Lebanon. It took Lebanon over eight months of negotiations before a new government could be in place by the end of January. Admittedly, at the May 2018 parliamentary elections, which was the first in nine years, the Shiite group received 70 of the Parliament’s 128 seats along with its allies. But since the Lebanese constitution says that the Prime Minister’s post must be held by a Sunni Muslim, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri could remain. His party, the Future Movement, had lost more than a third of its seats in the election. After a month had passed of the new year, al-Hariri formed a unifying government, where Ali Hassan continued as finance minister and Gebran Bassil as foreign minister. For the first time, the Interior Minister became a woman, Raya al-Hassan. A total of four ministerial posts of 30 went to women.
Lebanon’s high government debt of the equivalent of SEK 800 million, corruption and failed reforms in community service led to massive protest demonstrations in October. The protesters demanded the departure of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, an end to corruption and substandard social services (for example, healthcare, communications, electricity and water). The drop that got the goblet over would have been a government proposal to introduce a tax on phone calls via the WhatsApp app.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: Click to see the meanings of 3-letter acronym and abbreviation of LBN in general and in geography as Lebanon in particular.
Once the government had agreed on a reform package to solve the country’s economic crisis, it was too late. Admittedly, the reform package did not entail any increase in taxes or fees for citizens – instead, the banks, including the central bank, would contribute $ 3.3 billion to the budget. In addition, the government and others in the political leadership would receive halved compensation. But that wasn’t enough. At the end of October, Prime Minister al-Hariri resigned with the words: “I have reached the end of the road.”
In November, however, al-Hariri still led a transitional government, though without adequate political information, such as what the protesters demand, an expert-led government. The protest movement in Lebanon is reminiscent of similar movements that are currently taking place around the world – Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq and Chile – they are all leaderless and bridging religious and ethnic contradictions.
At the end of December, information came out that former Lebanese minister Hassan Diab was appointed new prime minister. President Michel Aoun has asked him to form a government after the departing Saad al-Hariri, a government that will probably consist of experts and independent people – all to save the country’s economic disaster.
July 2006. Israel launches war against Lebanon
On July 12, Israel launched a large-scale attack on Lebanon. The attack had been under planning for 1-2 years and just needed a pretext to get started. The attack plans were accelerated due to US plans to attack Iran. Israel and the United States acknowledged that a North American attack on Iran will trigger rocket attacks on Israel from Hezbollah’s rocket batteries in Lebanon. These should therefore be put out of play before an attack by the United States on Iran.
Therefore, on July 12, Israel sent a unit across the border to Lebanon. Hezbollah captured 2 of the invading soldiers and killed five Israeli soldiers who tried to rescue their comrades. Hezbollah declared that the two arrested soldiers could be exchanged against Lebanese political prisoners in Israel. Prison exchanges that have occasionally been conducted between the two parties since the 1990s. However, it was blatantly rejected by Israel, who had a completely different agenda.
(Seymour Hersh: Annals of National Security. Watching Lebanon (The New Yorker August 21, 2006))
Israel now had its pretext, and launched its planned attack on Lebanon. It was launched with massive attacks on southern Lebanon and the capital Beirut. bombed the country’s international airport – for the first time in 10 years. In the discourse of Israel – and in the Western media – the attack was referred to as a campaign, not as a war, and the goal as Hezbollah. However, the reality was quite another. Throughout the 32-day war, Israel used its total dominion in the air to bomb Lebanon’s infrastructure: roads, bridges, power plants, electricity supplies and large urban areas. Israel was targeted by killing as many civilians as possible with bombing of neighborhoods and refugees’ convoys. Managed. About 1100 Lebanese civilians were killed – in front of 41 civilians killed in Israel.rogue state.
From the beginning of the war, Israel declared openly that the goal was to crush Hezbollah politically and militarily. To ensure this, Israel should spend 8-10 days. Someone had forgotten that Israel tried the same in vain in 1982-2000, while occupying greater or lesser parts of Lebanon. Throughout the war, Israel and the United States also reduced this goal and the deadlines continued to grow. On the last day of the war, Hezbollah fired 250 rockets into Israel – the highest number in the entire war – and thus clearly indicated that the organization’s attack capability was unimpeded.
While Hezbollah previously rarely sent Katyuasha rockets over Israel, after Israel’s attack, this became a daily occurrence with 50-250 daily attacks sending 300,000 Israelis on the run. While Hezbollah had not previously sent rockets deeper into Israel, the organization now sent rockets over the port city of Haifa and even further south. It fell completely behind the Israeli military analysts. They also realized that Hezbollah was able to hit and lower several Israeli naval vessels participating in the blockade of Lebanon.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Lebanon in 2019 was 6,855,602, ranking number 108 in the world. The population growth rate was -0.050% yearly, and the population density was 670.1577 people per km2.