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Lebanon, civil war, 1975–1990

Kristian Patrick Alexander


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The Lebanese Civil War went through various phases (approximately nine) of shifting alliances and changing issues. Two broad coalitions – the Lebanese Front and the Lebanese National Movement – opposed each other during the initial phase. The Lebanese Front was made up of mainly Christian Maronite groups, such as the Tigers of Camille Chamoun and Pierre Gemayel's Phalangist Party. The Phalange or Lebanese Kataeb Social Democratic Party was established in 1936 by Pierre Gemayel, a Maronite Christian, who very much symbolized the pro-western stance and anti-pan-Arab sentiments. Its goal was to drive out the Palestinians and maintain political dominance over the state. The Lebanese National Movement blended various parties ranging from centrist to extreme left, comprised of Kamal Jumblatt's PSP (Parti Socialist Populaire), the Lebanese Communist Party, the Syrian National Social Party, the Murabitun (Sunni Nationalist Party), and later the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Their broad objective was to support the Palestinian cause and reallocate constitutional power. In 1975 a fishermen's strike in Saida was the precipitating episode of hostilities. Struggling fishermen in Sidon called for peaceful demonstrations to oppose the licensing of a large Kuwaiti enterprise that would mechanize Lebanon's fishing industry. The fishermen were immediately threatened by the prospect of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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