Lebanon [Updated September 4, 2007]   [open pdf - 236KB]

"The United States and Lebanon continue to enjoy good relations. Prominent current issues between the United States and Lebanon include progress toward a Lebanon-Israel peace treaty, U.S. aid to Lebanon, and Lebanon's capacity to stop Hezbollah militia attacks on Israel. The United States supports Lebanon's independence and favored the end of Israeli and Syrian occupation of parts of Lebanon. Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon on May 23, 2000, and Syria completed withdrawing its forces on April 26, 2005. Regional tensions increased in mid-2006, however, as clashes between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza territory spread to Lebanon. In July, Hezbollah rocket attacks against Israel and capture of two Israeli soldiers prompted large-scale Israeli bombing of Hezbollah positions and Lebanese infrastructure. On August 11, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1701, which ended the fighting and created an expanded international peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Sectarian and political factionalism has continued, however, with periodic escalation of tension. […] On May 30, 2007, a divided U.N. Security Council voted to establish a special tribunal outside Lebanon to try suspects in the Hariri case. Meanwhile, in late May 2007, frictions between the Lebanese Army and a splinter Palestinian faction known as Fatah al-Islam, based in a refugee camp in northern Lebanon, led to an outbreak of fighting and exacerbated already existing internal tensions. To help Prime Minister Siniora deal with current challenges, the Bush Administration requested a large increase in U.S. assistance, ultimately contained in H.R. 2206 (P.L. 110-28). Meanwhile, a radical Palestinian group mounted further challenges to the government of Prime Minister Siniora."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL33509
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