1982: After an incursion four years earlier, Israel invades and occupies the south of Lebanon, including Beirut, to prevent Palestinian attacks. This leads to the suspension of peace initiatives, and the pro-Israeli Christian South Lebanon Army (SLA) commits a series of massacres and human rights abuses.
1983: Israel agrees to a partial withdrawal and the establishment of a security or “buffer” zone in southern Lebanon.
1985: Most Israeli troops are withdrawn, but the SLA continues to operate in the security zone with the support of some soldiers.
1992: Israel assassinates the secretary-general of Hezbollah, Sheikh Abbas al-Musawi, with a missile fired from a helicopter gunship.
1993: Israel carries out its heaviest attack on Lebanon in more than a decade with the intention of wiping out Hezbollah.
1996: Israel bombs Hezbollah bases in southern Lebanon as part of the “Grapes of Wrath” operation.
2000: Israel’s prime ministe,r Ehud Barak, announces the withdrawal of troops from southern Lebanon earlier than scheduled after advances by Hezbollah.
2002: Israel threatens a return to military action against Lebanon after a disagreement over the Wazzani river, which provides 10% of Israel’s drinking water.
The conflict timeline
1. Israel strikes Beirut airport and targets in the city’s southern suburbs, killing at least 50 people after Hezbollah’s abduction of two soldiers.
2. Two Israelis are killed as Hezbollah rockets hit Nahariya and other northern towns including Haifa.
3. Israeli naval ships blockade Lebanese ports, cutting off trade and tourist routes.
2006, July 12: Hezbollah abducts two Israeli soldiers.
A further eight are killed as the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, orders his forces to recover the kidnapped troops in Israel’s first ground offensive since the withdrawal in 2000.
Olmert describes the abductions as an “act of war”.
July 13: Israeli jets bomb the runways of Beirut’s international airport causing its closure and diversion of flights to Cyprus.
Missiles are fired at Hezbollah targets in Beirut’s southern suburbs and at the group’s Al Manar television station.
At least 50 civilians are killed in attacks across the country.
Israeli navy ships blockade all major ports along the Lebanese coast, cutting off trade.
Two Israelis are killed as Hezbollah fires more than 100 rockets at towns across northern Israel, including the country’s third-largest city, Haifa, about 35km from the border.
Russia, the EU, Iran and some Arab states condemn the attacks but the US president, George Bush, says Tel Aviv has the right to defend itself.
July 14: Israeli air strikes kill three civilians and wound 55 more according to police. Further strikes hit Beirut’s international airport.
Israel rules out any prisoner exchange with Hezbollah.