Key Events in Lebanon-Israel Conflict
Wednesday, July 12, 2006; 3:11 PM
-- A look at major events between Lebanon and Israel:
_ 1978: Israeli forces invade south Lebanon to attack Palestinian guerrillas, retaliating for an attack on an Israeli bus that killed more than 35 people near Tel Aviv. U.N. Security Council calls for Israeli withdrawal and an international peacekeeping force for south Lebanon.
_ 1982: Israel invades again, this time occupying part of Beirut. Israeli attacks leave up to 14,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians dead. Shiite Muslims form the militant group Hezbollah, which becomes the main opposition to the Israeli occupation.
_ 1982: In September, the Israeli army moves into Beirut a day after Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel is killed in a bomb explosion. Israeli-allied Christian militiamen massacre hundreds of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Chatila refugee camps.
_ 1985: Israel retreats south, but sets up a border buffer zone in south Lebanon. Israel trades three Israeli soldiers captured by Palestinian guerrillas in 1982 for 1,150 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.
_ 1986: Israeli warplane shot down in south Lebanon, navigator Ron Arad captured by Shiite guerrillas. His fate remains unclear, but he is presumed dead.
_ 1992: Israeli jets kill Hezbollah leader Sheik Abbas Mussawi. The group chooses current leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah.
_ 1993: In July, Israel launches its heaviest artillery and air assault on south Lebanon since 1982 in bid to eradicate Hezbollah and Palestinian guerrillas.
_ 1994: Israeli troops abduct Lebanese guerrilla leader Mustafa Dirani, hoping to use him to get information about missing Israeli Ron Arad. Israeli aircraft strike a Hezbollah base, killing about 50 guerrillas.
_ 1996: In April Israel launches an operation in another bid to end guerrilla attacks. Israeli jets also strike Lebanese power stations. Israeli artillery kills more than 100 Lebanese civilians sheltering at a U.N. base in Qana, south Lebanon.
_ 1997: Twelve Israeli soldiers killed in commando raid on south Lebanon.
_ 2000: In May, Israeli troops withdraw from buffer zone, ending 18 years of occupation. In October, Hezbollah captures three Israeli soldiers, later found dead, in a border attack. Later the group kidnaps an Israeli businessman.
_ 2004: Hezbollah swaps the Israeli businessman and the remains of the three Israeli soldiers for 436 Arab prisoners, including Dirani, and the bodies of 59 Lebanese fighters. Israel still holds at least three Lebanese prisoners and Hezbollah vows to win their release.
_ 2006: On July 12, Hezbollah kidnaps two Israeli soldiers in cross-border raid. Israel responds by sending in tanks and by bombing bridges and roads in south Lebanon to try to prevent the hostages from being taken north.