israeli occupation of southern lebanon
south lebanon security zone
|common languages||arabic · french|
|religion ||islam · christianity · druze faith|
|historical era||lebanese civil war and south lebanon conflict (1985–2000)|
• israeli withdrawal from southern lebanon
|currency||lebanese pound, old israeli shekel|
| preceded by
||free lebanon state
|today part of|| lebanon|
the israeli occupation of southern lebanon took place after israel invaded lebanon during the 1982 lebanon war and subsequently retained its forces to support the christian south lebanon army in southern lebanon. in 1982, the israeli defense forces (idf) and allied free lebanon army christian militias seized large sections of lebanon, including the capital of beirut, amid the hostilities of the wider lebanese civil war. later, israel withdrew from parts of the occupied area between 1983 and 1985, but remained in partial control of the border region known as the south lebanon security belt, initially in coordination with the self-proclaimed free lebanon state, which executed a limited authority over portions of southern lebanon until 1984, and later with the south lebanon army (transformed from free lebanon army), until the year 2000. israel's stated purpose for the security belt was to create a space separating its northern border towns from terrorists residing in lebanon.
during the stay in the security belt, the idf held many positions and supported the sla. the sla took over daily life in the security zone, initially as the official force of the free lebanon state and later as an allied militia. notably, the south lebanon army controlled the prison in khiam. in addition, united nations (un) forces and the united nations interim force in lebanon (unifil) were deployed to the security belt (from the end of operation litani in 1978).
the strip was a few kilometres wide, and consisted of about 10% of the total territory of lebanon, which housed about 150,000 people who lived in 67 villages and towns made up of shiites, maronites and druze (most of whom lived in the town of hasbaya). in the central zone of the strip was the maronite town marjayoun, which was the capital of the security belt. residents remaining in the security zone had many contacts with israel, many of whom have worked there and received various services from israel.