• Narrow screen resolution
  • Wide screen resolution
  • Auto width resolution
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Default font size
  • default color
  • red color
  • green color

World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Aug 12th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Extremism In Lebanon arrow Chronology of events leading up to Lebanon's political stalemate
Chronology of events leading up to Lebanon's political stalemate PDF Print E-mail
Written by AFP-BBC   
Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Feb 14, 2005; Brutal Assassination of late PM Rafic Hariri
Feb 14, 2005; Brutal Assassination of late PM Rafic Hariri

BEIRUT: Key events which marked the Lebanese political scene for the past three years contributed in shaping Lebanon's long-running impasse.

By Agence France Presse (AFP)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 


BEIRUT: Key events which marked the Lebanese political scene for the past three years contributed in shaping Lebanon's long-running impasse.


September 3: With the end of President Emile Lahoud's six-year term approaching, the  Cabinet, under heavy Syrian pressure, votes to amend the Constitution to extend his mandate by three years.

October 1: Economy Minister Marwan Hamadeh, a strong opponent of extending Lahoud's term, survives an assassination attempt.

The Security Council adopts US- and French- backed Resolution 1559 condemning the extension of Lahoud's mandate.

October 20: Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and his government resign, and are replaced by a strongly pro-Syrian team headed by Omar Karami.


February 14: Hariri and 22 others are killed by a massive bomb in Beirut. Western powers and the anti-Syrian opposition blame neighboring Syria, which has had troops in Lebanon since the 1975-90 Civil War. Damascus denies the claims.

April 26: Syria pulls its last troops out of Lebanon in the face of a massive international outcry, ending three decades of dominating its smaller neighbor.

May-June: Parliamentary elections give a majority to the anti-Syrian opposition, grouped around Hariri's son, Saad. The new prime minister, Fouad Siniora, forms a government which includes ministers from the Syrian-backed Hizbullah movement.

October 20: A first report by a UN probe into Hariri's assassination implicates senior figures in Syria and Lebanon.

December 12: Anti-Syrian journalist and MP Gibran Tueni is assassinated.


July-August: Israel launches  war against Lebanon after Hizbullah captures two Israeli soldiers. Over 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, are killed and large parts of the country are devastated by the bombing. Some 160 Israelis, mostly troops, are also killed. The government accuses Hizbullah of endangering the country.

November 11: Hizbullah spearheads a political campaign for the replacement of the Siniora government, which it accuses of corruption. Six Hizbullah and allied ministers resign from the Cabinet.

November 21: Anti-Syrian Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel is assassinated.


January 25: Street clashes between pro- and anti-government forces leave four dead.

May 20: Fighting breaks out between the Lebanese Army and a hard-line Sunni Muslim group in one of Lebanon's poverty-stricken Palestinian refugee camps. The fighting continues until early September, when the army finally takes the camp, leaving about 400 people dead in the battle.

June 10: In line with a decision by the UN Security Council, bitterly denounced by the Lebanese opposition, the Beirut government votes to set up a special tribunal to determine who assassinated Hariri.

June 13: Anti-Syrian MP Walid Eido is assassinated.

August 31: With the end of Lahoud's third term approaching, parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri proposes a consensus deal for Parliament's selection of a new president.

The new head of state, who under a long-standing convention is supposed to be a Maronite Christian, must be elected between September 25 and November 24.

September 14: The United States, which has strongly backed anti-Syrian forces in Lebanon, warns against any attempt by the president to appoint a successor without a vote.

September 19: Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanem is killed along with four other people by a car bomb in a Beirut suburb.

September 24: Saudi Arabia calls on rival Lebanese MPs to work to agree on a consensus candidate as next president.

Damascus accuses Lebanon's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority of trying to sabotage the presidential election in a grab for power.

September 25: Lawmakers gather amid strict security for a special parliamentary session to elect a new president, but the vote is postponed until October 23. - AFP


BBC: Timeline: Lebanon
A chronology of key events:

1920 1 September - After the League of Nations grants the mandate for Lebanon and Syria to France, the State of Greater Lebanon is proclaimed. It includes the former autonomous province of Mount Lebanon, plus the provinces of north Lebanon, south Lebanon and the Biqa, historically part of Syria.

1926 23 May - Lebanese Representative Council approves a constitution and the Lebanese Republic is declared.

1940 - Lebanon comes under the control of the Vichy French government.

1941 - After Lebanon is occupied by Free French and British troops in June 1941, independence is declared on 26 November.

1943 March - The foundations of the state are set out in an unwritten National Covenant which states that Lebanon is an independent Arab country with ties to the West but which cooperates with other Arab states while remaining neutral. The 1932 census which had shown that Christians were 54% of the population is used as the basis for the distribution of seats in the Chamber of Deputies (later known as the National Assembly) on a ratio of six to five (later extended to other public offices). The president is to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies a Shia Muslim.


1943 November-December - Free French forces detain members of the recently-appointed government, which had declared an end to the mandate, before releasing them on 22 November, henceforth known as independence day. France agrees to transfer power to the Lebanese government from 1 January 1944.  

1957 - President Kamil Shamun accepts the Eisenhower Doctrine, announced in January, which offers US economic and military aid to Middle Eastern countries to counteract Soviet influence in the region.

1958 14 July - Faced with increasing opposition which develops into a civil war, President Shamun asks the US to send troops to preserve Lebanon's independence.

1958 15 July - The US, mindful of Iraq's overthrow of its monarchy, sends marines to re-establish the government's authority.

Arab-Israeli war

1967 June - Lebanon plays no active role in the Arab-Israeli war but is to be affected by its aftermath when Palestinians use Lebanon as a base for activities against Israel.

1968 28 December - In retaliation for an attack by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on an Israeli plane in Athens, Israel raids Beirut airport, destroying 13 civilian planes.

1969 November - Army Commander-in-Chief Emile Bustani and Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat sign an agreement in Cairo which aims to control Palestinian guerrilla activities in Lebanon.

1973 10 April - Israeli commandos raid Beirut and kill three Palestinian leaders, close associates of Arafat. The Lebanese government resigns the next day.

Civil war begins 

Civil war left Beirut in ruins
Conflict erupted in April 1975 after a bus attack by Christian militia
Overthrow of the Christian military government in 1990 marked the end of 15 years of fighting
Conflict claimed more than 150,000 lives 

1975 13 April - Phalangist gunmen ambush a bus in the Ayn-al-Rummanah district of Beirut, killing 27 of its mainly Palestinian passengers. The Phalangists claim that guerrillas had previously attacked a church in the same district. (These clashes are regarded as the start of the civil war).

1976 June - Syrian troops enter Lebanon to restore peace but also to curb the Palestinians.

1976 October - Following Arab summit meetings in Riyad and Cairo, a ceasefire is arranged and a predominantly Syrian Arab Deterrent Force (ADF) is established to maintain it.

Israel controls south

1978 14/15 March - In reprisal for a Palestinian attack into its territory, Israel launches a major invasion of Lebanon, occupying land as far north as the Litani river.

1978 19 March - UN Security Council (UNSC) passes Resolution 425, which calls on Israel to withdraw from all Lebanese territory and establishes the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to confirm the Israeli withdrawal, restore peace and help the Lebanese government re-establish its authority in the area.

1978 - By 13 June Israel hands over territory in southern Lebanon not to UNIFIL but to its proxy mainly Christian Lebanese militia under Maj Sa'd Haddad.

Israel attacks

1982 6 June - Following the attempted assassination of Shlomo Argov, Israeli ambassador to Britain, Israel launches a full-scale invasion of Lebanon, "Operation Peace for Galilee".

1982 14 September - President-elect, Bashir al-Jumayyil, is assassinated. The following day, Israeli forces occupy West Beirut, and from 16 to 18 September, the Phalangist militia kill Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut.

1982 21 September - Bashir's elder brother, Amin al-Jumayyil, is elected president.

1982 24 September - The first contingent of a mainly US, French and Italian peacekeeping force, requested by Lebanon, arrives in Beirut.

Buffer zone set up

1983 17 May - Israel and Lebanon sign an agreement on Israeli withdrawal, ending hostilities and establishing a security region in southern Lebanon.

1983 23 October - 241 US marines and 56 French paratroopers are killed in two bomb explosions in Beirut, responsibility for which is claimed by two militant Shia groups. 

Antoine Lahd led now-disbanded South Lebanon Army
SLA was led by Lebanese Christians
Force was financed, trained by Israel

1985 - By 6 June most Israeli troops withdraw but some remain to support the mainly Christian South Lebanon Army (SLA) led by Maj-Gen Antoine Lahd which operates in a "security zone" in southern Lebanon.
1985 16 June - A TWA plane lands in Beirut after having been hijacked on a flight from Athens to Rome by two alleged members of Hezbollah demanding the release of Shia in Israeli jails. The crisis is resolved with the help of Syrian mediation.

1987 21 May - Lebanon abrogates the 1969 Cairo agreement with the PLO as well as officially cancelling the 17 May 1983 agreement with Israel.

1987 1 June - After Prime Minister Rashid Karami is killed when a bomb explodes in his helicopter, Salim al-Huss becomes acting prime minister.

Two governments, one country

1988 22 September - When no candidate is elected to succeed him, outgoing President Amin al-Jumayyil appoints a six-member interim military government, composed of three Christians and three Muslims, though the latter refuse to serve. Lebanon now has two governments - one mainly Muslim in West Beirut, headed by Al-Huss, the other, Christian, in East Beirut, led by the Maronite Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Gen Michel Awn.

Walid Jumblatt, leader of Lebanon's 200,000 Druze
Smaller Druze communities live in Israel, Syria
Religious system is kept under wraps, known only to an elite
Conversion, inter-marriage are not allowed

1989 14 March - Awn declares a "war of liberation " against the Syrian presence in Lebanon.

1989 28 July - Shaykh Abd-al-Karim Ubayd, Hezbollah leader in Jibshit, is abducted by Israeli forces.

1989 22 October - The National Assembly, meeting in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia, endorses a Charter of National Reconciliation, which reduces the authority of the president by transferring executive power to the cabinet. The National Assembly now has an equal number of Christian and Muslim members instead of the previous six to five ratio.

1989 November - President-elect Rene Mu'awwad is assassinated on 22 November and succeeded by Ilyas al-Hirawi on 24 November. The following day, Salim al-Huss becomes prime minister and Gen Emile Lahoud replaces Awn as Commander-in-Chief of the Army on 28 November.

Civil war ends

1990 13 October - The Syrian air force attacks the Presidential Palace at B'abda and Awn takes refuge in the French embassy. This date is regarded as the end of the civil war.

1990 24 December - Umar Karami heads a government of national reconciliation.

1991 - The National Assembly orders the dissolution of all militias by 30 April but Hezbollah is allowed to remain active and the South Lebanon Army (SLA) refuses to disband.

1991 22 May - A Treaty of Brotherhood, Cooperation and Coordination is signed in Damascus by Lebanon and Syria and a Higher Council, co-chaired by their two presidents, is established.

1991 1 July - The Lebanese army defeats the PLO in Sidon so that it now confronts the Israelis and the SLA in Jazzin, north of the so-called "security zone".

1991 26 August - The National Assembly grants an amnesty for all crimes committed during the civil war, 1975-1990. Awn receives a presidential pardon and is allowed to leave for France.

1991 30 October - Lebanon participates in the Middle East Peace Conference launched in Madrid.

1992 16 February - Shaykh Abbas al-Musawi, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, is killed when Israeli helicopter gunships attack his motorcade on a road south-east of Sidon

Ex-PM Rafik Hariri was killed by a car bomb in 2005

By 17 June all Western hostages held by Shia groups have been released.

1992 20 October - After elections in August and September (the first since 1972), Nabih Birri, secretary-general of the Shia Amal organisation, becomes speaker of the National Assembly.

1992 31 October - Rafik Hariri, a rich businessman, born in Sidon but with Saudi Arabian nationality, becomes prime minister, heading a cabinet of technocrats.

1993 25 July - Israel attempts to end the threat from Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) in southern Lebanon by launching "Operation Accountability", the heaviest attack since 1982.

1994 21 May - Mustafa Dib al-Dirani, head of the Believers' Resistance, a breakaway group from the Shia Amal organisation, is abducted by Israeli commandos from his house in eastern Lebanon.

Israel bombs Beirut

1996 11 April - "Operation Grapes of Wrath", in which the Israelis bomb Hezbollah bases in southern Lebanon, the southern district of Beirut and the Biqa.

1996 18 April - An Israeli attack on a UN base at Qana results in the death of over 100 Lebanese refugees sheltering there.

1996 26 April - US negotiates a truce and an "understanding" under which Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas agree not to attack civilians in northern Israel, and which recognises Israel's right to self-defence but also Hezbollah's right to resist the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. Lebanon and Syria do not sign the "understanding" but the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG), with members from the US, France, Israel, Lebanon and Syria, is set up to monitor the truce.

1998 1 April - Israel's inner cabinet votes to accept UN Security Council Resolution 425 of 1978 if Lebanon guarantees the security of Israel's northern border. Both Lebanon and Syria reject this condition.

Lahoud is president

1998 24 November - Army head Emile Lahoud is sworn in as president, succeeding Ilyas al-Hirawi.

1978: First Israeli invasion
1982: Second Israeli invasion
1985: Israel pulls back to self-declared security zone
May 2000: Israel pulls out of south Lebanon

1998 4 December - Salim al-Huss becomes prime minister heading a cabinet which includes no militia leaders and only two ministers from the previous administration.

1999 3 June - South Lebanon Army (SLA) completes its withdrawal from the Jazzin salient (north of the "security zone") occupied since 1985.

2000 5 March - Israeli cabinet votes for the unilateral withrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon by July 2000.

2000 18 April - Israel releases 13 Lebanese prisoners held without trial for more than 10 years but extends the detention of Shaykh Abd-al-Karim Ubayd and Mustafa Dib al-Dirani.

Israeli withdrawal

2000 24 May - After the collapse of the SLA and the rapid advance of Hezbollah forces, Israel withdraws its troops from southern Lebanon, more than six weeks before its stated deadline of 7 July.

2000 25 May - 25 May declared an annual public holiday, called "Resistance and Liberation Day".

'Party of God' sees itself as defender of southern Lebanon

2000 October - Rafik Hariri takes office as prime minister for a second time.

2001 March - Lebanon begins pumping water from a tributary of the River Jordan to supply a southern border village despite opposition from Israel.

2002 January - Elie Hobeika, a key figure in the massacres of Palestinian refugees in 1982, dies in a blast shortly after disclosing that he held videotapes and documents challenging Israel's account of the massacres.

2002 September - Row with Israel over Lebanon's plan to divert water from a border river. Israel says it cannot tolerate the diversion of the Wazzani, which provides 10% of its drinking water, and threatens the use of military force.

2003 August - Car bomb in Beirut kills a member of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group. Hezbollah and a government minister blame Israel for the blast.

2004 September - UN Security Council resolution - aimed at Syria - demands that foreign troops leave Lebanon. Syria dismisses the move.

Parliament extends President Lahoud's term by three years. Weeks of political deadlock end with the unexpected departure of Rafiq Hariri - who had at first opposed the extension - as prime minister.

Hariri assassinated

2005 February - Former prime minister Rafik Hariri is killed by a car bomb in Beirut. The attack sparks anti-Syrian rallies and the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karami's cabinet. Calls for Syria to withdraw its troops intensify.

Syrian troops pulled out under international pressure

2005 March - Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese attend pro- and anti-Syrian rallies in Beirut.

Days after his resignation, pro-Syrian former PM Omar Karami is asked by the president to form a new government.

2005 April - Omar Karami resigns as PM after failing to form a government. He is succeeded by moderate pro-Syrian MP Najib Mikati.

Syria says its forces have left Lebanon, as demanded by the UN.

2005 June - Prominent journalist Samir Qasir, a critic of Syrian influence, is killed by a car bomb.

Anti-Syrian alliance led by Saad al-Hariri wins control of parliament following elections. New parliament chooses Hariri ally, Fouad Siniora, as prime minister.

George Hawi, anti-Syrian former leader of Lebanese Communist Party, is killed by a car bomb.

2005 July - Lebanese PM Siniora meets Syria's President Assad; both sides agree to rebuild relations.

Israeli attacks began after Hezbollah captured its soldiers

2005 September - Four pro-Syrian generals are charged over the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri.
2005 December - Prominent anti-Syrian MP and journalist Gibran Tueni is killed by a car bomb.

2006 February - Denmark's embassy in Beirut is torched during a demonstration against cartoons in a Danish paper satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

2006 July - Israel launches air and sea attacks on targets in Lebanon after Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group captures two Israeli soldiers. Civilian casualties are high and the damage to civilian infrastructure wide-ranging. Thousands of people are displaced. In August Israeli ground troops thrust into southern Lebanon.

2006 August - Truce between Israel and Hezbollah comes into effect on 14 August after 34 days of fighting and the deaths of around 1,000 Lebanese - mostly civilians - and 159 Israelis, mainly soldiers. A UN peacekeeping force, expected to consist of 15,000 foreign troops, begins to deploy along the southern border.

2006 September - Lebanese government forces deploy along the Israeli border for the first time in decades.

Power struggle

2006 November - Ministers from Hezbollah and the Amal movement resign shortly before the cabinet approves draft UN plans for a tribunal to try suspects in the killing of the former prime minister Hariri.

Leading Christian politician and government minister Pierre Gemayel is shot dead.

2006 December - Thousands of opposition demonstrators in Beirut demand the resignation of the government.

2007 January - Hezbollah-led opposition steps up pressure on the government to resign by calling general strike.

2007 March - Tent town which sprang up in central Beirut as part of the opposition sit-in to demand more say in government, remains in place 100 days after start of protest.

2007 May-September - Siege of the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared following clashes between militants and the military. More than 300 people die and 40,000 residents flee before the army gains control of the camp.

2007 May - UN Security Council votes to set up a tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of ex-premier Hariri.

2007 June - Anti-Syrian MP Walid Eido is killed in a bomb attack in Beirut.

2007 September - Anti-Syrian MP Antoine Ghanim is killed by a car bomb.

Parliament adjourns the session to elect a new president until 23 October, after a stay-away by the opposition pro-Syrian bloc.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/09/25 13:26:34 GMT


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 26 September 2007 )
< Prev   Next >

In Memory

Rafik Hariri
Rafik HaririIn Memory of Rafik Hariri, he rebuilt Beirut, at the time of his brutal Assassination Lebanon witnessed the birth of the Cedars Revolution
Gebran Tueni
Gebran TueniIn Memory of Gebran Tueni One of the most Prominent founders of the Cedars Revolution
Sheikh Pierre Gemayel
Sheikh Pierre GemayelIn Memory of Sheikh Pierre Gemayel Another Prominent founder of the Cedars Revolution
George Hawi
George HawiIn Memory of George Hawi another Anti-Syrian who supported the formation of the Cedars Revolution