal  concepts  of the Haganah and the Palmach  were  proven
valid  in that war,  and the young members of those organizations
became the heroes of the war and the leaders of the post-war IDF.
     After the War for Independence, the new IDF began to attain
its  shape as a national military force.  Confronted  immediately
with  the problem of how to provide a ready defense  without  the
draining  burden  of  a large standing army,  the IDF  adopted  a
modified Swiss model of reserve service. The IDF would be made up
of three components: Keva, the relatively small permanent service
of  career  officers  and  NCOs;   Hova,   conscripts  undergoing
compulsory  service;  and Meluimm,  the large standby reserve  of
those  whose  compulsory  service  was  completed.  The  IDF  was
organized  into  an  army,  air  force,  and  small  navy  -- all
subordinate  to  a Chief of Staff who reported  directly  to  the
Minister of Defense.  Within the IDF, three regional commands and
a General Staff reported to the Chief of Staff.
    Also  during  these  early  years,  the  main  strategic  and
tactical doctrines of the IDF were defined. Stemming from certain
built-in  constraints  (lack  of  geographical  depth,  numerical
inferiority,  and limited economic resources),  the IDF developed
doctrinal  concepts  which  still  form  the  basis  for  Israeli
defense:  1)  deterrence  of  Israel's  larger  enemies  is  only
possible  through  an  effective and highly  aggressive  military
force;  2) effective intelligence is required to deny surprise to
the  enemy;  3) pre-emptive attack is necessary to prevent  enemy
penetration  of Israeli territory;  4) reserve forces,  the  main
strength of the IDF, must be kept in a high state of proficiency,
equipment,  and readiness;  5) a "fast-war doctrine" is necessary
to  avert  economic  and  human  attrition.
     Despite  these  developments,  and partially because of  the
IDF's   role  in  assimilating  immigrants  from  a   myriad   of
backgrounds  into  Israeli society,  the IDF suffered a lapse  of
effectiveness  until Moshe Dayan became Chief of Staff  in  1953.
Dayan, who had been a favored disciple of Orde Wingate, set about
to reinstill the Haganah/Palmach characteristics into an IDF made
up  largely  of immigrants.  This he did while at the  same  time
developing   the IDF's infantry capability in response to Fedayeen
attacks.   The  Sinai  campaign  affirmed  the  overall   Israeli
approach,   although   it   revealed  weaknesses  in   logistics,
coordination,  and  armor.  As a result,  the armored  corps  was
greatly  increased  in  number and quality,  and  air  operations
received   greater  emphasis.   The  IDF's  characteristics   and
doctrinal concepts, however, remained the same.14
     The  June  1967  war  further  validated  IDF  doctrine  and
character,  and seemed also to demonstrate an Israeli edge in the
adaptation of modern,  sophisticated weapons and equipment to the
battlefield.   However, it was in this area of equipment that the
Israelis  noticed problems,  for its forces were equipped with  a
wide  variety  of machines -- from modern Centurians  to  surplus
World  War  II Shermans.   Troops followed the tanks in  civilian
buses,  and the navy could boast no craft built since 1945.  Only
the air force contained quality equipment, and it was outnumbered
by almost three to one.   The combination of poor equipment, good
leadership,  and swift victory led to overconfidence on the  part
of  the  IDF,  especially as the outdated items were replaced  by
first  rate  tanks,   personnel  carriers,   missile  boats,  and
aircraft.   More  serious,  the  IDF combined arms  doctrine  was
supplanted  by the belief (seemingly confirmed in the  war)  that
successful  operations in the Middle East could be conducted with
tanks  fighting  virtually alone,  without  supporting  infantry.
From  an infantry-based force in the early 1950's,  the  IDF  had
become an overwhelmingly armor-heavy force by the 1970's.15
     Both  the overconfidence and reliance on armored formations
received  severe  blows  in the Yom Kippur  War  of  1973,  which
brought with it the realization that courage and initiative might
not  in  themselves prove sufficient for  Israel's  defense.   In
addition to maintaining a qualitative edge,  the IDF must  obtain
quantitative  comparability as well.   In addition,  the IDF  had
encountered   technological   innovations   for  which   it   was
unprepared,  particularly the surface-to-air (SAM) and  anti-tank
missiles.   Israeli human and equipment losses were high, but the
IDF  immediately  began to replace these losses and to  begin  an
enormous  expansion  in  manpower,   equipment,  and  complexity.
Figure  1 details that expansion,  but the overall trends were  a
great increase in the number of armor and artillery brigades, the
mechanization of infantry and artillery,  and the tripling of the
number of tactical aircraft.16
     This  growth  did  bring  with  it  certain  problems.   The
increase  in  manpower  resulted  from the  acceptance  of  lower
quality conscripts,  which in turn decreased the average  quality
of the IDF soldier.   Officer selection and promotion became more
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lax,  because of both force expansion and the need to replace the
  nearly  1,300 officers killed and wounded in the Yom Kippur  War.
  As  the  IDF grew,  so did its complexity,  command  and  control
  difficulties,  centralization,  and bureaucracy.17  Finally,  the
  expansion  had  a  severe economic effect:  the  money  spent  on
upgrading equipment was significant, and when added to that spent
dismantling  IDF  bases  in the Sinai following  the  Camp  David
Accords with Egypt and rebuilding them in Israel,  caused defense
spending  to  jump from around 21 per cent of the  GNP  prior  to
thewar  to a high of 35 per cent in the mid-1970's;  the store of
arms and ammunition, which was nearly exhausted early in the war,
was enlarged sufficiently to sustain 28 days of combat;  and  the
costs  of equipment acquisition and force growth led to a cutback
in training time, live-fire exercises, flight time, and other key
training.   However,  a  corresponding  effect was  the  hastened
development  of  an arms industry in Israel  which  would  reduce
dependence on overseas suppliers.18
     Operationally,  the IDF learned several lessons from the Yom
Kippur War.  First, Israel underestimated the enemy.  Second, the
IDF suffered an imbalance in the composition of its  forces:  the
lack of APC's inhibited mobility;  artillery had been  neglected
due  to emphasis on aviation;  and the IDF overrelied on  armored
formations.   Third,  infantry  was  used very  poorly.   Fourth,
intelligence  was  not received in a timely manner  nor  applied
effectively  in operations.19    The overall result of IDF  changes
following  1973  was a much larger and more sophisticated  force,
with   more  combat  formations  and  a  greater  combined   arms
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capability.   Operational  doctrine  may have  changed  in  some
technical aspects,  but basic doctrine remained the  same.   That
doctrine  is based on consideration of the threat and factors  of
geography,   population,   economic  resources,   and  superpower
intentions:  Israel  has no strategic depth;  its  population  is
vastly less than its Arab opponents; its economy will not sustain
a  prolonged war;  and the superpowers will intervene to  prevent
the  total  defeat  of  an  Arab  nation.    Therefore,  doctrine
emphasizes deterrence through the  identification of casus belli,
decisive  military victory,  defensible borders,  and an image of
autonomous action.   These translate into operational emphasis on
offensive operations,  pre-emption, speed, maneuver, exploitation
of technical and command superiority, and combined arms.20
     For much of the forty years of Arab-Israeli conflict Lebanon
has  been  the one area devoid of  direct  confrontation.   After
agreeing  to  a ceasefire with the new state of Israel  in  1949,
Lebanon  was left with a major problem relating to the continuing
conflict  -- the more than 100,000 Palestinian refugees who  fled
north  from  1947 to 1950.21    These refugees,  mostly  from  Arab
settlements in northern Israel,  were initially settled in  camps
built  by  the  French  in the 1930's for  Armenian  and  Kurdish
refugees.  Rather quickly, however, the Lebanese government began
transferring them to some fifteen camps based on place of  origin
in Israel.  As was the case in other Arab countries, the Lebanese
government  discouraged  the  integration  of  Palestinians  into
Lebanon's  own population,  both because Arab states maintained a
tacit  agreement that Palestinian refugees were politically  more
useful  than  Palestinian  citizens  and  because  the  Christian
leadership  in  Lebanon feared a sizable increase in  the  Muslim
population.22  In Lebanon, the conditions were worse for refugees
than in Jordan,  Syria,  or Egypt:  regarded as  "non-nationals,"
Palestinians were barred from any government work,  including the
military,   and  their  children  were  generally  excluded  from
Lebanese schools.   However,  a number of Palestinians who either
had money,  were educated, or were related to Lebanese did manage
to obtain Lebanese citizenship.23
     As  the camps grew during the 1950's,  so did the  fledgling
resistance  movement.   The original Palestine National Assembly,
formed in Gaza in 1948, gradually gave way to more active groups.
In  October 1954 a secret resistance group was formed  by  Yasser
Arafat  called "Fatah."24  By 1960, the headquarters of Fatah was
located  in Beirut and had published a credo containing five main
points,  central  of which was the need for "armed  struggle"  to
liberate  Palestine.25    As Fatah expanded its base  of  support,
another group, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), was
established in early 1964 replete with an Executive Committee,  a
National  Council  of  elected representatives,  and  a  military
branch -- the Palestinian Liberation Army (PLA).26
     Late  the  same year,  Fatah launched its  first  raid  into
Israel.   Backed  mainly at this point by Syria,  Fatah moved its
headquarters  to Damascus and increased the number of  its  raids
staged from Lebanon,  Syria,  and Jordan's West Bank.   The swift
and  thorough  Israeli  victory  in June 1967  left  a  frustated
Palestinian  diaspora,  one  which became increasingly  convinced
that Fatah's program of phasing a guerilla struggle from hit  and
run  raids  to limited confrontation to permanent occupation  was
the  only hope of wresting Palestine from the  Israelis.27   Many
resistance groups sprang up, with differing goals and ideologies,
but all committed to armed struggle.   As a result of the war and
the  flood  of  refugees into Jordan from the  West  Bank,  Fatah
activities  increased dramatically in Jordan and the  PLO  itself
became more militant.  Fatah's reputation and popularity received
a  tremendous  boost in the aftermath of the war,  when  a  large
Israeli  raid  on the Jordanian village of Karameh in March  1968
resulted in scores of Israeli casualties;  although the Jordanian
Army  was  largely  responsible for  the  Israeli  losses,  Fatah
fighters  performed  well  and Arafat turned  the  clash  into  a
propaganda  victory which resulted in thousands of volunteers and
which  consolidated Fatah's position as the leading  organization
in the Palestinian movement.28
     Again, violent clashes between Palestinian groups and Israel
increased   in  number and frequency:  nearly  a  thousand  border
incidents   occurred  between  Israel and Jordan  in  1968,29  and
skirmishes  between  guerillas  and the IDF  along  the  Lebanese
border  were  taking place several times a week.30    In  December
1968  these  incidents brought the first significant  retaliatory
raid in Lebanon when IDF commandos landed at the Beirut  airport,
carefully  evacuated passengers and crew members,  and  destroyed
thirteen  planes  belonging to Lebanon's Middle East Airlines  --
with  no casualties on either side.31  In February  1969,  Arafat
was  elected  Chairman of the PLO and Fatah became  the  dominant
force of the organization [see Figure 3].32    The strength of  the
movement  (and resulting Israeli response) had by now become such
that  Lebanon began to feel the pressure.   A series  of  battles
between  PLO  groups and the Lebanese Army resulted in  mediation
by  Egypt's  President Nasser,  and in October  1969  Arafat  and
Lebanese Army Chief General Emile Bustany met in Cairo and signed
what  became  known as the Cairo Agreement.   This  agreement  in
effect legitimized the PLO position in Lebanon: Palestinians were
allowed  "to  participate in the Palestinian  revolution  through
armed  struggle,"  and even were granted bases for operations  in
return  for  acceptance  of  Lebanese  government  sovereignty.33
Thus,  by 1969,  Arafat's Fatah had taken over the leadership  of
the  PLO,  had  become the chief Palestinian player in the  armed
struggle against Israel,  and had established a legitimate  basis
of operation in both Jordan and Lebanon.  In addition, the second
great exodus of Palestinians,  this time from the West Bank,  had
swollen the ranks of all Palestinian groups.
     However,  1970  saw  a series of events in Jordan which  had
severe  consequences for both the PLO and Lebanon.   The  growing
strength  of  the PLO in Jordan following the June 1967  war  was
becoming  a threat to King Hussein's  government.   In  addition,
each  terrorist  attack launched from Jordan brought  retaliation
from  the Israelis -- in ever-increasing  severity.   During  the
early  months of 1970,  several clashes occurred as the Jordanian
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Army attempted to control PLO activities,  but in September these
battles  erupted  into  all-out war.   Following  an  attempt  on
Hussein's life.  George Habash's Popular Front for the Liberation
of   Palestine  (PFLP)  hijacked  four  American   and   European
airliners,  flew  them to remote fields in Jordan,  and blew them
up.   Hussein turned his army on the Palestinians and by the  end
of the month,  after thousands of Palestinian deaths,  the PLO in
Jordan  was  crushed.   Thousands  of fighters  fled,  mostly  to
     Left in a state of reduced capability and reputation by  the
losses   of   "Black  September,"  elements  of  the  PLO   turned
increasingly   to     terrorism.   After  more  than  a  year   of
recuperation in Lebanon,  PLO-trained teams embarked on a  series
of  spectacular  terrorist  acts which included the  Lod airport
Massacre  in May 1972 and the killing of eleven Israeli athletes
in Munich the following August.   Israeli reaction again provoked
tension  between the PLO and the Lebanese Army which climaxed  in
May 1973 then slackened during the Yom Kippur War.  During  1974,
terrorist  and  guerilla actions continued by some PLO factions,
although  Fatah  curbed its violent activities when  it appeared
likely for a while that real political progress was possible.  In
the  Arab League summit conference in October 1974  Arab  leaders
recognized  the PLO as the "sole legitimate representative of all
Palestinian people," and the next month Yasser Arafat was invited
to  address the United Nations General Assembly.35   Yet,  as  the
PLO  seemed  within  reach  of  international   legitimacy,   the
situation in Lebanon was rapidly deteriorating.
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     Faced  with  the  growing power of the PLO  in  Lebanon  and
monstrated  weakness  of the Lebanese  Army,  the  Christians  in
Lebanon  began seriously to arm themselves.   Tensions within the
country  rose during the spring of 1975,  exemplified by  endless
demands  and  ultimatums,   political  violence,  and  denial  of
Lebanese  government authority by all factions.   These  tensions
had a number of causes: the PLO was an armed force not integrated
into Lebanon's political system;  the Palestinian issue  strained
relations  between  Lebanese Christians and  Muslims,  since  the
former  felt  abused by Arab support for PLO activities  and  the
latter  felt an almost sacred duty to provide that  support;  the
Marxist  and leftist PLO factions reinforced the Lebanese Left as
a political force; and as southern Lebanon became a PLO base, the
geo-political problem was further exacerbated by the movement  of
the Shia population north to Beirut.36   In April,  an armed clash
between  radical Palestinians and Phalange militia in the Ein  al
Rumani  quarter  of Beirut ignited a civil war  which  officially
lasted  eighteen months but which in fact continues today.    That
internal  conflict has been described in detail elsewhere,37  but
since  it directly affected the Israeli-PLO conflict and set  the
stage  for the 1982 Israeli invasion,  it is worth recounting  in
broad terms.
     The  1975-76  civil war in Lebanon can be broken  into  four
relatively distinct phases.  Figure 5 shows the line up of forces
as it evolved during the civil war.  During the first phase. from
April  to  June 1975,  the clashes between the  PLO  and  leftist
militias  on  the  one  hand  and  the  Phalange  on  the   other
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intensified.  Phase  two,  which lasted from June 1975 to January
1976,  consisted  of  all out war  between  two  coalitions:  the
coalition  for  status  quo consisted of the Lebanese  Front  and
other mostly Christian forces,  and the revisionist coalition was
made  up of mostly Muslim and generally leftist militias  and  --
sometimes,  but  not always -- the more left-leaning factions  of
the  PLO.  The third phase saw the initial intervention of  Syria
from  January  1976  to  May 1976;  this  intervention  at  first
consisted  of sending Syrian-controlled Palestinians to  aid  the
revisionists,  then  attempting political mediation,  and finally
(when   the  revisionists  spurned  Syria-backed  reform    plans)
dispatching  al-Saiqa  and Syrian PLA units to aid  the  Lebanese
Front.  In  the fourth phase,  in May 1976,  limited Syria   armed
forces  invaded Lebanon on behalf of the Lebanese Front and  were
defeated;  in  September,  Syria  launched  an  all-out  military
offensive  which  brought the revisionist and PLO forces  to  the
brink of defeat.  By the end of the year,  although some sporadic
fighting  continued,  some sense of normalcy returned  in  Syria-
controlled Lebanon.38
     As  a  result of the Civil War,  the lines were drawn  which
continued  for several years:  the Syrians controlled the  north,
east,  and  Beirut areas;  the Christians dominated  from  Beirut
north  along the coast;  the Druze controlled the Shouf;  and the
PLO  exercised  authority along the coast from  Tyre  to  Beirut.
Although  Syria  initially fought against the  PLO,  it  switched
sides  once  again  when  Syrian efforts to  impose  a  long-term
political  solution (one which would preserve Syrian  superiority
in Lebanon came to nought. Syria-PLO cooperation increased with
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the coming of peace between Israel and Egypt,  and by 1980  Syria
had  withdrawn from the coastal areas and turned them over to the
PLO.  Of all the combatants,  the PLO came out of the war in  the
best  position,  with  a free hand within the Palestinian  "mini-
state."  By  the early 1980's,  the key players  in  Lebanon  had
clearly defined roles.  Syria,  with military forces in the Bekaa
and  Beirut,  was able to influence events in Lebanon.  The Druze
controlled the Shouf and the enmity between Druze and  Christians
had  become  implacable hatred.  The Christians had received  the
worst  of the fighting,  had lost Damour and other towns  on  the
coast  and  in the Shouf,  and tenuously hung on to the reins  of
Lebanese  government.  The leftist militias had failed to  reform
the  Lebanese government.  The PLO was free to expand its  forces
and  to concentrate on the struggle against Israel.  The  Shiites
were  building  their  own forces and attacking the  PLO  in  the
south,  after having been a minor player in Lebanon despite their
huge population.
     Each  instance of PLO-sponsored international  terrorism  in
the early 1970's brought about swift Israeli response in the form
of  bombing  attacks on Palestinian refugee camps.  For  example,
after  a PLO attack on a school in Maalot in May  1974,  the  IAF
launched  extensive attacks on PLO positions throughout  southern
Lebanon.  Other  types of retaliation also occurred,  such as the
assassination in Beirut of three prominent PLO leaders by Israeli
commandos  and  agents in April 1973.  These  retaliatory  raids
reflected  Israel's  belief in swift and severe  retribution  for
attacks on its citizens,  but they also were intended to persuade
the  Lebanese government to deal with the PLO in the same way  as
King  Hussein had in September 1970.40   The Lebanese did not  have
the strength to clamp down successfully on the PLO,  and the real
effect  of  the Israeli raids was to intensify Lebanese  internal
conflicts   and  polarize  the  Lebanese  into   pro- and   anti-
Palestinian  camps -- thus contributing to the outbreak of  civil
     Israel's   response  to  the  Lebanese  Civil  War  was   to
strengthen  its ties to the Maronite Christians.   In response to
appeals  for  weapons and training,  Israel began  a  program  of
covert  aid which grew as the Christians began to lose ground  in
the  fighting.42   In  the  early  months  of  the  war,   Israel
established  the  "good fence" policy wherein  southern  Lebanese
were  provided  medical  and other care at  locations  along  the
border  and  were even allowed to enter Israel to  work.   Israel
provided  limited support to Christian militias in the  south  by
the  use of air and artillery attacks on threatening PLO  forces.
When  the  Syrians  entered Lebanon,  they did so under  a  tacit
agreement  with  Israel that Israel would  only  tolerate  Syrian
presence  north  of a "red line" roughly along the Litani  River.
In  February  1977,  in  a rare merging  of  Syrian  and  Israeli
interests,  the  PLO  was forced to agree to withdraw its  forces
from  the  Israeli  border area in return for  the  cessation  of
Syrian  shelling of PLO camps in  Beirut.   In  April,  Christian
militias supported by Israeli artillery launched a drive to clear
the border area of PLO and leftist forces,  a drive which quickly
stalled    but  which  brought  an  Israeli  declaration  that  no
Palestinian  presence would be tolerated within six miles of  the
     Soon after Menachem Begin was elected Prime Minister in  May
1977,  Israeli intervention  in the south increased and the  IDF
openly   coordinated  with  Christian  militias   -- establishing
training   programs,   conducting  joint  patrols   and   support
operations,  and building the militia of Lebanese Army Major Saad
Haddad.    Responding  to  a  PLO announcement of  its  intent  to
increase   operations within Israel,  IDF armor and infantry units
crossed   into Lebanon in September 1977 in support  of  Christian
forces,   remaining  until late in the month.   As the PLO grew in
strength   with  increased  arms  and  a  joint  pact  with   the
revisionist  Lebanese  National  Movement,   it  stepped  up  its
artillery  and rocket attacks on Israelis  northern  settlements.
The  object  of  Israeli activities in southern  Lebanon  was  to
create a Christian buffer between Israel and the PLO,  and during
early 1978 that object seemed plausible.  But on 2 March, a joint
leftist-PLO  force overran the Christian village of Marun al Ras,
just  one mile north of the border,  and captured a  quantity  of
IDF-supplied  weapons  and vehicles.44  Some response was  deemed
necessary  by Israel to ensure continued  Christian  cooperation,
and during the next week IDF forces concentrated at the border as
IAF planes flew reconnaissance missions over Tyre and other towns
in  southern Lebanon.44  On 11 March,  in an action Israel  could
not  ignore,  PLO  terrorists landed on the coast near Tel  Aviv,
commandeered  a  full Israeli bus,  and conducted a  running  gun
battle with security forces before being killed;  37 people  died
and  82  were wounded.  At dawn on 14 March,  the  IDF   launched
Operation Stone of Wisdom, soon to be known as Operation Litani.
     In  an action planned for some time,  some 15,000-20,000 IDF
soldiers  crossed the border and advanced frontally  about  seven
miles into Lebanon,  attacking suspected PLO bases along the way.
The  PLO,  having  had  ample warning of  the  impending  attack,
withdrew most of its forces northward.  The IDF then advanced all
the  way north to the Litani River,  and in this move a number of
PLO  fighters  were caught in villages and in  the  camps  around
Tyre.   With  little  regard  for civilian  casualties,  the  IDF
attacked  villages  used  by  the PLO  and  leftist  militias 46
cordoned off the Tyre area without entering it,  and attacked PLO
locations around Tyre with air and artillery.   The IDF  intended
to push the PLO out of artillery range of Israel,  to destroy its
bases, and to inflict such losses as to discourage PLO activities
in southern Lebanon.   Sufficient Palestinian resistance was met,
particularly  from al-Saiqa fighters,  for the IDF to  suffer  16
dead  against an estimated 200 PLO fighters killed.47  IDF troops
remained  in Lebanon until a ceasefire agreement  was  concluded,
withdrawing in June.
    The  results of the Litani operation were mixed:  the PLO had
been  pushed north of the Litani and a double buffer  created  to
keep  them from returning -- the United Nations Interim Force  in
Lebanon  (UNIFIL)  zone  and  the  Haddad  enclave;  the  Israeli
commitment  to  the  Christian forces  was  strengthened;  Israel
received,  for the first time in any substance, adverse publicity
in  the  world press for its heavyhanded  treatment  of  southern
Lebanon;  some  200,000 people fled the area,  mostly Shiites who
ended up in the southern suburbs of Beirut;  and,  as an indirect
result,   the  Syrian  forces  in  Lebanon  turned  against   the
Christians  in  late  June.   It was this switch  by  Syria  that
brought  about  the crises of 1981 and ultimately made  the  1982
invasion almost inevitable.
     After  shelling Christian East Beirut for several months  in
the  summer of 1978 and overrunning several Phalange  strongholds
in   the north -- and also in the face of ominous Israeli moves on
the  Golan   Heights  -- the  Syrians  considered   their   hand
sufficiently  strengthened to stop  the  attacks.   However,  the
reduced  circumstances  of  the  Christians allowed  the  PLO  to
greatly increase its store of arms,  consolidate its position  in
Lebanon,  and take the first steps toward building a conventional
army.  In the meantime, Bashir Gemayel had come to the conclusion
that  only  a  unified Christian force  could  improve  Christian
fortunes  and had begun merging,  sometimes by sheer  force,  the
various  militias  into the Phalange-dominated "Kataeb."  By  the
spring  of  1981 Bashir felt strong enough to  begin  efforts  to
establish control of the Christian city of Zahle,  in the Syrian-
control led  Bekaa  Valley.   A  number of  Phalange  provocations
resulted  in a serious attack on Zahle by Syrian  forces,  during
which  Israel aided the Phalangists by shooting down  two  Syrian
troop helicopters.  The Syrians reacted by moving a number of SAM
batteries into the Bekaa.   Israel threatened military action and
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war  was  narrowly  averted  by  American  mediation  -- but  the
missiles remained in the Bekaa.
    Then,  in May, Israel resumed air and sea bombardments of PLO
concentrations  in  southern Lebanon;  Palestinian  reaction  was
restrained  and the attacks halted in early June.   But the  next
month,  Israel  renewed its air strikes,  and after five days the
PLO  responded by shelling the coast town of  Nahariya.   Israeli
retaliation  came  in the form of an air  attack  on  Palestinian
headquarters  in  West Beirut in which,  despite IAF attempts  at
pinpoint bombing,  over l00 people were killed,  only 30 of  whom
were PLO fighters.  The PLO then began a twelve-day artillery and
rocket barrage that caused over 60 Israeli casualties and brought
northern Galilee to a standstill, with Israelis fleeing south for
the  first time since 1947.   The strength of the bombardment and
the IDF"s inability to completely stop it made it relatively easy
for  Philip  Habib to negotiate  a  ceasefire.   This  ceasefire,
although  halting the attacks,  left Israelis with a feeling that
they were at the mercy of PLO guns in Lebanon.   The  combination
of  that  feeling and the appointment of Ariel Sharon as  Defense
Minister made invasion a mere matter of time.48
                        CHAPTERS II NOTES
     1There  is a strong tendency among certain groups in  Israel
to speak of Israel's place in the Middle East in Biblical  terms.
One who has done so is former Prime Minister Menachem Begin,  who
invariably  has spoken of the West Bank as Judea and Samaria.   A
growing political/social movement,  Gush Emunim, rationalizes its
many settlements on the West Bank and its generally  antagonistic
stance toward Arabs by Biblical argument.
     2Sydney  Nettleton Fisher,  The Middle East: A History (New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1979), p. 406.
     3Lieutenant Colonel Stephen R.  Woods,Jr.,  The  Palestinian
Guerilla   Organizations:   Revolution   or  Terror  as  an   End
(Individual Research Report,  U.S. Army War College, 1 May 1973),
p.  8.
     4Ze'ev  Schiff,  A  History of the Israeli Army  (New  York:
MacMillan Publishing Company, 1985), pp. 1-4.
     5Fisher, p. 407.
     6Edward N.  Luttwak and Daniel Horowitz,  The Israeli  Army,
1948-1973 (Cambridge, Mass.: Abt Books, 1983) p. 8.
     7Ibid., pp. 10-27 and Schiff, pp. 9-23.
     8Schiff, pp. 22-44.
     9Luttwak and Horowitz,  pp.  141-64. In light of the-subject
of  this paper,  it is worth noting that after Ariel Sharon,  who
was the Brigade commander at Mitla Pass, attacked in violation of
orders  with severe casualties,  two of his battalion  commanders
went  over his head to urge Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan to  remove
and  prosecute him.  These two young paratroopers were  Mordechai
Gur,  Chief  of Staff during the late 1970's,  and Rafael  Eitan,
Chief of Staff during the Lebanon War.  Dayan took no action, but
Gur and Eitan thereafter refused to serve under Sharon  (Gabriel,
p. 172).
      10Ibid., pp. 209-281.
      11Schiff, pp. 178-89.
      12Ibid., pp. 207-226.
      13Reuven  Gal,  A Portrait of the Israeli Soldier  (Westport,
Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986), pp. 3-10.
      14Ibid., pp. 11-14.
      15Ibid., pp. 15-18.
     15Ibid., pp. 15-18.
     16The Military Balance (London:  The International Institute
for Strategic Studies, 1973 and 1982).
     17Gal, pp. 20-24.
     18Lawrence  Meyer,  Israel Now: Portrait of a Troubled Land
(New York, Delacorte Press, 1982), pp. 315-23.
     19Chaim Herzog,  The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and  Peace in the
Middle East (New York:  Random House,  Inc., 1982), pp. 321--322.
Also confirmed by interview with Major General Amos Yaron,  4 May
     20Yoav  Ben-Horin  and  Barry  Posen,   Israel's Strategic
Doctrine (Rand Corporation, September 1981).
     21John K. Cooley, "The Palestinians," in P. Edward Haley and
Lewis W. Snider, eds., Lebanon in Crisis: Participants and Issues
(Syracuse University Press, 1979) p. 22.
     22Itamar Rabinovich, The War for Lebanon, 1970-1983 (Ithaca,
New York: Cornell University Press, 1984), p. 40.
     23David Gilmour,  Lebanon:  The Fractured County (New York:
St. Martin's Press, Inc., 1983). p. 89.
     24Helena  Cobban,  The Palestinian Liberation Organization:
People,  Power and  Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge  University
Press,  1984),  p.  6. Yasser Arafat was born Abdel-Rahman Abdel-
Raouf Arafat al Qudwa al-Husseini in 1929.  His organization  was
named  Harakat  al-Tahru  al-Filastiniyya (Palestine  Liberation
Movement) whose acronym,  Hataf,  means "death" in Arabic; Arafat
reversed the acronym to form Fatah or "victory".
     25Ibid., p. 24.
     26Woods, p. 16.
     27Gresh,  Alain, The PLO: Towards and Independent Palestinian
State (Bath: Zed Books, Ltd., 1985), p. 15.
     28Woods, pp. 20-21.
     29Gresh, p. 14.
     30Gilmour, p. 93.
     31Luttwak and Horowitz, pp. 310-311.
     32Cobban, p. 44.
     33Cooley, p. 31-32.
     34Cobban, pp. 48-53.
     35Cooley, pp. 32-33.
     36Rabinovich, p. 42.
     37See the following sources:  Rabinovich,  pp. 34-120; Haley
and Snider,  pp.  21-112; Cobban, pp. 63-77; Gilmour, pp. 86-157;
et al.
     38Rabinovich, pp. 43-56.
     39Cobban,  p.  55. The commandos landed at night on a Beirut
beach, were met by Israeli agent and driven to the apartments of
the  Fatah leaders,  killed them,  and escaped by sea.  The  dead
Palestinians were Kamal Udwan,  Muhammed Yussef al-Najjar (called
Abu  Yussef  and PLO "foreign minister"),  and  Palestinian  poet
Kemal Nasir.
      40Gilmour, p. 147.
      41Halim Barakat,  "The Social Context, in Haley and Snider,
p. 19.
      42Lewis W. Snider, et al., "Israel," in Haley and Snider, p.
91.   For  a revealing and detailed account of the initiation  and
development  of Israeli-Phalange ties between 1975 and 1982,  see
Ze'ev  Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War  (New  York:
Simon and Schuster, 1984).
      43Ibid., pp. 93-95.
      44Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), 5(43), March
2, 1978, p. G1. Hereafter cited as FBIS.
      45FBIS 5(48), March 10, 1978, p. N1.
      46The Chief of Staff of the IDF, Mordechai Gur, explained in
an  interview on Israeli television that "the questions faced us:
How justified was it for us to take casualties by using less fire
on these villages,  and what was the most correct way to hit  the
terrorists.  We decided that,  on all grounds, it would be better
to  use the method of directing fire and afterwards moving in  to
mop up.  As a result of that, these villages were badly hit. FBIS
5(59), 27 March 1978, p. N9.
      47Snider, pp. 97-107.
      48Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 25-37.
     IDF  planning  for an invasion of Lebanon is  some  respects
began  in 1978,  as the IDF reviewed its performance in Operation
Litani.  These lessons formed the basis of the "Pine Tree"  plan,
in  preparation since 1980 and virtually completed for about  six
months prior to the invasion.  Actually, the plan comprised three
alternative  plans,  subject  to  decision and  approval  by  the
civilian  authorities.  The  first,  commonly  known  as  "Little
Pines,"  was an expanded version of Operation Litani,  and called
for  an advance to the Awali River,  north of Sidon.  The  plan's
salient features were as follows:  a hard strike against the PLO,
particularly  its  military formations and artillery  and  rocket
positions;  avoidance of combat against the Syrians at all costs;
and  a  forty-kilometer limit of advance as  measured  from  Rosh
Hanikra  (on the junction of the coast and Lebanese border).  The
question of whether or not to conduct operations in the cities of
Tyre and Sidon was not defined.1
     The  second plan was a more ambitious version of the  first.
The IDF would advance as far north as the vicinity of Beirut, but
would  not enter the city,  which would be taken by the  Phalange
militia.  The IDF would avoid combat with Syrian forces and again
a  forty-kilometer line  was mentioned,  this time  measured  from
Metulla,  in  the  east.2  The advantage of this plan was that  it
would  include the PLO training and operational base  at  Damour,
some 12 kilometers south of Beirut.
     The  third  and  most ambitious plan,  called  "Big  Pines,"
included  war  against both the PLO and the  Syrians.  This  plan
called for the seizing of Lebanese territory up to and  including
Beirut,  which would be taken in a coordinated operation with the
Phalange  forces;  an advance beyond the Beirut-Damascus highway,
which would cut off Beirut from the main Syrian forces;  and  the
expulsion  of  Syrian  units from the Bekaa  valley.3  One  would
expect  that this plan would entail deep  penetrations,  landings
north  of  Beirut  and the  Beirut-Damascus  highway,  and  other
tactical  maneuvers  of the type espoused in IDF  doctrine.  Yet,
when  Major General Amir Drori took over the Northern Command  in
September 1981,  he instructed his staff to take into account the
contingency that the operation would unfold in successive  stages
as  approval  came  piecemeal for further  advances  deeper  into
Lebanon in a more open-ended campaign.4
     Detailed  planning proceeded throughout the winter and early
spring, even though a decision had not been made as to which plan
would be implemented.  When the "Big Pines" plan was proposed  to
the  Israeli cabinet in December 1981,  the reaction was  totally
negative.  Within  the  IDF disagreement existed  concerning  the
efficacy  of  the plan,  with a number of high  ranking  officers
expressing  reservations concerning the abilities and  intentions
of  the Phalange and the wisdom of attacking the Syrians as  well
as  the  political  and military advisability  of  operations  in
Beirut,  an Arab capital. Despite these reservations, a number of
Israelis (including Sharon,  Eitan, and Drori) visited Beirut and
held liaison discussions with the Phalange.  In addition to these
discussions,  IDF officers were able to survey the terrain on the
ground,  send  out reconnaissance patrols to check narrow  roads,
passes,  and bridges. and even to observe Syrian positions of the
85th Brigade in Beirut.5
     Drori's  detailed  plan for the "Big Pines" contingency  had
originally  included  final  objectives in  the  Beirut  and  the
Beirut-Damascus highway areas,  deep landings and assaults at key
points,  and other creative tactical measures.  However,  because
his  mission  was being only vaguely defined,  and as  it  became
obvious  that  the  objectives of the Israeli Cabinet  were  less
ambitious than those of the plan, Drori's planners were forced to
fall  back  on  a  more  conventional  operation  -- primarily  a
mechanized  frontal assault on a wide front  -- which  could,  if
necessary, be tailored to fit any of the three plans.6
     Comprising  a  rough rectangle some 100 kilometers north  to
south  and  75  kilometers east  to  west,  southern  Lebanon  is
compartmented  in both directions.  Several key rivers flow  into
Click here to view image
the  sea from the east and form potential barriers:  the  Litani,
north of Tyre; the Zaharani, eight kilometers south of Sidon; the
Awali,  just north of Sidon;  and the Damour, 14 kilometers south
of Beirut. The major terrain zones, however, run north-south: the
coastal  plain,  which  extends  anywhere from a  few  meters  to
several kilometers from the Mediterranean to the foothills of the
mountains;  the  Lebanon  ridge,  which ranges from foothills  to
heights  of 6,000 feet,  encompasses the Shouf and  Jbaal  Barouk
subranges,  and covers roughly two-thirds of the area of southern
Lebanon; the Bekaa Valley, a flat but narrow plain beginning some
25  kilometers  north  of the Israeli border and  extending  into
northern  Lebanon;  and  the Anti-Lebanon Ridge,  which  forms  a
natural border between Lebanon and Syria from Mount Hermon in the
south to the Beirut-Damascus highway.
     In  tactical  terms,  the terrain is ideally suited  to  the
defense,  especially  against armor.  In all zones the roads  are
few,  narrow,  and poor.  In the coastal zone,  the main road  is
bordered by the sea and the hills,  and when the plain does widen
somewhat,  citrus  groves  cover the area.  Few  parallel  tracks
exist, and wadis and ravines inhibit off-road movement. Along the
road  itself,  the rivers form obstacles,  and the towns of Tyre,
Sidon,  and  Damour are build astride the road.  In  the  Lebanon
ridge,  the roads are worse,  steep and serpentine, with villages
at every level area, hilltop, and crossroads; in the Jbaal Barouk
area,  only  one  north-south road exists,  with  numerous  turns
overlooked by steep cliffs.  In the Bekaa,  the valley floor does
have  several  roads and allows for off-road  movement,  but  the
entire  valley  can  be covered by direct-fire weapons  from  the
bordering  hills;  in addition,  the lower Lebanon ridge must  be
crossed  in order even to reach the Bekaa.  The  Anti-Lebanon  is
virtually  impassable,  with  almost no road: and numerous  steep
wadis.  The overall effect of the terrain on tactical  formations
is  to  slow  and  channelize  motorized  movement,   reducing  a
formation's  combat  strength  to that of its lead  element  [see
Appendix A].7
     The tactical plan, then, consisted of a three-pronged attack
corresponding  ding to the Coastal,  Lebanon,  and  Bekaa  zones.
Drori,  as  Northern Command,  would divide his forces into three
sectors -- West,  Center,  and East.  The invasion would begin in
all three sectors simultaneously, with a pre-dawn attack preceded
by night attacks to seize key areas, bridges, crossroads.8
     In  the  West,  a  task force  commanded  by  Major  General
Yekutiel Adam would originally consist of one division, the 91st,
under Brigadier General Yitzhak Mordechai. Mordechai would attack
north  along  the  coastal road with two brigades  of  mechanized
infantry  and a lead armored brigade,  the 211th,  whose  mission
would  be  to punch through army  defenses,  bypassing  Tyre  and
Sidon.  Follow-on  brigades  would  mop up  resistance  in  those
cities.  The lead task force would link up with the 36th Division
striking  from Metulla through Nabitiye to the Zaharani and Sidon
areas.   Elements of the 96th Division,  under Brigadier  General
Amos  Yaron,  would conduct an amphibious landing at one of three
sites  -- the mouth of the Zaharani,  or the Awali,  or north  of
Beirut  at  the Christian port of Jounieh.   The mission  of  the
western  force as a whole was to destroy the PLO strongpoints  up
to and including Sidon.
     In the center,  Division 36 under Brigadier General  Avigdor
Kahalani  would  attack from around Metulla,  cross  the  Litani,
seize  Beaufort  Castle and the road junctions  around  Nabitiye,
then swing west along several routes to link up with Mordechai on
the coast.  Division 162, under Brigadier General Menachem Einan,
would follow Kahalani to Nabitiye, then move north around Jezzine
along the western slopes of the Jbaal Barouk.   Einan's force was
somewhat  understrength  and  consisted of a  tank  brigade,  two
battalions  of infantry,  and an artillery regiment -- the  211th
armored  brigade  under Colonel Eli Geva having  been  loaned  to
Mordechai.   The  mission of the central force was to destroy PLO
resistance in the Lebanon ridge, to complete the encirclement PLO
forces  south of the Zaharani,  and to prevent  reinforcement  or
withdrawal between the coast and the Bekaa.
     The eastern task force was the largest, with three divisions
and  two independent forces,  and was commanded by Major  General
Avigdor Ben-Gal,  former commander of Northern Command.  Division
252  (Brigadier General Immanuel Sakel),  minus one tank brigade,
would advance from the Golan Heights along two routes: one toward
the town of Hasbaiya at the head of the Bekaa, and one along Wadi
Cheba along the slopes of Mount Hermon toward Rachaiya.  Division
90,  under Brigadier General Giora Lev,  was a full combined arms
division which could advance through Marjyoun to the vicinity  of
Koukaba.  Two special task forces were also placed under Ben-Gal:
Vardi  force,  under  Brigadier General Danni Vardi  was a task
organized,  two-brigade force  which  would capture  Jezzine and
proceed north along the western slopes of Jbaal  Barouk;  Special
Maneuver Force,  under Brigadier General Yossi Reled, was also a
two-brigade   force,  organized  for tank killing and made  up  of
paratroopers  and infantry supported by anti-tank guided missiles
and Cobra helicopters, which would advance along the crest of the
Jbaal Barouk.  Finally, Division 880 under Brigadier General Yom-
Tov Tamir would be in reserve.  The initial mission of  Ben-Gal's
force  would  be  first to block Syrian forces in the  Bekaa  and
second to make untenable any offensive action by them  unfeasible
by flanking movements to the east and west.
     The plan and organization of forces could support either the
"Big Pines" or a less ambitious modification. It seems clear from
the  tactical  planning  and deployment that Drori's  concept  of
operations was in fact open-ended.  In the west,  the force could
stop at the Awali,  continue to Damour,  or push on to Beirut. In
the  center,  Einan's  division could continue north to  cut  the
Beirut-Damascus highway. In the east, tactical dispositions would
be  such  that favorable position and force ratio  would  enhance
Ben-Gal  if combat with the Syrians should take  place;  if  not,
then  Peled and Vardi would be in position to support Einan in  a
move toward the Beirut-Damascus highway.
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     IDF  preparation  for war in Lebanon had,  in  effect,  been
taking place for a number of years.  First, the evacuation of the
Sinai  and  the  Camp David Accords freed a number of  units  for
deployment in the north. Second, the Operation Litani in 1978 and
the  near   war  in  July  1981  had  further  increased  Northern
Command's   readiness.   Third,  in  December  1981  the  IDF  had
concentrated    forces    along   the   Syrian    and    Lebanese
borders,ostensibly  to  deter  any Syrian  response  to  Israel's
annexation of the Golan Heights. In addition to concentrating its
forces,  the  IDF had surveyed the terrain in  southern  Lebanon,
checked   roads  and bridges,  and created models of  key  terrain
features.10    Many false alarms,  whether by design or coincidence,
had occurred during early 1962;  during April, after the death of
an  IDF  soldier in southern Lebanon from a land mine,  an  alert
even  went so far as to designate D-Day and H-Hour.11 The effect
of  these  preparations and alerts,  followed by  the  inevitable
stand downs,  was to allay the fears of  Israelis,  Palestinians,
and Syrians alike.
     The  PLO had ample warning of an impending Israeli invasion.
The massing of troops on Israel's northern border in December was
followed  by a statement by the Israeli ambassador to the  United
States  that an Israeli invasion was only "a matter  of  time."12
Incidents such as the killing of an Israeli diplomat in Paris and
the  ensuing  retaliatory attacks in Lebanon by the IAF  produced
war predictions in both the U.S. and Lebanon.13  Arafat's response
to these events, and particularly to the July 1981 confrontation,
was to increase his available firepower. He more than tripled the
PLO's artillery capacity from July 1981 to June 1982,  from about
80  pieces and rocket launchers to 250;  these he  divided  among
seven  new artillery battalions.14   In addition,  he took a number
of  other  steps to prepare the PLO fighters  for  war:  standing
orders,  along  with  range cards,  were issued  to  Fatah  units
assigning  specific  targets in  northern  Israel;  brigade-level
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maneuvers  were held with the Karameh Brigade in the Bekaa Valley
using  130  mm  guns  and  T-34  tanks;  regional  commands  were
established  in an attempt to provide some unity of  command  and
transcend factional loyalties; militias in the refugee camps were
given  increased training to free the battalions in the south  to
fight  a  more flexible campaign;  shelters and emergency  stores
were  established in the camps and hillside  tunnels;  ammunition
and supplies were distributed from main dumps to likely areas  of
combat;  and fortifications were constructed, particularly around
Nabitiye  and  Beaufort.  As the likelihood of war  increased  in
April,  Arafat  attempted to mobilize all Palestinian males  from
age  16 to 39,  a move which elicited little  response.  Finally,
Arafat  raised  the level of alert in 28 April and  deployed  the
460th Battalion,  with T-54/55 tanks, along the coast between the
Awali and Beirut.15
     PLO defensive strategy was predicated on the assumption that
the IDF would stop short of Beirut.   For this reason the Karameh
and  Yarmuk  Brigades  were  pulled back  closer  to  the  Syrian
positions  in the Bekaa and orders were issued to other units  to
hold  back  the Israelis,  but not at the expense of  sacrificing
entire  units  --   in short,  to fight  a  delaying  action.  The
objective apparently was to offer stiff resistance, yet avoid the
Israeli  trap until a ceasefire imposed by the superpowers  could
take    effect.16  Although  PLO  defensive  strength  has   been
estimated  at  10,000 to 15,000 (including  Beirut),  only  about
4,000  of  this  total were trained members  of  the  Palestinian
Liberation  Army  (PLA);  some of these were divided  into  three
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brigades -- Kastel around Nabitiye, Yarmuk in the so-called "iron
triangle" south of the Litani, and Karameh integrated with Syrian
positions  in  the Bekaa -- and one newly formed tank  battalion 
near  Beirut.   This  deployment consisted both of  a  series  of
platoon-sized  outposts  built on high ground,  with trenches and
bunkers   protected  by  wire and  minefields,  and  of   other
concentrations in groves, wadis, and open areas. Additional PLA
forces were under direct control of the Syria Army in the Bekaa.
The  remainder of the PLO fighting strength consisted  of armed
militia in the refugee camps, particularly al-Bas and Rashidiye
near Tyre, Ein Hilwe near Sidon, and the Beirut camps.
     In terms of equipment, the PLO did possess some 80 tanks (60
of which were obsolete T-34's), over 250 artillery pieces and
rocket  launchers,  numerous  small  arms,  and  considerable
ammunition.  But  despite  this  appearance  of  conventional 
strength, no battle plan was ever disseminated, and the PLO had
no ability either to coordinate units or move supplies within the
battle zone.17
     The Syrian presence inLebanon had diminished from three
divisions  in 1976  to one division and one  mixed  brigade --
roughly  30,000  men.  The 1st Armored Division in the Bekaa,
commanded by Rifaat Assad (the brother of Syrian President Hafez
Asaad),  was deployed in defensive positions in depth.  Both
Syrian formations and doctrine followed the Soviet model, and
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defensive  doctrine called for combined-arms  operations,  combat
teams  whose structure was fixed in advance,  and a defense based
on  massive firepower.   To provide this firepower,  the  Syrians
depended on air defense in depth by various SAM sites  reinforced
by  anti-aircraft guns,  and a ground defense characterized by  a
profusion  of  anti-tank weapons and units.   The  defense  would
depend  on intensive fortifications and exploitation  of  natural
obstacles to a depth of 20-30 kilometers.18    The 85th Brigade was
deployed  in the Beirut area in an armed presence role,  with the
additional of the security of the Beirut-Damascus highway.
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     In addition to the three main antagonists, Lebanese militias
could  possibly become involved in any  fighting.   The  Israelis
expected  the  Christian Lebanese Forces,  some 10,000  strong,to
fight as allies against the PLO.  The leftist National  Movement
coalition  counted  some 10,000-11,000 fighters who were  nominal
allies of the PLO.19
     As  war  neared,  the  opponents  consisted  of  some  seven
divisions and two independent brigades of the IDF,  60,000-78,000
strong,  arrayed against 15,000 PLO fighters,  one Syrian armored
division, and one Syrian brigade.
                        CHAPTER III NOTES
     1Gabriel, pp. 60-61.
     4Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 45.
     5Ibid., pp. 47-55.
     6Ibid., p. 109.
     7Gabriel, pp. 72-75.
     8Ibid.,  pp. 75-80.   See also Schiff,  pp. 47-55.
     9Personal  interview  with Major General Amos Yaron,  1  May
     10Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 47.
     11Ibid., p. 54.
     12Facts on File (New York, 26 February 1982), p. 87.
     13Current History (81:476, September 1982), pp. 282-285.
     14Schiff and Ya'ari, p 84.
     15Ibid., pp. 85-90.
     16Mark Heller,  ed.,  Thg Middle East Military Balance, 1983
(Tel Aviv: Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, 1983), p. 11.
     17Gabriel, pp. 47-53.
     18Heller, p. 233.
     19Ibid, pp. 153-154.
                     CHAPTER IV -  INVASION
     The  Israeli attack was preceded by two days of  preparatory
fires.   All  day  Saturday IDF artillery had  fired  on  targets
within range, and on Sunday morning the IAF had attacked selected
targets  such as suspected bunkers,  weapons storage  areas,  and
known  PLO  positions.   The storage areas were known to be  well
dug-in,  so the IAF used ordnance to suit the  occasion:  delayed
fuze  bombs  and  cluster  bombs around  bunker  entrances  which
effectively prevented Palestinians from gaining access to  stored
weapons  and ammunition.1   As the Israeli Cabinet announced  that
an  operation  was under way which was  designed to push the  PLO
beyond  a forty-kilometer line and urged the Syrians  to  refrain
from  action,  the tanks of Colonel Eli Geva's brigade  attacked,
supported  by air strikes conducted along the coast and artillery
fires  which preceded the lead units.2
    At 1100 on Sunday,  6 June,  Colonel Eli Geva's 211th Brigade
began  moving  north  up the coastal highway through  the  UNIFIL
zone.   Already  assembled  in the Haddad Enclave  north  of  the
Israeli-Lebanese  border,   Geva's  armored  brigade  formed  the
spearhead  of  the  main attack as Operation  Peace  for  Galilee
began.   Although  Geva  himself was a veteran of  the  desperate
fighting  on  the Golan Heights during the 1973 Yom  Kippur  War,
only two of his company commanders had seen combat.3
     The   211th   Brigade  was  followed  by  the  remainder  of
Mordechai's  Division  91.   This division,  like others  in  the
Central  and  Western Sectors,  was strung out along  the  narrow
coast road.   Its lead echelon consisted of Geva's  tanks,  M-113
armored  personnel  carriers  (APC's),  and  jeeps  with  mounted
machineguns.   These  were  closely followed by  combat  engineer
units  with  an array of bridges by which to pass over the  river
and wadi obstacles.  Next came communications vans, supply trucks
and  ambulances,  and  bringing up the rear  were  self-propelled
howitzers and 175mm guns,  reserve infantry, and the remainder of
the  logistics vehicles.4   From the start,  traffic jams  plagued
the column as Geva's brigade moved north.
     A half hour after starting, Geva's lead company ran into the
first PLO ambush.   Using RPG's (rocket propelled grenades),  PLO
fighters  waited  until Geva's column was extremely close  before
opening fire.   IDF tanks destroyed the position,  but the column
lost  time;  ordered to push on by Geva,  the tanks raced into  a
road  junction just as IAF planes bombed it,  resulting  in  some
damage and further delay.5   Further ambushes from positions among
the  citrus  orchards led Geva to order his leading  elements  to
push  on  and  leave the mopping up to  follow-on  units.6    This
tactic increased the speed of advance, but PLO fighters were thus
able to fire a second and third time from the same positions; RPG
fires  that  left  tanks unscathed had a greater  effect  on  the
following  APC's,  setting some on fire and causing the troops to
ride   on top or walk rather than risk burns.   Acknowledging  the
risk,  Geva ordered fuel and ammunition trucks to stay behind the
mop-up  forces,  which prevented their destruction but also  made
rearming and refueling the tanks a slower process.7
     Geva's  mission was to bypass Tyre and push on toward Sidon.
Tyre  itself  is located on a peninsula to the west of  the  main
coast road,   but six refugee camps spread roughly east from Tyre,
across  the  Israeli axis of advance.  Of  the  six,  three  were
heavily  populated and developed as PLO defensive strong points--
Rachidiyeh,  east  of the coast road and south of  Tyre;  al-Bas,
alongside the road west of Tyre; and Burj al Shemali, west of al-
Bas.8  Geva, with his lead battalion, decided not to drive through
the  crossroads next to al-Bas,  but instead detoured inland  off
the  road and bypassed the camps.  Unfortunately  ,  a  following
paratrooper  battalion,  under  Lieutenant  Colonel  Uri  Geiger,
missed the turn and stumbled into the al-Bas crossroads, where it
was  ambushed.  Three  tanks  and two APC's  were  quickly  lost,
including  Geiger's,  and  in the ensuing extrication Geiger  was
     The main force under Mordechai soon came up and  established
blocking  positions  along  the coast road.  By  1600,  using  an
engineer  bridge to replace the Qasmiye Bridge destroyed the  day
before by the IAF, Geva was across the Litani. At dusk, the 211th
brigade halted and laagered in a soccer field at  Sarafend,  some
22 kilometers north of Tyre. The main force had halted about five
kilometers  north  of the city,  having left a  brigade  deployed
around the camps at Rachidiyeh and al-Bas.10
     Meanwhile,  Yaron's  amphibious  force had finally  received
orders  concerning  its landing site,  which was designated as  a
site near the estuary of the Awali River,  five kilometers  north
of  Sidon.  These  orders also informed Adam that the advance  of
Division 91 would continue past Sidon to the outskirts of Beirut.
After dark, Navy teams conducted a beach reconnaissance area, and
about 2300 Yaron's paratroopers began landing,  unopposed but for
some  unaimed Katyushas.  Initially,  troops were brought  in  by
helicopter, followed by tanks and other heavy equipment landed by
LCU's. Their initial objectives were quickly taken as one platoon
seized the bridges over the Awali and another the heights east of
the highway.  In only a couple of hours, tanks and other vehicles
were  brought ashore,  the brigade landed,  and the beachhead was
secured.  After  disembarking their loads,  landing craft  headed
south to Nahariya to embark more troops and equipment.  By  dawn,
Yaron  had  cut the line of communication between  units  in  the
south and PLO headquarters in Beirut.11
     In the Central Sector,  Brigadier General Avigdor Kahalani's
Division 36 also began its attack at 1100. From its assembly area
around Metulla, the division launched a two-pronged attack toward
Nabitiye  through the Arnoun Heights.  The left column,  with the
armored brigades,  crossed the Litani via the Akiye Bridge,  west
of the PLO strongpoint at Beaufort Castle. The right column, with
the  Golani  Infantry Brigade mounted on APC's,  crossed  at  the
Hardele  Bridge to the east,  under anti-tank and artillery  fire
from  the  heights.  Both columns bypassed  Nabitiye,  and  after
seizing  the road junction one kilometer north of the  town,  the
Golani  Brigade  continued north toward Jbaa as most of  the  PLO
withdrew in front of it;  the tank brigades turned left along the
road toward the Zaharani function.12  As the Division moved toward
Nabitiye,  it  dropped off a reconnaissance unit from the  Golani
Brigade to seize Beaufort Castle. The castle, with its commanding
view of the northern Galilee, had been a source of PLO propaganda
and a sore spot for Israelis for years. Although defended by only
a small PLO detachment and of little consequence to the  invading
forces,  it was ordered taken despite reservations by a number of
Golani officers, and it was seized in a desperate night attack in
which several Israelis and all the PLO defenders were killed.13
     Division 162,  under Menachem Einan,  was to follow in trace
of Kahalani's force,  then push north along the western slopes of
the  Jbaal  Barouk.  Einan's  division had been  sent  south  for
exercises  in  late May;  having returned to the northern  border
only  the week before,  it had not received either orders  or  an
alert until late on Friday the 4th -- when many men had been sent
home on weekend leave.  With most of his force reassembled on the
6th, Einan  did  not receive permission to begin movement  until
1530.   One half hour later,  his orders were changed   instead of
crossing the Litani at the Hardele Bridge he would cross via  the
Akiye to the west.  After redirecting his force with some loss of
time,  Einan  found  himself bunched up behind a traffic  jam  of
Kahalani's  logistics vehicles,  where he remained throughout the
night.14    Aside  from  the  Beaufort  action  and  isolated  PLO
resistance, little fighting occurred in the Central Sector on the
first day.
     Activities  were  limited  in  the  east.   Ben-Gal's  force
advanced  from  northern Galilee and the Golan  Heights  along  a
broad front.  On the eastern flank, Immanuel Sakel's Division 252
advanced  from the Golan Heights on two axes:  the first  through
Wadi Cheba on the slopes of Mount Hermon,  via a 12-mile engineer
road constructed ahead of the column by IDF engineers; the second
overland  toward Hasbaiya.  Division 90,  commanded by Giora Lev,
moved  through  Marjayoun   toward Lake Qaraoun,  with  a  brigade
advancing on its right flank along the main highway leading  into
the  Bekaa  Valley.  Moving through the night,  Lev  reached  the
vicinity  of  Koukouba  in the early morning  and  halted.  Vardi
Force,  with  its  three mixed brigades,  followed  in  trace  of
Division  90,  then  continued northwest  toward  Masgharah;  one
armored  brigade under Colonel Hagai Cohen,  followed in trace of
Einan's division, as did Peled's Special Maneuver Force. With the
Syrians  remaining north of the "Red Line," no fighting  occurred
in the Eastern Sector.
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     The  next  dawn  found  the IAF  continuing  to  attack  PLO
strongpoints  along the coastal route of advance and  in  Beirut.
During  the  day,  a few Syrian MiG's challenged IAF planes   over
Beirut,   with  the Syrians losing one MiG in the process.15  Geva
got  his brigade on the move early,  pushing toward  Sidon  after
overcoming an ambush in Sarafend which cost the lives of his lead
tank  and  lead company commanders,  along with the loss  of  two
APC's.16  As Geva moved north,  crossing the Zaharani River after
finding the bridge intact, the main force under Mordechai began a
series of link-ups and mopping-up operations. Leaving one armored
and one infantry brigade to secure the refugee camps around Tyre,
Division  91 pressed north af ter Geva to link up with  Kahalani's
division moving west from around Nabitiye.  The road junction  at
the mouth of the Zaharani was chosen as the link-up point: it was
open  enough  to  assemble a division-sized  force;  a  petroleum
refining area offered a refueling capability,  if needed; and the
area contained a small but excellent port facility.  Around noon,
Kahalani's  two  armored  brigades  linked  up  with  Mordechai's
remaining  units,  and both divisions artillery began to  engage
targets around Sidon.17
     Near  Sidon,  Kahalani's remaining brigade -- the Golani  --
reached the coast just south of the city. The Golani were to open
the road, which passed through the Ein Hilwe camp (the largest in
Lebanon), so that Geva's brigade could continue north and link up
with  Yaron's amphibious force.  The infantrymen from the  Golani
Brigade  attacked  into Ein Hilwe in  the  early  afternoon,  but
became  pinned down and were forced to fight their way out  again
at  dusk.18    Kahalani was in command.  Short one brigade  at  the
start of the operation (loaned to Sakel in the east), he lost two
more  to Mordechai at the Zaharani;  Mordechai therefore sent his
own  lead brigade forward to assist Kahalani in opening the  road
through  Sidon.  This  brigade did not arrive until  after  dark,
however,  and at the end of the day,  the attack in the west  was
stalled in front of Sidon.19
     A  few  kilometers to the north,  Yaron's force  waited  for
Geva's column to link up and to bring the empty APC's for Yaron's
paratroopers.  Meanwhile,  though, the beachhead was strengthened
as CH-53's ferried troops and equipment from Israel and a  second
landing  was made at 1430.  This landing,  made in broad daylight
less than three kilometers from the port of Sidon, was covered by
continuous  smoke  missions requested  by  Yaron;  Israeli  F-4's
managed  to  keep a layer of smoke between Sidon and the  landing
for nearly two hours,  until the landing was completed.  Pressure
eased  on  Yaron's  force as PLO attention  turned  to  Geva  and
Kahalani,  coming  up  from  the south and  east.  By  nightfall,
Yaron's Division 96 was ashore,  with one brigade of paratroopers
having moved on foot from hill to hill to a position on the ridge
overlooking  the town of Damour.20   The amphibious  operation  had
gone  smoothly,  but without the armored strength and  additional
APC's  of  Geva's  column,  Division 96 could make  only  limited
     Behind  the  lead elements,  other units began the  task  of
mopping up bypassed Palestinian resistance.21  In the morning, one
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brigade  attached  to  Mordechai had attacked  from  the  Israeli
border  to the northwest,  through Bint Jbail,  and linked up  at
Jouiya with another brigade attacking east from Tyre.  With  this
movement,  the  entire area south of the Litani was cut off  from
the  north,  and IDF units began the task of reducing pockets  of
resistance  and  rounding  up  suspected  PLO  members  from  the
villages  within the "Iron Triangle."22   Meanwhile,  the  brigades
left  by  Mordechai  around Tyre began the task of  clearing  the
refugee camps.
     Palestinian resistance up to this point had been fitful  and
uncoordinated,  largely  through  the fault of its  leaders.  The
commander  of  the Kastel Brigade and overall  commander  in  the
south, Haj Ismail, fled after hearing of Yaron's landing, turning
up  the  next  day in the Bekaa with a report that he had  led  a
tactical retreat when attacked by the U.S.  Sixth Fleet.23   Other
PLO  commanders  likewise ran out on their men,  who then  either
resisted,  fled  north,  or melted into the civilian  population.
Serious resistance,  then,  was not offered by the PLO regulars
but  by the militia forces in the refugee camps,  whose built  up
areas   and   narrow  alleyways  afforded   excellent   defensive
     The  reduction of the Tyre camps -- particularly  Rachidiyeh,
Burj  al  Shemali,  and al-Bas -- began the afternoon of  6  June,
would take four days to accomplish,  and would cost the  Israelis
21 dead and 95 wounded.  There was little urgency in subduing the
Tyre camps,  since the northbound column had already moved on, so
Israeli  soldiers  were  urged  caution in  order  to  hold  down
casualties.  The  IDF advanced by steadily securing chunks of the
camps and forcing the defenders into an ever-smaller, area.  Each
camp  was  ideal for small-unit defense,  however,  and  the  PLO
fighters  were  able to block the narrow roads  and  alleys,  use
RPG's at short range, drop hand grenades into Israeli APC's, then
flee  to  other  positions.  IDF troops were fired  on  from  the
ground,  windows, and rooftops -- from the front and from behind.
All this occurred in an area thick with civilians. When the camps
were  finally  taken,  IDF soldiers uncovered some 74 bunkers  in
Rachidiyeh,  80  in  Burj al Shemali,  and some  213  underground
shelters  and  arms  stores in al-Bas.25   The  fighting  was  made
particularly difficult because of the IDF's rules of  engagement,
which  dictated  that soldiers in heavily populated  areas  would
take risks to preserve the safety of civilians,  that no grenades
or  satchel charges would be used prior to assaulting  buildings,
and  that damage to mosques and churches would be avoided.26   Yet,
mounting    Israeli  casualties  led to heavy IDF use  of  air  and
artillery    support with attendant civilian casualties.27  In  the
end, the camps at Tyre were subdued on 9 June, after four days of
heavy fighting.
     In the Central zone, Einan's lead brigade finally broke free
of  Kahalani's supply train before dawn,  but then had to stop to
refuel.  Not until after daylight did the brigade reach Nabitiye.
Still  behind Kahalani's forces,  this time the  Golani  Brigade,
Einan  did  not  receive permission to cross the  Zaharani  until
1400.  As the Golani moved west toward Sidon, Einan finally broke
free;  securing  the key crossroads south of Jezzine -- the  only
east-west  road south of the Beirut-Damascus highway between  the
Bekaa  and the coast -- he bypassed Jezzine and pushed north into
the Shouf,  halting near the Basin River about 0100.  During  the
night, with Cohen's brigade in a blocking position at the Jezzine
crossroads,  Syrian and PLA units in battalion strength  occupied
the town of Jezzine itself.28
     The  Eastern  Sector remained  quiet,  with  Lev's  division
halted  around Koukouba and Hasbaiya,  Sakel continuing northward
along  the slopes of Mount Hermon,  and Vardi Force moving  along
secondary  roads  toward Masgharah--at the foot of  Jbaal  Barouk
between Jezzine and the Bekaa.  During the day,  Ben-Gal began to
mass  his artillery in the vicinity of Hasbaiya,  from  where  it
could  range  from Masgharah in the northwest to Kafr Quq in  the
     As in previous days,  the IAF began launching strikes in the
early  morning of 8 June.  Strikes against Beirut  again  brought
Syrian  reaction,  this time resulting in the loss of six  Syrian
MiG's -- to none for the IAF. As the day progressed, the IAF flew
dozens  of  Close Air Support strikes in the Central  Sector  and
particularly in the west, against resistance at Tyre and Sidon.30
Syrian  SAM  radars locked on to IAF planes,  but  the  batteries
withheld  fire.  As  battles continued at Rachidiyeh and Burj  al
Shemani,  the  Golani  brigade made another attempt to  create  a
corridor through the Ein Hilwe camp at Sidon.  Attacking at 0700,
the  infantrymen again penetrated the camp only to become  pinned
down  in  the narrow streets.  A second assault  was  mounted  by
paratroopers  toward the city of Sidon itself,  but it too bogged
down.  The  IAF  dropped  leaf lets and  on  loud  speakers  urged
civilians  to  flee,  but dozens of airstrikes  and  considerable
artillery support were needed in order to extricate the attacking
forces  at dusk.  Geva,  impatient at the delay,  requested to be
allowed to skirt the bottleneck to the east along secondary roads
and tracks in the steep hills inland of the city.  Moving out  in
the  evening,  Geva's  force  slowly worked its way  through  the
hills,  without headlights along the tracks and paths which  were
characterized  by  steep cliffs on the right and a sheer drop  on
the left.  Although losing two tanks, Geva broke out of the hills
north  of  Sidon and linked up with Yaron's force at  dawn  on  9
June.  Yaron,  not  content merely to wait,  had started his main
force  toward  Damour on foot,  supported by naval  gunfire  from
Israeli boats moving up the coast.31
     In the Central Sector, IDF ground units met Syria resistance
for  the first time.  Einan's tired division moved out  at  0700,
reaching  the road junction leading to Damour before halting  for
some four hours.  Urged forward by Drori, the lead units advanced
only   to   be  attacked  around  1530  by  French-made   Gazelle
helicopterss  the Gazelles popped up above a ridgeline and  fired
HOT  missiles,  hitting one Israeli tank;  as the tank was  being
evacuated, the Gazelles fired again from another position. As the
helicopters turned toward their base, a tank platoon and infantry
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battalion  in APC's managed to find a way around the blocked road
and  continued  toward  Ein  Zhalta.   Around  2300,  this  force
approached  Ein Zhalta,  some eight kilometers from  the  Beirut-
Damascus  highway  but  more  than 20 by  road.  Unknown  to  the
Israelis,  the area around Ein Zhalta was defended by a  brigade-
strength  Syrian  force  consisting  of a  few  dozen  tanks  and
commando units.  After passing through the villages, the Israelis
started  descending a steep slope with tanks in the lead when the
Syrians opened tire with tanks from the opposite ridge and  RPG's
and  Saggers  from  the surrounding wadis.  After  two  hours  of
fighting,  during  which the IDF infantry attempted to clear  the
wadis  and  reach the opposite ridge,  the Israelis backed  their
vehicles  out of range.  Meanwhile,  Einan's main force  advanced
through  Beit  ed  Dein  and joined the  lead  battalion  at  Ein
     To the south,  Cohen's 460th Brigade was to advance from its
blocking positions near jezzine to support an attack by Vardi on
Masgharah,   but   Israeli  RPV's  (remotely  piloted   vehicles)
discovered   a Syrian force moving south through the Shouf  toward
the  town.   Israeli planes attacked the Syrian force,  inflicting
some  losses,  and  at  1330  Cohen's  attack  commenced  without
artillery support.  As IDF tanks reached the center of town  they
were  ambushed  by  the Syrian and PLA force which  had  occupied
defensive positions during the night.  The first Israeli  company
managed to reach the tar side of town,  but the following company
was  attacked by Syrian commandos with Saggers and forced to fall
back after losing three tanks.  A second battalion was sent  into
the town, but one company took a wrong turn and found itself on a
ridge to the west;  it was engaged by Syrian tanks from a nearby
ridge   and lost five tanks before retreating back into the  town.
The  battle continued throughout the afternoon until  the  Syrian
forces withdrew around nightfall.33
     Leaving one battalion in Jezzine,  Cohen sent two battalions
eastward  toward  Masgharah -- one along the main  road  and  the
other   on   a  narrow  secondary  road.   The   two   battalions
simultaneously  approached  a crossroad at Ein  Katrina,  mistook
each  other  for Syrians,  and engaged in  a  two-hour  firefight
resulting  in  a  number of dead and wounded before  the  mistake
became  known.34  The day ended with significant casualties  among
IDF forces in the Central Sector,  but with the area west of  the
Bekaa firmly in Israeli hands to within several kilometers of the
Beirut-Damascus  highway.  On the other hand,  Syrian forces  had
engaged IDF units, inflicted losses, and still held the strategic
     In the East,  Lev remained halted and Sakel continued toward
Rachaiya  in the eastern Bekaa   Vardi occupied Masgharah  during
the  night  and  Peled's  Special  Maneuver  Force  began  moving
northward  along the eastern slopes of Jbaal Barouk,  to the west
of Lake Qaraoun.  The Israelis had positioned their forces  right
up   against   Syrian  positions  in  the  Bekaa,   but   without
attacking.35   However,  the Syrian force was being slowly  flanked
to  both sides:  with the Israelis controlling the high ground to
either  side of the valley,  the Syrian position in the  southern
Bekaa  was  becoming an  indefensible  salient.  Recognizing  the
threat  from both ground and air,  the Syrians reinforced on  the
ground  and moved five additional SAM-6 batteries into the Bekaa,
bringing the total SAM batteries in Lebanon to 19.36
     The  ninth of June was a day when the war  dramatically  and
substantially  outgrew the objectives originally approved by  the
Israeli  Cabinets  the advance along the coast passed Damour  and
began  to  close  in  on  Beirut;   in  the  center,  IDF  forces
immediately  threatened the Beirut-Damascus highway;  and in  the
west,  the  Israelis  attacked  the Syrians head-on both  on  the
ground and in the air.
     The  Eastern  Sector  battles raged from Tyre  to  north  of
Damour.  In Damour, the PFLP had created well fortified positions
in  the ruins of the town,  used as a training base for the  PLO.
After  heavy  air  and artillery preparation  (during  which  the
sector   commander,   Major  General  Adam  was  killed  by  PLO
artillery),  Yaron's division,  reinforced by units from Kahalani
and Geva,  attacked and seized the town. Faced with the continued
prospect of heavy fighting along the coast road, Yaron tasked the
commander  of  the 35th Paratrooper Brigade to take  his  brigade
through the Shouf and approach Beirut from the hills rather  than
along  the  coast.  Drori approved the maneuver and Yair led  his
paratroopers,  reinforced by tanks,  into the Shouf. As the tanks
slowly  advanced  along  the  winding  roads,   the  paratroopers
proceeded on foot along the hills and ridges.  In this  way,  the
paratroopers surprised at least two PLO ambushes which were lying
in  wait  for the tanks,  routing both.  In this  maneuver,  Yair
advanced  along  the road toward Souk al  Gharb,  halting  around
midnight  short  of Kafr Mata.  Meanwhile,  as Yair  had  feared,
Yaron's other two brigades were blocked south of Khalde.37
     To  the south,  the camps at Rachidiyeh and Burj al  Shemali
were  finally taken in the afternoon.  But the real fight was  at
Ein Hilwe,  where the main force was still stopped.  At dawn, the
paratroopers and infantry renewed their attack,  concentrating on
a route along the edge of Ein Hilwe,  a few blocks from  downtown
Sidon.  Preceded  by artillery and air bombardment,  the  Israeli
attack  slowly  advanced  along two parallel streets and  in  the
afternoon the  way was finally opened  through  Sidon.  Kahalani
immediately sped north toward Damour, leaving the unenviable task
of  reducing Ein Hilwe and the Sidon casbah to  Mordechai's  men,
moving  up  from  their recent battles around  Tyre.  During  the
afternoon,  Mordechai  personally  took  command  and  began  his
systematic  campaign by capturing the hills and  villages  around
Sidon.  As events unfolded elsewhere in Lebanon,  Mordechai began
the  section-by-section  assault  on Ein Hilwe that was  to  take
until 14 June to accomplish.38
     At Ein Zhalta,  Einan's force had closed up during the night
and  was  strung  out along  the  narrow  road.  At  dawn,  Syria
commandos attacked. APC's and tanks were hit and caught fire. Men
were  killed trying to rescue the wounded from burning  vehicles.
Finally,  Einan  ordered  a cessation of rescue attempts and  the
column retreated in reverse gear, with a loss of 11 killed and 17
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wounded.39   Meanwhile, an infantry battalion was helilifted behind
the  Syrians and promptly attacked the defenses from the rear  as
Einan  brought  fire from the front.  After a battle  of  several
hours, the Syrian force withdrew, and Einan reorganized his force
and  continued  north,  halting  for  the  night  still  some  12
kilometers short of the Beirut-Damascus highway.40
     Lev's  division  in  the Eastern  Sector  could  advance  no
farther  without meeting the Syrians,  but Sakel and Peled  could
and  did continue moving north along the flanks of the Bekaa.  On
this  day,   however,  the  Israeli  Cabinet  gave  approval  for
offensive  air operations against the Syrians in  Lebanon.41  The
resulting   overwhelming  IAF victory  over  Syrian  SAM's   and
interceptors  has  been  described  in  detail  in  a  number  of
publications. 42  Briefly,  the  IAF  had  possessed  a  plan  for
attacking the SAM sites in the Bekaa at least since the summer of
1981.  By  midday  on 9 June,  RPV's had located most of the  SAM
sites  and had relayed pictures back to Northern Command and  the
IAF's Northern Regional Control Unit.
     At  1400,   the  attack  began.  RPV's  simulated  attacking
aircraft,  forcing the Syrians to switch on their acquisition and
fire  control  radars,  and in some cases actually to engage  the
RPV's.  The drones pinpointed the locations of radars and missile
sites and relayed the information to Israeli E-2C Hawkeye and the
RC-707 control aircraft.  As the Hawkeyes and specially  equipped
tactical  aircraft  and   RPV's conducted electronic  jamming  and
deception,  a flight of 96 IAF planes attacked the missile sites.
Led  by  a flight of F-4's armed with Maverick and  Shrike  anti-
radiation missiles which destroyed most of the radar systems, IAF
F-4,  F-15,  F-16,  and Kfir C-2 aircraft destroyed the batteries
one-by-one  using a variety of ordnance -- laser-guided  and  tv-
guided bombs; television, infra-red, and anti-radiation missiles;
and even iron bombs.  At the same time, the IDF artillery provided
suppression  on  all  batteries and anti-aircraft  gun  locations
within range.  A second wave of 92 IAF planes struck at 1550.  As
this wave attacked,  Syrian interceptors joined the fray,  and in
the  ensuing air battle 29 Syrian  MiG-21,  -23,  -25,  and  SU-7
aircraft were shot down.  By the end of the day, 41 Syrian planes
had  been  destroyed in air-to-air combat,  mainly by F-15's  but
also  by  other IAF planes using AIM-9L Sidewinder  missiles  and
Israeli-modified versions of the AIM-7 -- Shafir 2 and Python  3.
By day's end, 17 of the 19 SAM batteries had been destroyed.43
     As  the  air battle was unfolding,  Ben-Gal was  ordered  to
attack, and in mid-afternoon Lev attacked in the center and Vardi
on the left,  to the west of Lake Qaraoun.  Both attacks aimed at
the Syrian headquarters at Joub Jannine,  some 25 kilometers from
thu Koukouba-Hasbaiya line.44
     The Israeli attacks on Syrian positions in the Bekaa brought
Syrian reaction in the west. There, Syrian forces had remained in
Beirut  and out of the fighting,   but now the 85th Brigade began
to  deploy  tank and commando teams south and east of  Beirut  --
around Khalde and the hills south of Beirut and along the Shemlan
ridge  area.  As  Yair continued his advance  through  the  Shouf
villages toward Souk al Gharb, Yaron remained stalled before Kafr
Sil,  south  of the airport.  The Syrians had taken up  fortified
positions  in the village,  located on a ridge running almost  to
the  sea across the coast road,  with clear fields of fire and no
room  for  Yaron  to maneuver.  Yaron sent  the  Golani  Brigade,
reinforced  by a tank battalion and eight  bulldozers,  into  the
hills  east  of  Kafr Sil in an attempt to flank  the  PLO-Syrian
     In the Center,  Einan pushed past Ein Zhalta and advanced to
the outskirts of Ein Dara.  During his advance, RPV's had spotted
a  Syrian  ambush,   and  TOW  Cobras  were  sent  into   action.
Approaching  from the rear,  the Cobras destroyed several  Syrian
tanks  and effectively broke up the ambush.  By nightfall,  Einan
had deployed his force on the hills around Ein Dara,  from  where
he  could  observe the Beirut-Damascus highway.46  Here  he  would
remain for nearly two weeks.
     The  main  battles  of 10 June were fought  in  the  Eastern
Sector,  between the IDF and the Syrian 1st Armored Division. The
Syrian  air force again sent up interceptors as the IAF destroyed
the  remaining  two SAM batteries,  resulting in 25  more  Syrian
MiG's  being shot down.  Meanwhile,  Ben-Gal continued to  attack
along a fairly wide front.  On the right,  Sakel broke out of the
wadis and seized Rachaiya.  In the center, Lev attacked along the
winding roads, pushing through Syrian resistance. After seizing a
key crossroads near Lake Qaraoun,  Lev continued on to seize Joub
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Jannine around dusk.  Peled had advanced through the foothills of
the Jbaal Barouk to within five kilometers of the Beirut-Damascus
highway  before  being  ordered to pull back to  more  defensible
positions by Drori.47
     Although the advance in the east had covered a good deal  of
ground,  Syrian resistance had been stiff. The Syrians defended a
series of strongpoints along the winding roads.  Each strongpoint
conducted a separate,  integrated defense with obstacles,  mines,
tanks,  and commandos using Saggers and RPG's;  at times, such as
in the defense of the crossroads near Lake Qaraoun,  the  defense
was  supported by artillery and by Gazelle helicopters using  HOT
missiles.   The   Israelis   used  counterbattery   fire,   Cobra
helicopters in both the anti-tank and anti-air mode, and infantry
assaults to overcome Syrian defenses.48
     Having breached the Syrian 1st Armored Division's front line
and seized Joub Jannine,  and with a ceasefire scheduled to  take
place  the following day,  Ben-Gal urged his units forward in the
night. On the right flank, Sakel's lead unit began advancing from
Rachaiya toward Kafr Quq,  but was stopped by a destroyed  bridge
across  a wadi;  while it waited for engineer support to  arrive,
Syrian  commandos  attacked in the darkness,  destroying  several
vehicles  before  withdrawing.  Ordered to  resume  the  advance,
Sakel's  units were unable to do so due to lack of fuel.  The one
narrow road which formed Sakel's main supply route was so clogged
with traffic that neither the refuelers nor the engineer bridging
unit could reach the lead elements until after 0300.
     A  more severe problem occurred in Lev's  advance,  where  a
brigade  moved  up  toward Sultan Yakoub,  situated in  a  narrow
valley  some eight kilometers northeast of Joub  Janine.  Lacking
intelligence  concerning  Syrian  deployment  in  the  area,  the
brigade  was  actually  moving into the forward  positions  of  a
relatively   fresh  Syrian  mechanized  brigade.   As  the   lead
battalion,  a  reserve  unit,  approached  the  village,  it  was
attacked  by  Saggers from both sides of the road.  Most  of  the
Saggers  having  been  fired  from  too  close,  the  damage  was
negligible  and the battalion sped through the  village.  On  the
other side, now inside the narrow valley, the battalion commander
discovered  that only three of his companies had made it  through
the village and decided to wait until light.  Unknown to him,  he
had halted in the middle of the Syrian positions,  and during the
night  the Syrians realigned themselves and closed in toward  the
force  without opening fire.  Aware of Syrian presence but unable
to  pinpoint  its location,  the IDF tanks and APC's  kept  up  a
reconnaissance by fire throughout the night.  At dawn,  the force
began to draw Sagger and armor-piercing fires from the hills,  as
Syrian commandos approached closer with RPG's and Saggers. An IDF
attempt  to  relieve the force was halted to the  east,  and  the
situation  began  to  grow  desperate as a  result  of  dwindling
ammunition and increasing losses.  After seeking help from higher
headquarters,  the commander coordinated artillery support for  a
breakout.  Supported  by  some 11 battalions of artillery  firing
both  on   Syrian positions and in a box  around  the  withdrawing
companies, the Israelis buttoned up and raced the five kilometers
back to safety,  losing a tank and four men killed in the escape.
The  engagement had cost the Israelis some eight tanks and 35 men
killed  or seriously wounded.  The tanks,  containing  equipment
innovations and classified materials,  were neither recovered nor
destroyed, and the next day the Syrians towed them away.49
     With a ceasefire scheduled to take effect at noon,  both the
Israelis and the Syrians spent the morning of 11 June maneuvering
to  gain  the  most advantageous positions.   Sakel  resumed  his
advance  on  the right flank of the Bekaa,  but  was  immediately
attacked  by  Syrian  Gazelles,  which slowed  his  progress  and
inflicted some losses.   By noon,  Sakel had pushed through  Kafr
Quq and had reached the village of Yanta, only 25 kilometers from
Damascus,  where it met the advance units of the deploying Syrian
Third Division.   At around 1100, elements of the division's 82nd
Armored  Brigade  stumbled into Peled's position to the west  and
lost  nine  T-72 tanks.   At 1200 the ceasefire took  effect  and
fighting in the Eastern and Central Sectors halted.50
     Such was not the case in the Western Sector, however.  Along
the  coast,  Yaron seized Khalde and attempted to advance  toward
the airport,  only to be halted by stiff resistance from a  joint
force  of PLO and Syrian 85th Brigade,  dug in and equipped  with
Sagger  and  Milan  anti-tank missiles.   The Golani  attempt  to
envelop to the east ran up against a Syrian ambush in the wealthy
suburb of Dokha; the fight continued throughout the day until the
Syrian  positions were broken by artillery and air  strikes.   At
1115,  Yair attacked Syrian defenses around Kafr Shem Shamoun and
by  noon had seized the vital crossroads leading to Aley  on  the
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one hand and to Souk al Gharb and Baabda on the other.   At noon,
the  Israelis called for the Syrians to observe the ceasefire  by
standing aside -- an offer that was declined.  At nightfall, Yair
had  seized the hills overlooking the road junction but failed to
advance farther.  At this point, Yair proposed that he change the
direction  of his attack from Aley,  where a strong Syrian  force
was  located,  to Baabda,  which would bring him to  the  Beirut-
Damascus  highway  closer to Beirut but without  engaging  Syrian
units.  Drori agreed to the change.51
     On 12 June, Yair cautiously continued his attack, opposed by
a  mixed battalion of Syrian commandos,  PLO fighters,  and tanks
concealed in draws and among the houses. By 1600, he had advanced
only some 500 meters toward the Shemlan ridge,  but by  nightfall
his  force had seized the ridge and halted a few kilometers short
of  Ein  Anub,  the  last position before  reaching  the  suburbs
controlled  by the Phalange.  Meanwhile,  the  Golani  enveloping
force  was  in  a serious fight around Kafr  Sil.  Opposed  by  a
Syrian-PLO  force  consisting of some 28 T-54 tanks and  commando
units,  the  Golanis resumed the attack in the  afternoon.  As  a
paratroop  battalion  (detached  from Yair at  Damour)  assaulted
Syrian positions on Radar Hill overlooking the town,  the  Golani
infantry  fought  their way into the center of town  and  Yaron's
tanks  came  up from the south,  supported by  Cobra  helicopters
making runs from seaward. The battle raged all afternoon and into
the  night,  with  Israeli infantry taking on Syrian  tanks  with
RPG's  and even climbing tanks to drop grenades down the hatches.
The   fight continued for 19 hours,  centered on two main  streets
only  a kilometer long,  and finally ended the next morning  with
the Israelis controlling the village,  from where they could  see
the runways of Beirut Airport below.52
     It  was  on  12 June that the main bunker in the  Ein  Hilwe
refugee  camp  near Sidon was finally  captured.  On  7  June,  a
battalion  from  the  Golani  Brigade had  tried  and  failed  to
penetrate the camp; a larger attack the following day yielded the
same results.  On the 9th,  after a route had been opened through
Sidon, Mordechai began a systematic attack to seize the Ein Hilwe
camp  section by section.  The defenders,  under a Muslim  zealot
called  Haj  Ibrahim,  were mostly PLO militia fighting  on  home
ground.  Mordechai's attacks were made by infantry on foot,  with
tanks  and  self-propelled artillery close behind and able to  be
brought  up against enemy positions.  On 10  June,  the  Israelis
seized  two  mosques used as strongpoints by the  defenders,  but
came  up against heavy fire from the camp hospital.  Rather  than
attack  the  hospital  and inflict  heavy  casualties  among  the
civilians  sheltered  there,  Mordechai chose to arrange for  its
evacuation.   By  Friday  morning,  11  June,  the  hospital  was
deserted -- the PLO defenders having chosen to depart along  with
the  civilians.  In order to reduce casualties among the numerous
civilians and his own force, Mordechai tried a number of means to
encourage  the civilians to flee and the defenders to  surrenders
leaflets,  loudspeaker  broadcasts,  local  delegations,  Israeli
psychologists,  and demonstrations of fire power against selected
targets.   However,   the  defenders  rejected  all  appeals  and
encouraged  (in some cases by execution) the civilian  population
to remain in the camp.  The Israelis resumed the attack,  heavily
supported by air and artillery;  by Friday evening the school was
taken,  and at 1900 on Saturday, the main bunker was destroyed by
Israeli engineers. The fighting would continue for two more days,
when  the PLO defenders of last position fought to the last  man.
The defense was zealous, cruel, and effective.53
13-25  JUNE
     At  0130 on 13 June,  Yair continued his attack  toward  Ein
Anub.  At dawn,  the PLO-Syrian force withdrew. By 1300, Yair had
linked  up  with  Phalange forces at Basaba and  sent  his  force
speeding toward Baabda, the Christian suburb overlooking the city
and  site  of  the Presidential  Palace.  Resistance  had  ceased
outside the city itself,  and by nightfall the Golani had reached
Baabda  from Ash Shuweifat,  and Yaron had positions in the hills
south  of the airport,  in Baabda,  in blocking positions  facing
east along the Beirut-Damascus highway, and across the highway in
the Monte Verde area. Consolidation continued on the 14th, and by
the end of the day,  the Israelis were firmly linked up with  the
Phalange in East Beirut and deployed across the highway, but with
a  substantial  Syrian  force  along the Aley  ridge  and  around
Bhamdoun.  For the next several days,  except for artillery duels
and  occasional firefights in the Beirut area,  both sides  spent
the time consolidating their forces.  While the IDF built up  its
strength around Baabda and waited for the Phalange to  act,  the
PLO began fortifying its strongholds in West Beirut.
     On  19 June,  IDF paratroopers began to creep forward in the
hills  south of Bhamdoun in order to gain a more secure  hold  on
the  Beirut-Damascus highway.  Drori asked permission to mount an
orderly attack but,  no such attack having been authorized by the
Israeli  Cabinet,  his  request  was  refused.  The  paratroopers
continued  their small-unit actions,  losing several men.  On  22
June,  an  IDF  armored force was ambushed and trapped  near  the
highway,  and  that  night a Golani battalion  was  shifted  from
around  Beirut to extricate the trapped tanks.  At the same time,
the IAF struck Syrian reinforcements moving west, destroying some
130 tanks and transporters.  On 24 June, a coordinated attack was
launched  all along the highway.  As paratroopers  attacked  from
Baabda  eastward  toward Jamhur and the Golani attacked  westward
through Bhamdoun, other forces under Einan advanced on Sofar from
the south. Syrian resistance was weak and units withdrew eastward
along the highway,  allowed to pass without harm by the Israelis.
The  Syrians consolidated their defense along the pass at Dar  al
Beidar,  the  last pass in the Jbaal Barouk and last  strongpoint
before   the Syrian border.  However,  with the highway firmly  in
control from Beirut to Sofar,  the Israelis were content to  stop
the   attack  except  for  some  occasional  shelling.54   Another
ceasefire was declared on 25 June.
     The  Israelis now found that they had outrun their own goals
and  plans.  Somewhere along the line the announced war aims  had
grown  from the original one of pushing the PLO beyond  a  forty-
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kilometer   zone  to  goals  which  were  much  more,  ambitious:
establishment of a stable government in Lebanon, one which would
be sensitive to Israeli interests; removal of all Syrian military
forces  in  Lebanon;  and extermination or expulsion of the  PLO.
Now,  having defeated the PLO in the south, surrounded its forces
and  headquarters in Beirut,  linked up with  the  Phalange,  and
pushed  the Syrians back nearly to their border,  the IDF had  no
plans  for a next step.  As it became apparent that the  Phalange
would not take on the PLO in West Beirut, the Israelis were being
forced to decide among the following options:  attacking into the
city to destroy the PLO; laying seige to a city of half a million
people; or attempting to reach a political settlement.
                        CHAPTER VI--NOTES
  1Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 118.
  2Gabriel, p. 82.
  3Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 118.
  4John Leffin,  The War of Desperation: Lebanon 1982-85 (London:
Osprey Publishing, LTD., 1985), p. 47.
  5Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 120.
  7Gabriel, p. 82.
  8Cooley, p. 28.
  9Schiff and Ya'ari,  pp. 120-121, Two days later, as IDF forces
overran Al-Buss,  Geiger and one of his soldiers were murdered by
their captors.
  10Gabriel, p. 83.
  11Interview with Major General Amos Yaron,  1 May 1987. General
Yaron  stated  to me that although he did not receive the  orders
until 7 June,  he was sure in his own mind that his objective was
  12Gabriel, pp. 83-84.
  13Schiff and Ya'ari,  pp. 124-31, and interview with Lieutenant
Colonel Jacob Amar, Golani Infantry Brigade.  The Beaufort Castle
action became the subject of some controversy in Israel.
  14Ibid., pp. 116-17.
  15Gabriel, p. 85.
  16Schiff and Ya'ari, pp., 138-39.
  17Gabriel, pp. 85-87.
  18Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 142.
  19Gabriel, p. 90.
  20Interview with Major General Yaron.
  21Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 123.
  22Gabriel, p. 86.
  23Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 123.
  24Ibid., p. 137.
  25Ibid., p. 139.
  26Laffin, pp. 52, 59.
  27Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 140-41.
  28Ibid., pp. 157-60.
  29Gabriel, p. 91.
  30Ibid., p. 92.
  31Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 142-144.
  32Ibid., pp. 160-161.
  33Ibid., pp. 157-159.
  34Gabriel, p. 94.
  35Ibid., pp. 94-95.
  36Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 159.
  37Interview with Major General Yaron.
  38Schiff and Ya'ari,pp. 144-145.
  39Ibid., p. 162.
  40Gabriel, p. 97.
  41Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 166.
  42Details of the air battle can be found in  Gabriel,  pp.  97-
100;  Schiff and Ya'ari,  pp.  164-168; and Laffin, pp. 65-75.  A
particularly  good account is given in Gordan M.  Clarke,  et al,
The  1982  Israeli  War in Lebanon:  Implications for Modern
Conventional Warfare  (Research Report,  The National War College,
April, 1983), pp. 16-21.
  43See Chapter VII for a discussion of air tactics and equipment.
  44Gabriel, p. 100.
  45Conversation   with  Lieutenant  Colonel  Amar.
  46Gabriel, p. 102.
  47Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 173-175.
  48Ibid., p. 172.
  49Ibid., pp. 174-179.
  51Ibid., pp. 185-190.
  52Conversations  with Major General Yaron and Lieutenant  Colonel
  53Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 142-150.
  54Gabriel,p. 111.
                      CHAPTER V -- SEIGE
     Several  factors mitigated against an early Israeli  assault
on the PLO in West Beirut:  1) during the last two weeks of June,
the  IDF was less concerned with the PLO than with the  continued
Syrian  presence  along  the   Beirut-Damascus  highway  and  the
possibility  of  a Syrian attack;1  2) the PLO was  sending  panic
signals  that  it  would immediately quit the city;2   3)  Israeli
leaders  still had hopes that Bashir Gemayel's Phalangists  would
and could attack in their stead;3  and 4) the IDF had neither  the
numbers  of  infantry  nor the experience in  urban  fighting  to
confidently enter the city.4   However, by the end of June the PLO
leadership had decided that the Israelis would not quickly invade
Beirut and that the PLO could perhaps improve both its bargaining
position and its political image by holding out.   Meanwhile, the
United  States  had  begun its attempt to  negotiate  an  orderly
evacuation  of  the  PLO and was urging Israel not to  enter  the
city.  So the seige was begun, more as an accident of war than by
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  Once the Israelis decided on a seige,  they took several  steps
to   strengthen  their  hand.    First,   through   psychological
operations  (PsyOps) they attempted to convince both the PLO  and
civilians  that  if  they  remained in  Beirut  they  would  die.
Second,  they  allowed and encouraged the civilian population  to
evacuate  the  city,  leaving  open  two  well-publicized  escape
routes.  Third, they demonstrated by the use of air and artillery
that  they  would  not  allow the integration  of  the  PLO  into
civilian  areas to deter them from attacks.  Tactically,  the IDF
made several decisions that affected the seige: they made maximum
use of air, artillery, and naval gunfire; they divided targets in
the  city at the Corniche Mazraa,  carefully controlling  strikes
north of that street but exercising less restraint in bombardment
to the south -- the area of the Palestinian refugee camps and the
PLO  stronghold.  They would make no massive ground assaults  but
would  tighten the noose by seizing selected  strongpoints.5  The
IDF  went so far as to construct a huge master map,  with each of
the buildings in West Beirut numbered,  so as to provide  precise
firing data.6
     When the seige actually began is difficult to determine, but
by  l  July,  after a ceasefire of nearly a week,  the IDF  began
psychological warfare operations.   The IAF dropped leaflets  and
conducted  mock  bombing runs,  high ranking Israelis made  radio
broadcasts,  and special teams made loudspeaker announcements  --
all to convince the PLO that attack was imminent.   However,  the
PLO had decided to dig in and wait, so on 3 July IDF forces moved
into  East Beirut,  seized the key crossings along the Green Line
which had separated the city since 1975,  and began shelling  the
Lailaki and Burj as Barajnah camps just north of the airport.  On
4 July,   the seige began in earnest as the IDF shut off all food,
water,   and electricity in West Beirut.  Golani Infantry began to
inch  toward the southernmost Palestinian camps as artillery  and
gunboats shelled areas of the city in a slow,  steady bombardment
which  was  kept up for the next two days.   On 9 July,  the  PLO
initiated a severe exchange with a concentrated barrage by  130mm
guns  and Katyushas;  the IDF responded with their own  artillery
and  with some 27 captured Katyusha launchers.   This duel lasted
for the next two days,  with the IDF using its artillery and  the
76mm  guns  and  Gabriel  missiles of the  gunboats  against  PLO
positions  around the airport and university.   The PLO  returned
fire on IDF positions from the coast to Baabda, and an IDF ground
probe  near  the airport resulted in several casualties  and  the
loss of two tanks.   An unofficial ceasefire went into effect  on
the  evening  of  12  July  which held  for  over  a  week  while
negotiations proceeded.
     On  21 July,  the PLO struck back,  launching three separate
attacks outside the Beirut areas  a raid behind IDF lines in  the
Bekaa,  a  rocket attack on a bus carrying Israeli soldiers  near
Tyre,  and  a Katyusha rocket attack on several Israeli towns  in
northern  Galilee.   The  next  day the IDF launched  attacks  --
consistent   with  the  announced  policy  of   "disproportionate
response" -- which continued through 30 July.  In Beirut, the IAF
made its first air attack on the city since 25 June, striking the
camps  and  PLO  strongpoints in a 90-minute  raid  supported  by
artillery  and tank fire.  Elsewhere.  the IDF artillery  engaged
Syrian  positions  in the Bekaa,  from where  PLO  ambushes  were
initiated,  and  the  IAF struck hard at the PLO camp and  Syrian
barracks in Baalbek.   Air,  naval gunfire, and artillery attacks
continued for the next three days against PLO headquarters in the
Fakhani district of West Beirut,  the camps,  and PLO  positions.
By  Monday  the  smoke  and dust were so  thick  in  the  Fakhani
district  that Israeli aircraft had to drop flares during the day
to  illuminate naval gunfire targets.   Meanwhile,  on the  23rd,
three  new Syrian SAM-8 locations were detected in the Bekaa  and
were promptly destroyed by the IAF.
     On 27 July,  the bombardment of Beirut intensified:   targets
in  non-Palestinian areas (including ambassadorial residences and
an  apartment building housing staff of the  American  University
Hospital)   were shelled for the first time,  with heavy civilian
casualties;  the  Corniche  Mazraa and the  downtown  areas  were
brought  under fire;  and gunboats pounded the port area.  On the
next  day,  the IDF continued to hit the same areas,  as well  as
Manara and Bain Militaire,  resulting in a number of large  fires
that began to burn out of control. The PLO retaliated with a six-
hour shelling of IDF positions.  Meanwhile,  Israeli infantry and
armor  continued  to  advance  a few yards at  a  time  near  the
airport,   supported  by  point  blank fire from tanks  and  self-
propelled artillery.  The bombardment continued on the 29th  and
30th,  with  rising civilian casualties,  until a ceasefire  went
into  effect  amid progress in the  negotiations.   31  July  was
     However,  apparently  in an effort to seize  key  objectives
prior  to  a  negotiated settlement,  the IDF struck  hard  on  1
August.  Beginning  at 0300,  the Israelis subjected the city  to
fourteen straight hours of air, naval, and artillery bombardment
At the same time, the IDF launched a two-pronged ground attack in
the  vicinity of the airport with Golani infantry,  paratroopers,
and tanks; by mid-afternoon the airport had been seized and PLO
forces pushed back to the outskirts of the Burj as Barajnah  camp
and  into the Ouzai district.  The IDF continued the  attack  the
next day, with the Israelis battling into the center of the Ouzai
district  north  of  the  airport and sealing  off  the  Burj  al
Barajnah camp except for its northern edge. At the same time, the
Israelis   deployed   over  200  tanks  along  the  Green   Line,
particularly at the Port and Museum crossings. This reinforcement
continued  on  3  August,  when  negotiations  stalled  after  an
appearance of real progress.
     As  if  in  answer to the  pace  of  the  negotiations,  the
Israelis  launched the most devasting attack of the seige to date
on 4 August.  In the morning,  the IDF began an intense naval and
artillery  barrage which struck the length of the city  from  the
port area to near the airport.  For the first time,  the IDF used
white  phosphorus rounds,  with the resulting,  inevitably well-
publicized,  civilian  burn  casualties.  A three-pronged  ground
assault  began with an attack at the Port Crossing in  the  north
which advanced some 500 meters, then halted. The main attack come
at the Museum Crossing,  where a force of tanks and paratroopers,
with  engineers and bulldozers in the lead,  headed straight  for
the  PLO  headquarters  in  the Fakhani  District.  The  PLO  had
expected  an attack here and had created a sufficient  number  of
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fortified strongpoints that the attack made limited progress and
stalled  completely  by nightfall.  The third  prong  was  a
continuation  of  the attack in Ouzai.  Here the PLO also fought
stubbornly, but by dusk the Golani and  paratroopers had pushed
through  the district and reached the main junction in Bir Hanan.
By day's end, IDF forces had flanked PLO positions in the camps
on three sides, but had sustained  their heaviest single-action
losses of the war in doing so -- 19 killed and 64 wounded.
     Although skirmishing in the Fakhani District and elsewhere 
continued, the human cost of the 4 August attack (and the extreme
displeasure of the Unitd States government) resulted in a 
tapering off of action for the next several days. By 9 August the
negotiations had made a breakthrough and agreement seemed
imminent, so much that some PLO units actually disengaged to
return to their families, and others caused a run on luggage in
West Beirut.  But on the 10th, the IAF struck at the PLO camps
with bombs and rockets, and naval gunfire and artillery resumed.
The shelling and air strikes contined the next day, and, in
addition, an IDF armor brigade moved north along the coast to
positions only ten miles south of Tripoli,  sending a signal to
all concerned that the Israelis were willing to destroy the PLO
throughout all Lebanon if necessay.
     On 12 August, to the public dismay of much of the world, the
Israelis staged a massice air attack on Beirut which lasted from
0600 to 1730.  Although considerably short of the magnitude
described by the press,  the damage and civilian casualties were
considerable.  With its potential to undermine the negotiations,
the attack frightened the Israeli Cabinet into rescinding
Sharon's  authority  to conduct any military  operations  without
first  receiving  Cabinet approval.  Begin ordered  an  immediate
ceasefire   that   evening.   This  time  the   ceasefire   held,
negotiations were completed,  and on 21 August French elements of
the  Multi-National Force landed in Beirut.  The first contingent
of PLO fighters departed the following day.
     The  seige was ended with the cost to the IDF of 88 dead and
750  wounded -- some 32 per cent of the total wounded up to  then
and 24 per cent of the war's total.  Estimates of PLO losses  are
varied,  but  it appears that around 1,000 were killed during the
seige;  equipment  losses according to the IDF totaled  some  960
tons of ammunition,  243 combat vehicles,  159 anti-tank weapons,
13 heavy mortars, 12 artillery pieces, 38 anti-aircraft guns, and
108 communications sets.  Civilian losses are even more difficult
to  determine,  due to the wildly divergent estimates provided by
different sources.  However,  the best estimates (agreed upon  by
American doctors in Beirut,  IDF intelligence,  PLO leaders,  and
Lebanese  militia leaders) indicate that between 5,000 and  8,000
civilians  were killed in Beirut -- almost 8 civilians for  every
PLO fighter.7
                        CHAPTER V NOTES
    1Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 203-204.
    2Rabinovich, p. 140.
    3Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 199-201.
    4Gabriel, p. 128.
    5Ibid., pp. 136-138.
    6The  information  concerning daily events of the seige  was
synthesized  from three sources except where  otherwise  noted:
Gabriel,  pp.  139-159; Facts on File, June-September, 1982; and
the New York Times, 1 July 1982-15 August 1982. Descriptions of
the  fighting during this period were validated by  discussions
with Major General Yaron and Lieutenant Colonel Amar.
     7Various sources.
     Israel  seemed to have won a great victory.  On 1 September,
the  last of the PLO fighters had been evacuated from Beirut  and
scattered  throughout  the Arab world.  Bashir Gemayel  had  been
elected  President of Lebanon and seemed potentially  capable  of
restoring order to the country.  The Syrians were isolated in the
northern  Bekaa  and  unable to influence the action in  most  of
Lebanon. However, the victory was to be short lived.
     Even before the evacuation of PLO fighters from Beirut,  IDF
military  intelligence  had uncovered a PLO plan  to  leave  some
2,000  fighters in the city,  equipped with false papers,  hiding
places,  and  funds.1  These armed men,  plus the thousand  or  so
members  of  leftist militias who had fought alongside  the  PLO,
formed   a  threat  not  only  to  IDF  forces  in  Lebanon   but
particularly  to  the  ability  of Bashir  Gemayel  to  establish
government authority in Beirut.  The IDF therefore was instructed
to  make  plans for the seizure of the unoccupied areas  of  West
Beirut.  On 14 September,  before the plan could be carried  out,
Gemayel  was killed in a Syrian sponsored bombing while making  a
speech  in  the  Christian suburb of Ashrafiya.  In the  wake  of
Bashir's  assassination,  the IDF seized control of West  Beirut,
with Yaron's men pushing south from the positions they had seized
in early August and Mordechai moving east from the Port Crossing.
Some  resistance was met and a number of casualties  taken.2   The
IDF  stayed  out  of the  refugee  camps,  however,  because  the
Phalange  had finally agreed to take action,  ostensibly  against
the  fighters believed to have stayed behind.  For three days the
Israelis guarded the entrances to the camps of Sabra and Shatilla
while the Phalange went on a rampage the result of which has been
well publicized.  The massacre of Palestinians brought the return
of  the Multi-National Force of  French,  Italian,  and  American
units to Beirut, upon which IDF withdrew to the hills surrounding
the city.3
     Earlier,  the IDF had begun to confront the situation in the
area under its control outside Beirut.  In southern Lebanon,  the
Israelis  were  forced to make certain decisions  concerning  the
divided  population  under its  control  -- Christians,  Shiites,
Druze,  and  Palestinians.  Even before the war there had been  a
number  of senior officers who were skeptical of  the  Phalange's
ability  and willingness to stabilize the country.  Now,  some of
these  officers  urged a policy that would result in a  de  facto
partition  in  Lebanon:  the arming and co-opting of  the  Shiite
population in the south.  The idea was dismissed by Sharon but in
July,  when  Phalangist  attempts  to exert  authority  in  Sidon
resulted in some excesses, the IDF encouraged Haddad's militia to
deploy  as  far north as the Awali River in order  to  force  the
Phalangists out of the territory to the south. Although there was
much  discussion of winning the support of the Shiite majority in
the south and of cooperation with the Shiite militia (Amal) which
had fought the PLO prior to the war,  the presence of significant
radical  Khomeini  supporters among the  Shiites  precluded  such
action.  In fact, efforts were made to weaken Amal's influence by
cultivating rival Shiite groups.4
     Another  problem  for  the IDF was that of  the  Palestinian
refugee  camps,  which  housed scme  100,000  people.  The  IDF's
initial  policy  was to destroy those houses which had served  as
bunkers  or arms caches and to leave the camp residents  to  fend
for themselves.  However, the IDF did provide the camps with food
and  medical aid and in October,  when the weather began to  turn
colder,  with tents as well. An attempt had been made to convince
the  Lebanese  government  to locate the  refugees  elsewhere  in
Lebanon,  but  when that attempt met with little support the  IDF
began to select and arm a small Palestinian militia in the camps,
one  made up  of men judged to prefer a Lebanese identity to  that
of a refugee.6
     The  Shouf  presented  perhaps the most  difficult  problem.
Traditional stronghold of the Lebanese Druze,  the mountains  had
been  the  scene  of  cruel and  bitter  fighting  between  Kemal
Junblatt's  militia  and  Maronite forces during the  civil  war.
Junblatt  had  asserted Druze control throughout the  Shouf  and,
although closely allied to the PLO,  had not allowed a large  PLO
presence  in  the area;  his son, leader of the Druze after  his
death,  chose not to resist the Israeli advance in June. However,
when  the  IDF began to allow Phalange units into  the  Shouf  in
August,  the  Druze  struck back and pushed the  Phalangists  out
except  for  small pockets of Maronite  resistance.  During  that
early  period,  the IDF chose to adopt a neutral stance and tried
to restrict the fighting, a stance which was interpreted by Walid
Junblatt as pro-Phalange.6
     By  the  time of Bashir Gemayel's death,  the  Israelis  had
managed  to alienate nearly all the Lebanese factions,  even  the
Phalange.  However, having committed themselves to a new order in
Lebanon based on Maronite hegemony, the IDF had little choice but
to pursue that goal.  It is not within the scope of this study to
chronicle  the  myriad events in Lebanon from September  1982  to
June  1985,  when  the last IDF units  left  Lebanese  soil.  The
attempts  of  the Lebanese government to exert its authority  and
its  subsequent  near-total  collapse,  the role  of  the  Multi-
National  Force,  the  PLO rebellion in  the  north,  the  Druze-
Phalange  and Shiite-Palestinian fighting -- all contribute to  a
portrait of a nation in chaos.  However, as a natural consequence
of  the  invasion,  IDF  forces did remain in Lebanon  for  three
years,  and  its activities as an occupation army contributed  to
the Lebanese morass.
     Soon  after  the end of the fighting,  the IDF  reduced  its
force  strength in Lebanon from around 85,000 to 35,000,  and  by
January  1983 that strength had dropped even further,  to  around
20,000.  Deployed  generally with a division in the  Beirut-Shouf
area  and  another division in the Bekaa Valley,  the  force  was
supplemented  by  reserve  units  which  performed  their  annual
training  in the operational setting of Lebanon for about  thirty
days at a time.
     In southern Lebanon,  in addition to the activities  already
described,  the  IDF  rounded up thousands of  Palestinian  males
immediately  after the fall of the refugee camps and placed  them
in  detention  camps until their loyalties and  prior  activities
could be sorted out.  By the end of June, a military governor had
been  appointed  and by 22 June some 5,000 to 6,000  people  were
under  detention with a massive manhunt under way for anyone  who
might   have  escaped  the  Israeli  net.   The  detainees   were
incarcerated  in the camp at Ansar,  between Tyre and  Nabitiye.7
Subsequently, duties in the south became mired in a deadly rut of
hit-and-run  attacks  on IDF personnel followed by  searches  and
     Security  gradually became stricter as the  IDF  established
more  checkpoints  and patrols;  these security measures in  turn
alienated  the predominantly Shiite population in the  south.  At
the same time,  with an eye on future security,  the IDF expanded
and trained Haddad's militia and other pro-Israeli groups. In the
Bekaa,  the pattern of attack and reprisal was much the same.  In
addition  to maintaining a defensive posture toward the  Syrians,
the IDF held the Syrian Army responsible for attacks mounted from
territory under its control and did not shy away from retaliation
against Syrian military as well as PLO targets.  In the Shouf and
around  Beirut,  IDF attentions focused on maintaining order  and
rebuilding  the  Lebanese  Army as  a  necessary  foundation  for
government stability.
      In  addition  to  the almost daily  snipings  and  attempted
ambushes,  other  military action occurred from  September  until
      31  August  -- the IAF shot down a MiG-25 on a reconnaissance
                     flight over the Beirut;
      4 September -- a PLO force captured eight Israelis from  the
                     Nahal  infantry  brigade who were manning  an
                     observation post north of Bhamdoun;
      8 September -- IAF planes destroyed Syrian SAM's  in
                     the northern Bekaa;
     12 September -- Israeli planes destroyed  one  SA-5,
                     then conducted a heavy bombing of Syrian and
                     PLO positions in the Bekaa;
      3  October  -- the IDF suffered 6 killed and 22  wounded  in
                     the ambush of a troop-carrying bus near Aley;
      4  October  -- IAF  planes attacked and  destroyed  an  SA-5
                     battery near Dar al Beidar;
     31 October  --   Syrian  forces  fired  two  SAM's  at   IAF
                     reconnaissance planes;
     11 November --  the Israeli military headquarters in Tyre was
                     destroyed with 90 killed (originally  thought
                     to be a car bomb, it was later  determined to
                     have been an accidental explosion);
     19 November --  gunmen in Sidon fired on an IDF jeep patrol,
                     killing one Israeli.
     Negotiations  between Lebanon and Israel began on 3  January
1983, under the auspices of the United States. In line with their
revised  war aims,  Israel hoped that the talks would result in a
formal peace treaty between the two countries,  the withdrawal of
Syrian forces from Lebanon,  and some kind of guarantees for  the
security  of Israel's northern border.  It was in order to  reach
these goals that the IDF remained in Lebanon, roughly in the same
positions it had held at the end of June.  During the nearly five
months that the negotiations lasted,  the IDF continued to suffer
casualties in guerilla-style attacks in the Shouf, on the Beirut-
Damascus highway, and particularly along the coast road. Tensions
rose  between  Israel  and  Syria,  and  the  two  forces  traded
artillery and mortar fire on a number of occasions.
     More serious,  however, were three occurrences which did not
involve  actual  fighting.   First,   a  number  of  increasingly
provocative incidents took place between IDF soldiers and  U.  S.
Marines  near the southern suburbs of Beirut.8  Second,  the Kahan
Commission,   appointed  to  investigate  Israel's  role  in  the
September Sabra and Shatilla massacres,  published its  findings.
The  commission  found  that  Defense Minister  Sharon  and  high
ranking  officers of the IDF bore "indirect  responsibility"  for
the massacre and made specific recommendations for the removal of
several  from  their  posts.9   These  findings,  while  affirming
Israeli  doctrines  of  morality in warfare,  shook  the  officer
corps.  Many  officers felt that they had been asked to  fight  a
difficult  war,  one not in keeping with Israeli defense doctrine
and  different from the previous wars of survival,  and now  they
were  being  punished  for mistakes  of  omission  not  involving
Israeli troops: in the words of the commission, "those who in our
view did not fulfill the obligations placed on them."10  The third
occurrence was a result of the decline in popular support for the
war  in Israel.  During a demonstration in Jerusalem by the Peace
Now  movement,  a grenade was thrown into the crowd of  marchers,
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killing one and wounding eleven.  The dead man was an IDF reserve
officer  who  had  fought in Lebanon,  as  were  several  of  the
wounded.  The  shock  was not so much that IDF members  would  be
actively opposing the war, forIsrael has a long tradition of free
expression  by its soldiers,  but in the depth of division  among
Israelis that the incident revealed.
     On  17 May,  an agreement was signed by Lebanese and Israeli
negotiators which fell short of diplomatic relations, although it
did  call  for  the  establishment  of  "liaison  offices."   The
agreement  called  for  the opening of the border  to  trade  and
movement,  the  establishing of a security region up to the Awali
River  (to  be patrolled for the first two years  by  joint  IDF-
Lebanese  Army  patrols  and  with  two  Lebanese  Army  brigades
providing overall security), and the withdrawal of Israeli forces
within eight to twelve weeks after the agreement took effect. The
agreement  brought  sharp reaction from Syria,  which closed  its
border  with  Lebanon,  fired on IAF planes,  and  made  menacing
movements in the Bekaa and on the Golan Heights.  Tensions  eased
in  a few days,  but Syria categorically refused to recognize the
agreement  or  to withdraw her own forces,  a  move  required  by
Israel  as  a  precondition  for  withdrawing  the  IDF.  As  the
stalemate  continued,  Israeli  losses in Lebanon  mounted:  five
soldiers were killed in the Shouf during the week of 23 May;  two
died in a car bomb attack near Beirut on 8 June;  three more were
killed in an ambush outside Tyre. These attacks could only partly
be traced to the PLO,  usually small groups who were  infiltrated
from Syrian-held territory. The remainder were made by indigenous
Lebanese -- Shiite radicals,  Druze, and leftist Muslims.
     During  the summer,  with much support building for the move
within Israel, talk surfaced concerning an Israeli withdrawal. As
casualties mounted and with a political solution seeming less and
less  likely,   Israeli  officials  began  suggesting  a  partial
withdrawal to more defensible lines,  a move opposed by both  the
Lebanese  and American governments as undermining the chances for
Lebanese stability.  On 20 July,  the Israeli Cabinet approved  a
plan  to  redeploy Israeli troops south of the  Awali  River.  In
tactical terms,  although this move would not appreciably shorten
IDF  lines,  it would straighten the front across Lebanon to  the
Bekaa.  More  important,  it  would remove IDF soldiers from  the
Shouf, the Beirut-Damascus highway, and the area around Beirut --
areas  where most of the casualties were being  incurred.  During
August,  the IDF constructed defensive positions along the Awali,
with bulldozers creating bunkers,  gun emplacements,  observation
posts,  supply roads, and helicopter landing pads. As the pullout
grew nearer,  violence between Christians and Druze increased  in
intensity. On the afternoon of 3 September, the Israelis began to
displace  in  convoys consisting of hundreds of APC's  and  tanks
moving  south  from  around Beirut and from  the  Shouf.  By the
following morning, the withdrawal was complete.
     The  Israeli withdrawal had two immediate consequences:  the
Druze  militia quickly seized control of most of the  Shouf,  and
the  Multi-National  Force became increasingly embroiled  in  the
confessional fighting around Beirut -- culminating in the October
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suicide   bombings  of  the  Marine  and   French  headquarters.
Meanwhile,  the  IDF  acted  to consolidate its hold  over  south
Lebanon. Saad Haddad, suffering from cancer, stepped down as head
of  the Israeli-backed militia,  and the Israelis searched for  a
     The  IDF continued it its attempt to foster  good  relations
with  the Shiites in the south,  but Shiite antipathy was on  the
increase.     Stringent  Israeli security measures -- such as the
destruction  of houses belonging to members of  the  anti-Israeli
militias,  the continuing incarceration of a number of Shiites in
the Ansar prison camp (still containing some 7,000 inmates),  and
restrictions  on movement to and from the Beirut area -- resulted
in  clashes  such as one on 17 October:  an IDF convoy  tried  to
force  its  way  through  a  Shiite  religious  procession,   was
confronted  by  the crowd,  and opened fire.  On  4  November,  a
suicide  driver  drove  an explosive-laden  truck into  the  IDF
headquarters  compound  in  Tyre and killed 28  Israelis  and  32
Arabs.  The  IAF  retaliated  with  strikes  on  PLO  and  Syrian
positions  along  the Beirut-Damascus highway,  even  though  the
radical  Shiite  Islamic  Jihad claimed  responsibility  for  the
bombing.  Immediately  following the Tyre attack,  the IDF sealed
all  roads leading from Israeli territory to the  north,  halting
all trade from the agricultural south to the Beirut markets. By 7
November northbound traffic was resumed,  but by then the tension
had  mounted between Syria and Israel as each  underwent  partial
mobilization  of reserves.  Israel continued its air raids on  16
November against PLO positions behind Syrian lines, with the loss
this time of one aircraft.
     After  serious  disturbances at the  Ansar camp  during  the
summer,  Israel found a solution to the problem.  On 24 November,
4,500  Palestinians  were exchanged for six Israeli soldiers  and
the camp was closed.  The six soldiers were initially greeted  as
heroes,  but  were  later  sharply criticized  by  Rafael  Eitan,
President  Chaim  Herzog,  and others for their surrender to  PLO
attackers  in  September 1982.  In December,  the  PLO  bombed  a
Jerusalem bus, killing four and wounding 46, in the first serious
attack  by the PLO inside Israel since 1979.  The attack did not,
however,  signify a rise in PLO fortunes.  On 20 December, Yasser
Arafat and some 4,000 followers staged a repeat performance  when
they were evacuated by sea from Tripoli under pressure from anti-
Arafat  Palestinians  and  Syrian forces.  Israel  had  tried  to
prevent  the evacuation,  with Israeli gunboats shelling Arafat's
positions  in response to the Jerusalem bombing  and  effectively
preventing  the  evacuation for several weeks until pressured  to
stop by the United States.
     During the remainder of the winter, the situation in Lebanon
deteriorated drastically. Israeli planes continued their periodic
attacks on PLO positions,  and the IDF continued to increase  its
security  measures in the south.  On 31 December,  the army again
closed  the  crossing points between Israeli  territory  and  the
north  as  it  launched  a sweep which resulted in  a  number  of
arrests by Israeli security forces. In February, Druze and Shiite
militias  routed  the  Lebanese Army and  took  control  of  West
Beirut,  leading to the withdrawal of the U. S. Marine contingent
of the Multi-National Force. The deteriorating situation, coupled
with  Katyusha  attacks  on northern  Israel,  brought  increased
attacks  by  the  IAF  on known or  suspected  PLO  positions  in
Hammana,  Bhamdoun,  Damour, and Souk al Gharb. On 21 February, t
strong  armored patrol moved as far north as Damour in a  warning
to the competing factions. As the Multi-National Forces withdrew,
domestic  pressure for additional withdrawal grew in  Israel.  An
opinion  poll  conducted in February found that 39  per  cent  of
Israelis  favored  immediate  and unconditional  withdrawal  from
Lebanon,   while  only  19  per  cent  favored  remaining;  these
percentages  were probably reflected in the IDF as well.  To  cap
off  the sense of frustration felt by Israelis,  on 5  March  the
Lebanese  cabinet formally abrogated the May 1983 Agreement.  And
in the third PLO attack in three months,  a bomb exploded  aboard
an Israeli bus in Ashdod, killing-three and wounding seven.
     PLO attacks in Israel continued with the seizure of a bus on
12  April and an attack on a Jerusalem crowd by three members  of
the  PFLP which wounded 48 people.  Security in Israel itself was
beginning  to seem more precarious than before the  war.  And  in
June, the Lebanese themselves urged Israel to withdraw its forces
from  Lebanon.  The cycle of attack and retaliation continued  in
southern Lebanon:
     28 March  -- Israeli forces stormed a Shiite  village, killing
                  at least six villagers;
     3 April   -- Two IDF patrols were attacked by PLO  ambushers
                  near Nabitiye, wounding ten;
     1-9 April -- IDF and Syrian batteries exchanged  fires  in
                  the Bekaa;
     27 May    -- Three IDF soldiers were killed in ambush;
     28  June  -- 40 Shiite prisoners were released by the IDF and
                  twenty more by the South Lebanese Army,  but  on
                  the  same  day  100  Shiites  were  arrested  in
                  Maarakeh after an IDF soldier was shot dead.
     On  21 July,  the roads to southern Lebanon were closed  yet
again following the Lebanese government decision to shut down the
Israeli  Liaison Office in Beirut.  The roads were reopened a few
days later but the IDF imposed tighter restrictions on  vehicles,
often stripping them completely to search for explosives. Traffic
remained  snarled and Lebanese travelers increasingly discomoded.
In  August,  automobile traffic was banned altogether as part  of
the  "Iron Fist" policy in Lebanon.  Nor was Israel's  ally,  the
South Lebanon Army (formerly Haddad's militia,  now commanded  by
former  general Antoine Lahad) helping the situation any:  on  20
September,  Druze  elements  of  this force attacked  and  killed
thirteen  Shiite  villagers  in reprisal for an  ambush  the  day
before.  This  "army," now 2,200 men strong,  was created  as  an
instrumental part of Israel's northern security.
     In  October,  the Israeli government made public a  list  of
four  demands  to be met before it would completely withdraw  its
force  form Lebanon,  a force now down to about 10,000  men.  The
demands  illustrate  how far Israeli aims had  fallen  since  the
evacuation of the PLO:  1) a Syrian commitment not to move troops
into southern Lebanon; 2) a Syrian commitment to prevent guerilla
infiltration  from territory under its control;  3) the continued
deployment  of  Lahad's  South Lebanon Army in  a  security  zone
adjacent to the Israeli border; and 4) the redeployment of UNIFIL
troops  to a zone north of Lahad's and stretching from the  coast
to the Syrian border. Four days after the announcement, the 600th
Israeli soldier to be killed in Lebanon died in a rocket  grenade
attack on the Zaharani bridge.
     On  8  November,  pullout  talks began between  Lebanon  and
Israel,  which broke off in January with no agreement; but on the
14th,  the  Israeli Cabinet announced a decision to withdraw  the
IDF in three stages. The plan called for an initial pullback to a
line  from  the Litani River to Nabitiye,  followed by  a  second
withdrawal  in  the Bekaa to new  positions  near Hasbaiya,  and
completed  by a total pullback to Israel itself.  The first stage
began on 20 January 1985 and was completed on 16  February,  when
IDF  troops left Sidon and were replaced by a Lebanese Army force
of  1,800  men.  This stage was not  without  conflict,  however.
During the withdrawal,  15 soldiers were killed and 105  wounded,
including the colonel who was senior advisor to the South Lebanon
Army  (SLA);  dozens of SLA members were assassinated;  and about
one-third  of  the  SLA  deserted in the  face  of  Shiite  death
     In the weeks that followed, the clashes increased as the IDF
stuck to its "Iron Fist" policy and the Shiites stepped up  their
attacks.  From mid-February to mid-March,  eighteen more Israelis
were killed and another 35 wounded. The "Iron Fist" policy called
for  preventive raids on Shiite villages,  dusk to dawn  curfews,
and  severe travel restrictions,  and at first seemed to have  an
effect.  However,  on 4 March a bomb destroyed a Shiite mosque in
Marakah, killing about fifteen people including two Amal leaders.
The  day  before,  the village had been occupied by a strong  IDF
raiding  force,  and  the  blast  was  naturally  blamed  on  the
Israelis.  On  the 10th,  a suicide bomber drove a truck into  an
Israeli convoy and detonated its hidden explosives:  twelve  were
killed and fourteen wounded.  The next day, the army attacked the
town  of  Zrariyah,  north  of the new defense line,  in  a  raid
preceded  by artillery fire.  The IDF force killed some  40  Amal
fighters,  captured most of the male population and a large store
of weapons,  and destroyed eleven houses.  On 9 April,  a sixteen
year-old Shiite girl drove a car bomb into an IDF convoy, and the
next  day Israeli forces conducted an early pullout from the area
around Nabitiye.  The same day,  the 647th Israeli was killed  in
the  war  -- a  reserve  major who stepped on a  land  mine  near
Hasbaiya.  By  April,  the  IDF had killed  over  eighty  Shiite
guerillas in five weeks,  and the Ansar camp -- nearly emptied in
the prisoner exchange in November 1983 -- held over 1,800  Shiite
prisoners.  Early  that month,  700 were released and 1,000  were
transferred to Israel.
     The  pullout continued when the IDF withdrew from the  Bekaa
on  24 April and from Tyre on the 29th.  On 20 May,  Israel freed
1,150  prisoners  in exchange for the release of the  last  three
known  Israeli prisoners in PLO hands.  This  exchange,  however,
included more than PLO militia:  121 Palestinian  guerillas,  150
Shiites  from  Ansar,  and 879 convicted prisoners  from  Israeli
jails -- 380 of whom had been serving life sentences. Some 600 of
these   were  allowed  to  remain  in  Israel  and  the  Occupied
Territories.  The release of a number of well-known terrorists --
including  the  only surviving member of the  Japanese  Red  Army
squad  that killed 26 people in the 1972 Lod Airport massacre and
two  members  of the PLO team that killed 33 civilians  near  Tel
Aviv in 1978 -- caused a furor in Israel,  but it underscored the
long  standing Israeli policy of doing whatever was necessary  to
secure the release of captive Israeli soldiers.   Attacks on  IDF
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forces continued, and in two separate engagements Israeli missile
boats sank vessels carrying PLO guerilla raiding parties.
     On  10  June,  after  a 53-mile security fence  was  erected
(complete  with  sensors,  search lights,  and  obstacles  -- all
connected to a central computer),  the last large combat unit was
withdrawn from Lebanon.  As if to mark the occasion, two Katyusha
rockets  fired from southern Lebanon impacted in Galilee  as  the
troops were crossing into Israel. After three years, 654 IDF dead
and 4,000 wounded,  and an estimated 17,000 Lebanese killed, this
phase of the continuing Lebanese war was over.
                         CHAPTER VI NOTES
    1Schiff and Ya'ari, p. 250.
    2General   Yaron  informed  me  that  his  unit  met   moderate
resistance when it entered West Beirut in September,  mostly from
leftist militias.
    3It  is not within the purview of this paper to delve into  the
detail of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres.  Anyone wishing to do
so  can  find a complete account from the Israeli side in  Schiff
and Ya'ari,  pp. 250-286, the Report of the Kahan Commission, and
    4Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 238-240.
    5Ibid., pp. 240-242.
    6Ibid., pp. 242-245.
    7Facts on File. The information in the remaining portion of the
chapter  is  derived  from the editions of  Facts on File from
September  1982 to June 1983 and from the author's own  knowledge
of events.
   8This  series  of confrontations, shoving  matches,  and near
shootings reached a head when the Commandant of the Marine Corps,
General  Robert H.  Barrow,  formally charged that Israeli troops
had  persistently "harassed,  endangered,  and degraded"  Marines
around  Beirut.  The IDF responded with charges that the PLO  was
staging attacks from Marine-controlled areas.  The situation  was
somewhat  resolved in late March with a more detailed description
of  IDF-Marine  relations,  but did not fully end until  the  IDF
pulled back to the Awali in September.
   9The  Kahan  Commission  found  that  responsibility  for   the
massacre  was  borne by Sharon,  Chief of Staff Eitan,  Chief  of
Intelligence  Saguy,  Northern Commander Drori,  and Beirut  area
commander  Yaron.  Eitan was allowed to retire when his term  was
over  a short time after the release of the findings;  Saguy  was
removed  from his post and soon retired;  Drori was  allowed  to
remain at his post. Yaron was barred from holding a field command
for a minimum of three years and today,  nearly five years later,
still  has  not  returned to  command;  he  was  recently  denied
credentials  from  the  government  of Canada  for  the  post  of
Military Attache to that country.
    10Although  we did not discuss the subject in  detail,  General
Yaron related to me that he had little faith in the Phalange even
before  the massacre and that although he was closely watched  by
higher  headquarters,  they  provided  him little  assistance  or
    Each  episode of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a test,  one in
which each side has ample and obvious opportunity to evaluate its
warfighting skills, personnel, and equipment.  And each war poses
problems different from those of the last.  As the 1967  conflict
was dominated by air and armor,  the 1973 war saw the preeminence
on  missiles  designed to counter those same aircraft and  tanks.
The Lebanon  War posed its own problems for all the combatants.
     The war in Lebanon gave the IDF the opportunity to test  the
reorganization  begun in 1973,  but that reorganization was based
primarily  on  war  in the open desert and the  Lebanon  war  was
characterized by urban,  mountain, seige, and occupation warfare.
Viewed from the vantage of June 1982, IDF operations appear up to
the  high  standards  which  have  characterized  Israel's  other
conflicts.  Yet there have been a number of military writers  who,
noticing the absence of the bold strokes which have characterized
Israel's  past wars,  have argued that the IDF's  performance  in
Lebanon reveals a decline in military prowess.1  However, the only
way  to judge the IDF's performance in Lebanon is to examine  its
actions  in  light of the special circumstances of that  war.  It
would be absurd,  for example, to fault the Marine Corps for lack
of  mobility  at Peleliu by a comparison with  Patton's  breakout
from  Normandy,  and  it  is equally misleading  to  compare  IDF
operations in Lebanon with those in the Sinai.   In order to make
a  competent  judgment,  it  is helpful to  examine  the  various
categories of performance separately.
    A number of criticisms have been directed at the IDF for  its
tactics in the June invasion,  among which are the following: the
IDF shoved extreme caution in the MOUT operations in Tyre, Sidon,
and  Beirut;  the  rates  of advance in Lebanon  were  too  slow,
resulting  in the failure to capture or kill a single PLO leader;
poor tactical measures resulted in a number of serious  ambushes,
especially  by  Syrian  forces in the Center and  East;  the  IDF
exhibited  a tendency to substitute firepower and frontal  attack
for  tactical  maneuver;  the  Israeli  forces  did  very  little
fighting  at night;  the IDF used conventional  military  tactics
against  a  guerilla force.  Each of these charges contains  some
truth,  but  each  must  be examined in light  of  the  political
constraints under which the IDF was forced to operate.
    The  IDF  did  exercise a great amount of  caution  in  urban
fighting during the invasion and seizure of Beirut.  A number  of
reasons  can be advanced for that caution:  inexperience in urban
warfare,  concern for friendly casualties,  concern for  civilian
casualties, lack of time pressure (especially in Tyre and, later,
in Sidon), the nature of the Beirut fighting, and the warfighting
characteristics of the IDF. The only MOUT operations conducted by
Israel in the past 30 years were in Jerusalem in 1973 and Suez in
1973,  and  neither  were of the scale of those in  Lebanon.  IDF
inexperience did show at first,  as units attempted to enter  the
camps  around  Tyre and Sidon with tanks in the lead  and  troops
riding  in APC's,  but the soldiers quickly learned to advance on
foot  and  bring the tanks and self-propelled artillery  up  only
when  they had a target.  By the time they penetrated  Beirut  in
July  and  August,  IDF soldiers had grasped the fundamentals  of
urban  warfare  and were practicing it with some  innovation  and
flexibility.  Concern for casualties was a real influence on MOUT
operations. The rules of engagement prohibited indiscriminate use
of  supporting  arms,  particularly in Tyre and  Sidon,  and  the
ethical  framevork  of the IDF makes it very  difficult  for  its
soldiers  to accept heavy civilian casualties as a necessary part
of  war.  The  Israeli concern for friendly  casualties  is  well
known,  and  in  a war where time has become less  important  and
where  the ends are somewhat controversial,  concern for friendly
casualties  assumes an even greater significance.2   Finally,  the
Israeli  warfighting doctrines of speed and maneuver have  little
place in urban fighting; whether an army can excel at both to the
same  degree is debatable,  and it is doubtful if  -- considering
its  history  -- the IDF would wish to allow a lessening  of  its
current offensive cast of mind.
    The second criticism, that rates of advance were slow, hinges
on several justifications:  that the coastal advance was held  up
for  two days before Sidon,  that Einan's division in the  Center
and  Ben-Gal's  forces  in the East failed to reach  the  Beirut-
Damascus  highway,  and  that no high ranking  PLO  leaders  were
killed  or  captured.  Again,  explanations exist which  mitigate
these  criticisms.  On the coast,  thanks to  Yaron's  amphibious
landing,  IDF troops were as far north as Damour on the third day
of  the  war,  and by 10 June two divisions were past Damour  and
closing on Beirut. Unless the objective from the beginning was to
drive  into  the heart of Beirut,  which no  one  suggests,  this
advance seems to have satisfied the operational requirements.  In
the  Center there is perhaps more reason to  criticize,  although
the  fault here must lie with the planners who  stripped  Einan's
division  of  much of its strength and chose a route  that  would
entangle it with the rear elements of Division 36. When Einan ran
into  stiffening Syrian resistance,  he was less a priority  than
the  force  struck at Sidon,  and by itself his division did  not
have  the   strength to push through or the size  for  significant
maneuver.   The advance in the East only lasted a day and a  half.
The Syrians fought from prepared defenses on familiar ground and,
most  important,  had had three days warning prior to the Israeli
attack.  The  failure to kill or capture a PLO leader  is  easily
explained  by the fact that nearly all of them fled at the  first
sound of gunfire, abandoning their units to fend for themselves.3
      It  is  true that the IDF did not display the speed  in  the
advance  which  has become one of its hallmarks,  and it is  also
true  that  much of the time during the advance units  halted  at
night.  This may be a valid criticism not of IDF tactics,  by  of
force structure and doctrine. Armor heavy forces have a difficult
time  in terrain that favors the infantry defender (such as  most
of Lebanon is),  and the near disasters at Ein Zhalta and  Sultan
Yakoub show what can happen to armor when it ventures unsupported
into  prepared  defenses.  At any rate,  this criticism  must  be
balanced  against that of a slow rate of advance:  if you want to
move quickly, put your tanks in front and don't stop; if you want
to  move  at night,  put dismounted infantry in  front  and  move
slowly.   There  were,   however,   several  instances  of  night
operations which were noteworthy: Yaron's amphibious landing; the
Golani  attack  at Kafr Sil;  the Golani and paratroop attack  in
Beirut  in  August;  and the infantry attacks along  the  Beirut-
Damascus highway in June.
    The criticisms of over-reliance on firepower and conventional
tactics  may  possibly be justified in light of  past  wars,  but
again,  Lebanon was different.  One of the reasons a force relies
on  speed -- hits quickly and hard and flies like the wind  -- is
that  if  it  does not,  it will be overwhelmed  by  its  enemy's
superior  forces.  In Lebanon,  the IDF was by far  the  superior
force in every measurable way;  it therefore could afford to rely
more  on its combat power than it could in other wars.  Even  so,
there  are  a number of examples of imaginative  tactics:  Yair's
indirect attack through the Shouf; Yaron's handling of the battle
at Kafr Sil;  Peled's move up Jbaal Barouk;  and Sakel's  advance
through Wadi Cheba.
    IDF  tactics in Lebanon did suffer initially from emphasis on
armored  warfare,  but the soldiers themselves soon  learned  the
lessons of mountain and urban warfare.  Criticisms of IDF tactics
are in some cases valid,  but all can be laid to three causes: 1)
IDF   force  structure  had  enhanced  the  roles  of  tanks  and
artillery, but virtually ignored the role of infantry on foot; 2)
the  objectives  of  the war  were  revealed  gradually,  denying
commanders  the  opportunity  to  look  ahead  and  devise   more
effective tactics;  and 3) the Syrians,  against whom the IDF had
its  toughest problems,  had ample warning of the IDF attack  and
could easily determine what were its final objectives.
    The  Lebanon  War  more  than  vindicated  the  Israeli-built
Merkava  tank.  No  Merkava  crewmen  were killed  and  only  six
suffered even light burns;  moreover,  every Merkava hit by enemy
fire was repaired within 48 hours.4  In addition to its toughness,
the  Merkava  has  a  number of  characteristics  which  make  it
appealing  to Israelis.  The frontal armor and placement  of  the
engine   in front make it nearly impervious to frontal  hits.  The
105mm  cannon,  although not very large,  is supported by  highly
effective  Israeli ammunition and a superior laser range  finder,
sight,  and barrel shroud. Its greatest appeal to the Israelis is
the fireproofing of the tank -- with seven armored,  self-sealing
fuel  tanks,   fireproof  containers  for  ammunition,   and  the
effective Spectronix fire-suppression system.
    The  M-113 APC did not fare so well,  tending to burn quickly
when hit.  Such was its reputation that troops sometimes  refused
to  ride  in them,  preferring to walk alongside and  forego  the
armor protection rather than chance burning to death. Most of the
APC's  destroyed were deployed with tanks and without an infantry
screen,  and  the majority of APC losses occurred in the  Central
and Eastern Sectors -- partly because Syrian opposition was  more
formidable  than that of the PLO,  but partly because Amos Yaron,
an infantryman himself, made good use of dismounted infantry. The
shock effect of Israeli armor was severely hampered by the narrow
roads which forced the tanks to advance single file.
    One  lesson  the  IDF did learn in Lebanon was  that  it  had
neglected infantry for too long. As has been noted, the IDF opted
for tank formations and relegated infantry to the secondary  role
of mopping up what the tanks left.  The Yom Kippur War showed the
ineffectiveness  of  that  doctrine,  but  the  solution  of  IDF
planners  was to put infantry in APC's so they could keep up with
the tanks and to increase the number of self-propelled artillery.
It would be the artillery,  it was thought,  which would suppress
the  enemy's anti-tank guided missiles.  In fact,  the  ratio  of
infantry formations to armored actually declined between 1973 and
1982,  at  a time when the overall force had increased nearly 100
percent.   In Lebanon, however, anti-armor ambushes were sprung at
close range from previously unnoticed prepared positions;  by the
time  artillery was brought to bear,  the attackers had fled  and
the losses sustained.
    Part of the problem lies in IDF doctrine and part lies in the
unwillingness  to take casualties.  The argument centers  on  the
proposition that overall casualties may be less if infantry takes
the lead in terrain which is inhospitable to armor.  Although the
IDF  has  acknowledged the problem by starting up  an  additional
infantry brigade,  the Givati, it must still structure its forces
for  the  most  likely  type of warfare -- and  that  is  armored
warfare in open terrain.
     Lebanon  was  the  first real test  for  the  IDF's  expanded
artillery  arm.  Artillery was generally effective in Lebanon and
was used in a number of different roles:  SEAD and counterbattery
fire in the Bekaa;  fire support for ground units,  in the direct
fire   mode  in  MOUT;   and  in  long-range  sniping  based   on
intelligence from RPV's, aircraft, or other sources. Although its
mobility was not tested, and in fact most Israeli guns could have
displaced  only once and still provided support over  the  whole
battle  area,  no  problems were discerned  either.  Despite  the
publicity surrounding the damage and civilian  casualties,  which
although  exaggerated were still disturbingly high,  there is  no
doubt  that  IDF  artillery took pains to put rounds  on  target.
However,  its  performance  must  be measured  in  light  of  the
complete  Israeli air superiority and the lack of significant PLO
artillery capability.
Air Operations
     The offensive air operation against the missile batteries in
the  Bekaa  on  9 June was a meticulously  planned  and  executed
operation.  The plan itself had been developed in the late 1970's
as  a result of lessons learned in the Yon Kippur  War,  and  had
been  fleshed  out with information gathered on the Syrian  SAM's
since their deployment in the summer of 1981. IAF doctrine places
priority  on offensive air operations against enemy air  and  air
defense  as  a  prerequisite  for being able  to  conduct  ground
strikes and close air support missions,  so when the decision was
made to destroy the SAM's the IAF put all its energies into doing
     The  operation called for extremely precise coordination  of
RPV's,  electronic warfare,  ground artillery,  standoff missiles
and  bombs,  and  strike aircraft.  The  sophistication  required
central  control  by  the Northern Regional  Control  Unit  (RCU)
located  at  Northern Command.  The priorities of  the  operation
itself  were first the acquisition and fire control radars of the
batteries,   then  the  missiles  themselves,   and  finally  the
supporting  anti-aircraft guns.  The radars were taken out  while
the  launching  aircraft were out of range of the  guns  and  the
radars  themselves confused by jamming,  false lock-ons of RPV's,
and artillery suppression fires.  Once the radars were killed, it
was a relatively easy matter to take on the missiles and ZSU's.
     The  overwhelming Israeli success in the air battle  against
Syrian interceptors was made possible by a combination of Israeli
superiority and Syrian deficiencies.  The IAF not only had better
airborne  radar  and excellent  air-to-air  ordnance,  but  their
command  and  control was deadly efficient.  The RCU was able  to
obtain  sufficient  advance  warning of  Syrian  flights  from  a
combination  of  sources:  the E2-C Hawkeye and RC-707  aircraft,
ground  and  airborne  spotters,  balloon  supported  radar,  and
intelligence  intercepts  of  Syrian  tower  and  strike   flight
frequencies. Guided to the battle by the RCU, Israeli pilots were
then virtually on their own to carry on the fight, which they did
with deadly efficiency.5
     Close  Air Support missions were flown from the first day of
the invasion.  The IAF primarily flew missions against preplanned
targets,  but answered a number of on-call and immediate requests
as well. These were forwarded from Northern Command, who received
them  from  the  divisions,  where an  air  liaison  officer  was
located. The RCU did the allocation and mission tasking for these
strikes,  the  speed  of which was improved by the fact that  all
field  intelligence  reports  were  forwarded  directly  to   the
operational  flying  units.  Once the Syrian SAM and  interceptor
threat  was removed,  CAS missions were flown not only by  attack
aircraft  but also by tactical fighters on strip alert or  Combat
Air Patrol.6  There were some instances of air support being  slow
to  arrive  and other instances of friendly casualties  from  IAF
missions. This may be due to the IDF belief that positive control
by  air or ground observers in not necessary;  in fact,  the  IAF
does  not provide air officers below the division,  or  sometimes
separate,  brigade  level.7   The  pilots themselves  tend  to  be
careful  in  releasing their ordnance,  and there  were  numerous
instances,  especially  in Beirut,  where pilots returned to base
with  their ordnance because they could not  positively  identify
and engage their targets.
     Among the aviation innovations of the war were the Cobra and
Defender  gunships,  used by the Israelis for the first time in a
significant  anti-tank  role.  Under the control  of  the  ground
commander,   these  helicopters  proved  a  valuable  asset  and
accounted for a high percentage of the Syrian armor destroyed  by
the  Israelis.  However,  they  were under virtually no  anti-air
threat,  so their utility against a more sophisticated defense is
yet to be determined.
     Combat  engineers  were a vital part of  Israeli  operations
throughout the war.  From truly impressive engineering feats such
as  the construction of a twelve-mile road in Wadi  Cheba  during
the  first  days  of the war to the combat role  of  leading  the
attack  at the Museum crossing in Beirut,  the engineers compiled
an  enviable record.   Often walking beside the lead  tanks,  IDF
engineers opened five critical routes of advance for the  armored
vehicles,  spanned  a number of obstacles,  and built a number of
roads  -- often  while  under fire.  During  the  occupation  and
withdrawal  phases of the war,  engineers laid some 400 miles  of
road  and constructed defensive positions  and  compounds.  Their
performance  more than justified their post-1973 integration into
the combined arms units of the IDF.8
     The   logistics   capability  of  the   IDF  has   improved
considerably  since  the  1973  war.    Although  not  nearly  as
devastating a conflict,  the Lebanon War demonstrated that Israel
does  have  a  logistical capability which can serve  its  needs.
Unlike  the American method of resupplying front line  units,  in
which  supplies are sent forward in answer to requests  from  the
front,  the  Israelis  method  is  to  stockpile  ammunition  and
supplies  as  close to the leading units as  possible.   Although
equipped  with  sufficient vehicle for  overland  transport,  the
Israelis quickly ceased to rely on that means due to the  clogged
roads,  preferring  instead  to  conduct most  resupply  by  air.
Helicopters vere used to ferry supplies to the lead units,  while
C-130's delivered supplies near the battle zone by using roads as
landing  strips.   The  navy played a limited role  in  resupply,
except   during  the first few days of the war when Yaron's  force
was heavily resupplied by sea. In the end, however, the logistics
effort  in  Lebanon  did not tax the IDF very  much  due  to  the
limited forces involved,  the short distances,  and the proximity
to Israel proper.
Israel Naval Force (INF)
     The Lebanon War marked the first time that the IDF conducted
joint  operations in anything larger than a raid.   The INF  made
several contributions to the operations  blockade of the southern
coast of Lebanon and of Beirut; naval gunfire against Palestinian
targets  in  support  of ground operations;  and  the  amphibious
landing north of Sidon on 6 and 7 June.  Throughout the summer of
1982,  INF  surface craft and submarines patrolled the  coast  of
Lebanon, both to prevent the escape of PLO fighters by sea and to
prevent  their  resupply.  This the Israelis  did  successfully.9
Naval  Gunfire  support,  particularly  for  Yaron's  force,  was
readily available but,  like air support,  depended on preplanned
targets  identified by near real time intelligence rather than on
requests from the ground units.  During the siege of Beirut,   NGF
was integrated into the overall bombardment plans along with   air
and artillery.  The most significant action of the INF was in the
amphibious  operation  at the mouth of the Awali;  although  this
operation   was aided considerably by the use of  IAF helicopters
and  does not represent any long range amphibious capability,   it
did  demonstrate the tactical utility of amphibious warfare in  a
coastal  area such as that surrounding much of Israel -- so  much
so  that by 1985 the INF had increased its number  of  Amphibious
ships  and  landing  craft from nine to  fifteen,  including  two
Command and Control
     Although the IDF has historically espoused unity of command,
unit  integrity,  and  the practice of  tasking  commanders  then
allowing  them  to  fulfill their missions  with  little  outside
interference,  the  Lebanon  War  marked a  departure  from  that
practice.   From  the beginning,  unit integrity on the  division
level was lost: units were given from a division in one sector to
a  division in another (such as Kahalani,   who gave a brigade  to
Sakel  in the Eastern Sector);  units began their attacks in  one
sector  and completed them in another,  such as Kahalani's attack
from the Center to the West and Cohen's attack on Masghara  which
was  launched  trom  the  Central  Sector;  units  were  switched
frequently, such as the Golani Brigade, which belonged at various
times to Kahalani's 36,  Mordechai's 91,  Yaron's 96, and Einan's
162  -- all in the space of less than three weeks.   In addition,
the  switching and combining of units often resulted in  one  man
commanding while another of equal rank remained on the scene with
nothing to do while his forces were being commanded by the other.
The  fact that the war was fought on a single front (and that  it
was  above  all Ariel Sharon's war) meant that the commanders  on
the  scene  were often visited by senior officers who  tended  to
make decisions on the spot.  This was especially true at  Beirut,
which for a while was the only game in town: Yaron was frequently
graced by the presence of Drori, Eitan, and Sharon, which made it
somewhat difficult for him to plan and carry out his own actions.
In  short,   the  IDF  worked  under  some  command and  control
constraints  which  would  have crippled  many  armies,  and  its
commanders  showed a considerable flexibility in dealing with the
     In summary, the IDF demonstrated some remarkable warfighting
capabilities,  and  also discovered some incipient flaws  in  the
organization  as it had expanded since 1973.   However,  possibly
the  most severe result of the war ma have been to the  character
of the IDF itself.  Most of its cherished principles were  tested
in  Lebanon,  from the fighting in heavily populated areas to the
bombardment of Beirut. But most potentially damaging was the long
period of occupation between 1982 and 1985.  During this  period,
the  IDF  was taken out of its self-styled role of  mobility  and
combat  decisiveness  and placed into one of  static  police-type
functions.   Forced   into  continual  conflict  with  the  local
population, many IDF soldiers reacted with confusion, doubts, and
resentment  -- particularly when the occupation itself proved  so
unpopular in Israel.  Four years worth of conscripts gained their
experience (which they would carry with them into the long  years
of reserve service) in Lebanon.   This, combined with the lack of
normal  training  during this period and the cutback in  training
due to economic constraints caused by the war's cost, may portend
a  period of diminished ability on the part of the IDF  for  some
time to come.  Worse,  in a service where ethics and morality are
real  and  inherited parts of military doctrine,  the erosion  of
morale, motivation, and the sense of ethics which occurred during
the  occupation could have far reaching effects  --effects  which
may not become apparent until the next major conflict.
                         CHAPTER VII NOTES
    1The  critics  include  a  number who are  highly  regarded  in
military affairs and whose writings are normally pro-Israeli; see
Trevor N.  Dupuy and P.  Martell, Flawed Victory: The 1982 War in
Lebanon,  Richard Gabriel, Operation Peace for Galilee, and Ze'ev
Schiff and Ehud Ya'ari, Israel's Lebanon War.
   2General  Yaron told me that after the initial  invasion,  when
the  political struggle became paramount,  the  highest  priority
among  commanders  from  the  small unit level on  up  became  to
conserve the lives of their men.
   3See Schiff and Ya'ari, pp. 136-137.
   4Gabriel, pp. 197-200.
   5Clarke, pp. 16-20.
   6Ibid., pp. 20-21
   7Interview with General Yaron.
   8Gabriel, pp. 208-210.
   9Having been on a ferry bound from Jounieh to Cyprus during the
summer of 1982 which was stopped by Israeli patrol craft,  I  can
testify to the thoroughness of the blockade.
   10Mark A.  Heller, ed., The Middle East Military Balance, 1985,
(Tel Aviv: Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies, 1986), p. 126.
   11General  Yaron  pointed  out  that the  command  and  control
problems associated with the frequent shuffling of units were not
the  problem for the IDF that they might be for another  service:
the IDF is a small service where the senior officers tend to know
one  another fairly well,  and the basic unit of the IDF  is  the
brigade,  which  can operate independently or as part of a larger
force with no diminution of its capability.
   12Gal, pp. 246-251.
                   CHAPTER VIII -- CONCLUSIONS
          It  is  difficult to assess the results of the  war  in
Lebanon  in  the same way that one can with most  wars.  Israel's
past wars have ended with the attainment of the objectives set by
the government, both military and political, and a clear sense of
victory  on the part of the IDF.  Had the IDF packed up and  gone
home  in September 1982,  having attained more than  the  limited
goal it set out to achieve, then the results could have been more
clearly determined: expulsion of the PLO from southern Lebanon up
to  and including Beirut;  the weighting of the Lebanese domistic
scene  in  favor of the Christian  factions;  removal  of  Syrian
presence  from  much  of  Lebanon and  a  vastly  reduced  Syrian
influence  in  that country;  and a Lebanese populace  which  was
fairly sympathetic to Israel.
     In such a case, the Israeli use of military force would have
been  consistent  with doctrine,  and even the seige  warfare  in
Beirut  could  have been accepted as a necessary action in a  war
fought to protect the existence of the state.  However,  the  IDF
remained  in Lebanon for three years in a role inconsistent  with
Israeli  doctrine,  a  role which reflected a  more  Clauswitzian
approach  in  which the military force acts as an  instrument  of
foreign policy.  At any rate,  in order to reach an understanding
of the results of this war, an evaluation of the war must be made
on  two levels:  first,  the military performance of the IDF and,
second an assessment of the results in light of the announced war
      In  terms  of  military  performance,  the  IDF  would  have
appeared  highly successful had the war terminated prior  to  the
seige of Beirut.  As has already been discussed, certain flaws in
performance  have been noted by observers and IDF officers alike,
and the IDF has already made some hard choices in the  correction
of those deficiencies. Some will not be corrected because the IDF
sees  its most likely future conflict as not in the mountains and
built  up  areas of Lebanon but in the more open terrain  to  the
east  and  south.2   If one breaks the war into  three  phases  --
invasion,   seige,   and  occupation  -- the  evaluation  of  IDF
performance becomes easier.
     During  the invasion,  the IDF performed well,  despite  the
tactical  constraints placed on the IDF in the  beginning.  These
constraints  consisted  of the refusal or inability to  determine
final tactical objectives from the outset,  restrictive rules  of
engagement, and a force structure not designed for the terrain of
Lebanon.  Nevertheless, the IDF did reach Beirut in six days, did
seize  much of the Beirut-Damascus highway,  did push the Syrians
back in the Bekaa while inflicting severe losses on them, and did
virtually  destroy  air and air defense  capability  in  Lebanon.
However,  the Syrians fought stubbornly and well on the battalion
level and below,  causing Israeli setbacks and withdrawing slowly
and   in  good  order  while  continuing  to  hold  key   Israeli
objectives.3    Overall,  however,  the Israeli performance during
the  invasion must be considered consistent with its  performance
in  past wars,  although its superiority in numbers and equipment
made Lebanon less than a true test of its capabilities.
     Neither the seige nor the occupation were indicative of  the
IDF's military competence.  In these phases there was no room for
innovation  or for fast,  hard-hitting warfare.   Decisions  were
made  above the level of the commanders on the scene,  to include
when  and  where to initiate bombardments and when and  where  to
attack on the ground.  This was a type warfare for which the  IDF
was  unprepared,  and any mistakes in execution must be  directed
more  toward the policy makers who placed the IDF in the position
of  maintaining a seige and acting as an army of occupation  than
at the IDF itself, for nothing in the army's doctrine or previous
guidance from civilian authority indicated that it would be asked
to perform these types of duty.  Observers of the war are divided
as  to just how careful the IDF was in its concern  for  civilian
casualties in Tyre,  Sidon, and Beirut, with the more responsible
experts   insisting  that  the  IDF  took  great  pains  to  hold
casualties  to  a  minimum;  nevertheless,  civilian  damage  and
casualties  were significant and the number of  civilians  killed
and  wounded far exceeded the casualties among the combatants  on
either  side.4  For this also the Israeli civilian authority  must
take  most of the responsibility.  In sum,  the IDF's performance
during the seige and occupatian was mixed, but even though it was
acting out of the role for which it was designed and trained, the
IDF  did  conduct itself satisfactorily  within  the  constraints
under which it operated.
     The  results  of  the war in terms of Israel's war  aims  is
somewhat easier to assess in light of the events of the past five
years.  But  the  war aims themselves reflect the nature  of  the
conflict as one out of the mainstream of Israeli  doctrine.  When
the war began,  the only announced aim was to push the PLO out of
southern Lebanon in order to provide for the security of northern
Israel.  This  aim  was reflected in the operational  plan  under
which the invasion started. However, very quickly, that objective
was  replaced with a number of other aims much more ambitious and
much  more  in  the nature of  political,  rather  than  national
security,  policy.5   These aims,  as has already been  mentioned,
were  the destruction of the PLO infrastructure in  Lebanon,  the
creation of a stable and sympathetic Lebanese government, and the
removal of Syrian armed presence from Lebanon.
     The  first goal seemed to have been accomplished  in  August
1982,  when  the  PLO was evacuated from Beirut and its  fighters
scattered  from Yemen to Algeria.  In the following year the  PLO
became  even more fragmented when dissident elements  forced  the
withdrawal  of  Arafat's  followers  from  Tripoli  and  northern
Lebanon.  However,  there  remained  in  Lebanon some  6,000  PLO
fighters  under  the wing of the Syrian forces  in  the  northern
Bekaa,6   and  by  the end of 1985 that number  had  increased  to
8,500,  including  some 2,500 in Beirut and 2,000 in the vicinity
of  Tyre and Sidon.7  In addition,  recent attempts by al-Amal  to
defeat  the  PLO  in  the camps of Sidon  and  Beirut  have  been
unsuccessful,  causing some observers to foresee a resurgence  in
PLO  presence and influence in Lebanon.8  Even if the PLO fails to
reestablish  itself in Lebanon,  the possibility exists that  its
hostile  presence  in southern Lebanon has been replaced  by  the
equally  hostile presence of armed Shiite radicals.  The  growing
conflict  between IDF occupation forces and the Shiite  community
has  been  previously  discussed,  but a new  dimension  to  that
conflict  may be emerging with the anti-Israel activities of  the
Hizbollah group.9 Thus far those activities have been directed at
Israeli  and  SLA targets within the security  zone  in  southern
Lebanon itself,  but the conflict has the potential to spill over
Israel's  northern border at any time.  In addition,  there  have
been  several  recent incidents of attempted PLO infiltration  of
Israel  which  may signal a renewed PLO strength  and  aggressive
policy in Lebanon.   In summary, although the number of incidents
inside  northern  Israel  have been drastically  curtailed  as  a
result of the defeat of the PLO in 1982, the potential exists for
an  increase in anti-Israeli actions originating from Lebanon  --
this  time from both the PLO and Shiite  groups.  In  total,  the
first  objective of the Lebanon War must be judged only a partial
     The second aim, to establish a stable government in Lebanon,
is  without doubt an unqualified failure.  Without detailing  the
waxing  and  waning of the Lebanese government's  fortunes  since
1982,  it is sufficient to say that today (in fact,  since 1983),
there  is  no Lebanese government capable of anything  more  than
issuing  passports.  Not  only did the war fail  to  establish  a
friendly,  Christian-dominated government, but the possibility of
any stable government in Lebanon seems more and more remote.
     The  third goal was to remove Syrian presence from  Lebanon.
The recognition that this goal was obviously unsuccessful must be
tempered  by  an awareness of the Lebanese situation since  1982.
Even  when  the first two aims seemed to have  been  met,  Syrian
recalcitrance acted as a stumbling blocks the Syrians would by no
means agree to a withdrawal from Lebanon in conjunction with  the
Israelis  and therefore were able to effectively scuttle the  May
17, Agreement between Israel and Lebanon before it had any chance
of  fulfillment;  Syria  offered a haven for PLO fighters in  the
Bekaa  Valley  from which they could stage raids on  the  IDF  in
Lebanon  and from which many have now moved back into Beirut  and
Sidon;  and  despite  having taken severe losses during the  June
fighting,  Syria  was able to quickly replace those  losses  with
better  Soviet  equipment  accompanied  by  a  number  of  Soviet
     Yet,  this  war aim is a total failure only when  considered
hand-in-hand  with the other two.  Since the collapse of any hope
of effective government in Lebanon,  the Syrians have  themselves
become  bogged  down  in the never-ending cycle  of  confessional
warfare  and  changing factional alliances.  Syrian  troops  have
returned to Beirut,  but they have been no more able to establish
order than were the Americans and Israelis before them.  In fact,
however,  it may be that Syrian power in Lebanon will be the  one
thing  which  prevents  any radical change to Lebanon's  form  of
government,  for despite Syrian support for Iran in its  conflict
with  Iraq,  Syria  has  no interest in seeing a  Shiite  Islamic
government in Lebanon and would rather maintain some form of  the
status  quo.   At present,  Syria is the only party with whom one
can  deal  concerning Lebanon and that situation is  better  than
having  factional anarchy -- for the Israelis as well as for  the
      In conclusion,  the overall results of the Lebanon War  have
been  mixed.   Although  the  IDF  generally  fought  well,   the
experience  in  Lebanon during the seige and occupation may  have
had   some  detrimental  long-term  effects  on  its   underlying
character.  The  failure  of Israeli war aims reflects  the  ill-
advisedness  of  attempting to solve  long-standing  and  complex
political problems in the Middle East by military action. Such an
approach  simply does not work,  as many have found out to  their
regret.  Any  solution  to  the problems of Lebanon  and  of  the
Palestinian must be found outside the arena of armed conflict,  a
lesson that the Israeli experience in Lebanon teaches well.
                       CHAPTER VIII NOTES
   1Zvi Lanir,  "political Aims and Military Objectives." Israeli
Security Planning in the 1980's (New York:  Praeger  Publishers,
1984). pp. 40-43.
   2In  this sense,  the IDF has reacted somewhat like the U.  S.
forces after Vietnam,  where the prevailing idea was not so  much
to learn the lessons of counterinsurgency and limited warfare but
toreturn to the traditional focus on conventional warfare.
   3An  indication  that  the IDF placed more importance  in  the
drive up the coast than in the limited engagement with Syria  may
be  inferred  by  the fact that the  elite  units  (paratroopers,
Golani Brigade, Geva's 211th Brigade) were all on the coast.
    4The  author has personally seen evidence of pinpoint accuracy
in  the  IDF bombing in West Beirut,  particularly north  of  the
Corniche  Mazraa;  in some cases a single building was destroyed
while those around it remained untouched.  On the other hand,  I
have also seen whole city blocks which were level led by the IDF.
    5Ze'ev  Schiff  argues convincingly that the final  aims  were
those held by Defense Minister Sharon from the beginning and that
much  of  the  operational planning was  predicated  on  Sharon's
desire  to  lure the Israeli Cabinet into step-by-step decisions
which  would  eventually  encompass  those  war  aims. Schiff's
argument has credence in Israel and within the IDF.
    6Heller, The Middle East Military Balance, 1983, p.187
    7Heller, The Middle East Military Balance, 1985, p.197
    8See  Nora Bustany,  "Palestinian's Victories in Lebanon  Mark
Arafat's  Resurging  Influence," Washington  Post,  December  23,
1986,  p.  A15.  Ms. Bustany is Lebanese and lives in Beirut, and
her  reporting  concerning Lebanon is accurate  and  responsible.
Ironically,  the  reemergence  of  the PLO in  Lebanon  has  been
accomplished with the aid of the Phalange, which now sees al-Amal
and the Shiites as a greater threat than the PLO.
    9See the Washington  Post,  February 15,  1987, pp. A1 and A22;
also, September 23, 1986 and May 5, 1987.
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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias