Israel in Lebanon
The Report of the International
Commission to enquire into reported
violations of International Law by
Israel during its invasion of the Lebanon
The Siege of Beirut
The siege of Beirut was the logical outcome of Israel’s invasion of the Lebanon, the ultimate aim of which, made public only after the invasion got under way, was the destruction of the PLO. Only a siege could ‘completely eradicate the nerve centre of terrorism. . . the centre of international terrorism located in Beirut’, according to the Israeli Chief of Staff, General Eitan;[l] only a siege could ‘wipe out the PLO’. On 9 July on Israeli television, Deputy Prime Minister David Levy admitted that Beirut was necessarily one of the Israeli army’s goals from the outset.The Commission recognises that the siege of Beirut played a special part in the overall Israeli strategy for the invasion. As a result, there were special features associated with the siege which were not present in the earlier part of the invasion or in other regions of Lebanon. The siege was also an exceptional method of conducting warfare in modern times, aimed as it was against a civilian population with no real defence against the sophisticated fire-power of the forces of one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world.
The Commission has therefore considered it necessary to devote a special section of its Report to different aspects of the siege, although the subject