Arafat was trying to suggest that the PLO was a reasonable and moderate organisation that was willing to negotiate with Israel. Most Israelis did not believe this. Furthermore many members of the PLO disagreed with Arafat's new approach. They were called 'Rejectionists' and they refused to accept anything less than the destruction of Israel.
Coastal Road Massacre
11 March 1978
13 PLO militants - all members of Fatah - decided to seize a luxury seaside hotel in Tel Aviv. Aim was to take tourists as hostages to exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. Militants arrived by boat north of Tel Aviv. They walked to main road, hijacked a bus and shot at passing cars as they drove to Tel Aviv. They were stopped by an Israeli police block.
38 Israeli civilians were killed.
15 March 1978
In retaliation to the Coastal Road Massacre Israel invaded Lebanon with over 26,000 troops to create a buffer zone in the South of Lebanon and to destroy PLO bases there so that they could protect northern Israel from PLO attacks.
1,100 Palestinians and Lebanese died during Operation Litani
Most of whom were innocent as Arafat had asked PLO fighters to move north and out of the way.
UN Organised Ceasefire
PLO had acquired heavy weapons from the USSR. This included long range artillery, rocket launchers and anti-aircraft missiles.
Any IDF raid on a PLO base in Lebanon was answered with rocket attacks on Israeli farming settlements and towns in Galilee. By mid-1981 these attacks, reprisals and counter-reprisals that the PLO and Israel were effectively at war. That is why the UN had to intervene and broker a ceasefire.
Assassination Attempt of Israeli Ambassador in London
2 June 1982
Operation Peace For Galilee
6 June 1982
70,000 troops, 800 tanks and 350 fighter jets invaded Lebanon. Israel claimed its aim was to stop further attacks by destroying PLO bases and establishing a buffer zone of 45km in South Lebanon.
Israel went further than these aims. They rapidly drove north, bombing towns as they went along. 300,000 Lebanese lost their homes and 12,000 were killed.
Israeli forces surrounded Beirut - this was where the PLO headquarters were. They bombed Beirut for 2 months and also cut off food, water and electricity supply for those 2 months. 20,000 innocent Lebanese civilians were killed.
The true aim of Israel was to actually install the leader of the Christian Phalange Party - Bachir Gemayel as president who was pro-Israeli and would be a friendly neighbour to them
Removal of PLO from Lebanon
USA, France and Italy supervised evacuation of 11,500 Palestinian fighters from Beirut by ship. Most including Yasser Arafat went to Tunisia. PLO headquarters were now in Tunis.
Sabra and Shatila Massacre
Ariel Sharon - Israeli Defence Minister - was not satisfied. Announced that 2,00 PLO terrorist remained in the refugee camps. In 2 weeks after PLO had been evacuated IDF forces surrounded two camps of Sabra and Shatila. They prevented anyone from leaving camps. Then let in Christian Phalange forces to find any remaining fighters. Phalange forces were angry as Bachir Gemayel was assassinated 2 days ago. A 2 day massacre followed were 3,500 innocent civilians were brutally tortured and murdered. Israeli forces did not actually commit the crime, but they knew what was happening inside the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Creation of Hezbollah
Was funded by Iran. Their original aim was to force Israel out of Lebanon. Hezbollah continued to wage a guerrilla war against Israel because Israel still occupied a strip of Lebanon.
Single Event Leading to First Intifada
An Israeli market trader was stabbed to death. The next day an IDF truck crashed into two vans carrying Palestinians home from work. This killed 4 and wounded 7. Rumours spread that the crash had been a deliberate act. There was rioting at the funerals and an Israeli guard post was stoned. When another Palestinian was killed 3 days later, hundreds marched through the streets in protest. Within 2 weeks the rioting had spread to the West Bank. A massive uprising, the Intifada had started, and it was going to last for 5 years.
King Hussein and West Bank
King Hussein renounced Jordan's claims to the West Bank. This meant that Arafat could propose the West Bank as the heart of a new Palestinian state.
Arafat Announces Change in PLO Policy
The PLO now recognised the existence of Israel and adopted a two state solution. An independent Israeli state and an independent Palestinian state which would have Jerusalem as its capital.
Arafat's Second Speech to the UN
On the USA's insistence Arafat made a speech to the UN renouncing and condemning all terrorism. He was proving he was genuinely interested in seeking a peaceful solution. He called for the withdrawal fo Israel from all occupied territories and asked them to join him in negotiations.
Invasion of Kuwait
Iraq under the Saddam Hussein regime invaded and occupied Kuwait. This invasion was condemned by the world.
Creation of US-led Coalition Against Iraq
A UN-approved, US-led coalition of 34 countries launched Operation Desert Storm and expelled Iraqis from Kuwait.
Madrid Peace Conference
There was a joint sponsored peace conference held in Madrid by the USSR and the US. Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Palestinians, and Jordan were all invited to attend.
The USSR came to an end and so did the Cold War.
Arafat's Plane Crash
Arafat's plane crashed in the desert in Libya because of a sandstorm. People though he was dead for 12 hours. But he wasn't actually dead and it restored Arafat's image as leader of the Palestinian cause.
New Israeli Government
Rabin administration won the 1992 elections. Rabin was prepared to compromise with the PLO.
First Hamas Suicide Bombing
First Hamas suicide bombing took place in Israel. Hamas completely unwilling to negotiate with Israel. It saw Palestinian struggle as holy war. Compared to Hamas, Arafat could be seen as a moderate.
Oslo Peace Accords
Solution over next 5 years
Israel accepted PLO as representative of Palestinian people and Arafat could return from Tunis.
PLO renounced violence and accepted Israel's rich to exist.
Set up the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) - run by PLO at first then members would be democratically elected by Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.
Over next 5 years Israeli forces would gradually withdraw from parts of the West Bank and transfer responsibility for governance over to the PNA.
At same time negotiations on difficult issues like borders and Palestinians in refugee camps in neighbouring countries.
A permanent peace treaty to be created.
Made to add details to parts that were vague in the Oslo Peace Accords (1993).
Gaza was made to be fully part of Palestine.
West Bank was split into 3 areas.
Area A: 3% of land of West Bank under PNA control.
Area B: 25% of land under joint Palestinian civil control and Israeli military control
Area C: Rest of West Bank completely under Israeli control
Arafat Elected As President
Even though the elections were boycotted by Hamas, vote turnout remained high.