DUBAI, 19 Jan 2006 (IRIN) – 24 May 2000: The Israeli army retreats from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation, although Israeli troops remain in the disputed Shebaa Farms region in the foothills of Mount Hermon.

27 August 2000: The first of two rounds of Lebanese legislative elections take place.

7 October 2000: The Shi


24 January 2002: Elie Hobeika, a former Christian warlord, is killed by a car bomb. The assassination takes place a few days after Hobeika announces his intention to testify in a Belgian court case in which the latter stands accused of war crimes for his role in the 1982 massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.


3 August 2003: A car bomb kills a senior Hizbullah member in Beirut.


29 January 2004: Hizbullah and Israel implement a landmark prisoner exchange. Tel Aviv releases 450 Lebanese, Palestinian and other Arab prisoners, as well as the remains of 60 Lebanese militants, in return for a captured Israeli army colonel and the remains of three Israeli soldiers.

May 2004: Local elections are held with a low voter turnout. In the south, Hizbullah wins in 87 out of 142 contested municipalities.

19 July 2004: A senior Hizbullah leader, Ghaleb Awali, is killed by a car bomb in Beirut.

26 August 2004: Prime Minister Rafik Hariri meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss an extension of pro-Syrian Lebanese President Emile Lahoud’s term of office.

2 September 2004: The UN Security Council adopts resolution 1559 which, among other things, calls for the departure of all foreign troops from Lebanon and the disarmament of all armed militias present in the country.

3 September 2004: Parliament approves a temporary change in the constitution allowing President Emile Lahoud to stay in office for another three years. Many observers see the amendment as the result of Syrian pressure.

7 September 2004: Four ministers, including Marwan Hamadeh, resign in protest at the presidential extension.

1 October 2004: Telecommunications minister Marwan Hamadeh survives an assassination attempt in Beirut.

4 October 2004: Prime Minister Rafik Hariri resigns his position in protest at the extension of Emile Lahoud’s presidential term.

20 October 2004: President Emile Lahoud accepts Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s resignation and appoints Omar Karami in his place.


28 January 2005: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1583, calling upon the Lebanese government "to fully extend and exercise its authority throughout south Lebanon, which includes the deployment of sufficient numbers of armed forces to ensure a calm environment throughout the area."

14 February 2005: Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 22 others are killed by a massive bomb explosion in central Beirut.

15 February 2005: Anti-Syrian Lebanese groups take to the streets, demanding the departure of Syrian military and intelligence, whom they accuse of involvement in the Hariri killing.

25 February 2005: A UN fact-finding mission led by Peter Fitzgerald arrives in Beirut to investigate the circumstances of the assassination.

1 March 2005: Amid massive anti-government and anti-Syria demonstrations in the capital, Prime Minister Omar Karami resigns.

8 March 2005: A Hizbullah-sponsored demonstration brings some 500,000 people onto the streets of Beirut to counter ongoing anti-Syria rallies. In a speech, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah thanks Syria for its support for the resistance against Israeli occupation.

11 March 2005: Omar Karami is reinstated as prime minister.

14 March 2005: More than a million people assemble in downtown Beirut calling for the withdrawal of the Syrian presence from Lebanon.

19 March 2005: A bomb explodes in Jdeideh, a predominantly Christian area, north of Beirut.

24 March 2005: The UN fact-finding mission questions the credibility of the Lebanese authorities leading the Hariri investigation. The report calls for the launch of an international investigation.

26 March 2005: A bomb explodes in an industrial area in east Beirut.

1 April 2005: A bomb explodes in a commercial centre in the mountain town of Broumana.

7 April 2005: The UN Security Council adopts Resolution 1595, which condemns "the terrorist attack" that killed Rafik Hariri. It goes on to establish an international commission "to assist the Lebanese in their investigation to identify the perpetrators, sponsors and organisers behind the attack."

14 April 2005: Omar Karami again resigns as Prime Minister.

26 April 2005: The last Syrian troops withdraw from Lebanon after a 29-year presence in the country.

7 May 2005: Former Lebanese Prime Minister General Michel Aoun returns to Lebanon after 14 years of exile in France.

26 May 2005: German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis arrives in Lebanon to head the UN’s investigation commission.

29 May 2005: The first of four rounds of legislative elections takes place, representing the first political contest in 30 years to be held in the absence of the Syrian army.

2 June 2005: Samir Kassir, a leading journalist for independent daily An Nahar, is assassinated.

21 June 2005: Former communist party leader George Hawi is assassinated.

30 June 2005: Newly appointed Prime Minister Fouad Siniora forms a cabinet of 23 ministers. For the first time, Hizbullah, represented in parliament since 1992, takes part in governing the country.

12 July 2005: Defence Minister Elias Murr is subject to a failed assassination attempt.

16 June 2005: The UN investigation led by Detlev Mehlis officially begins its enquiry.

26 July 2005: The former leader of a Christian militia known as the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, is released after 11 years in prison, having been falsely accused of a 1994 bombing of a church in the Christian area of Jounieh.

22 August 2005: A bomb explodes in a commercial area north of Beirut.

2 September 2005: Four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals are detained, accused of being involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

16 September 2005: A bomb explodes in a residential area in east Beirut, killing one person.

25 September 2005: A failed assassination attempt targets prominent television presenter May Chidiac, who is seriously injured by a car bomb.

19 October 2005: The UN investigation presents its first report to the UN Security Council, which notes "converging evidence pointing at both Lebanese and Syrian involvement" in the Hariri assassination. The report calls for an extension of the enquiry.

25 October 2005: UN Special Envoy Terje Roed-Larsen presents his second biannual report on the implementation of Resolution 1559 to the Security Council. The report hails the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon but notes "the disbanding and disarming of Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias" and "the extension of government control throughout all of Lebanon" have yet to be implemented.

21 November 2005: Hizbullah launches its biggest assault on Israeli troops in the disputed Shebaa Farms area since October 2000.

11 December 2005: The UN investigation team presents its second report to the Security Council, presenting further evidence that high-ranking Syrian intelligence officials may have been involved in the Hariri assassination. The report also criticises an alleged lack of Syrian cooperation with investigators.

12 December 2005: A car bomb kills the publisher of independent daily An Nahar and MP Gibran Tueni.

15 December 2005: Detlev Mehlis steps down as head of the UN investigation team, citing personal and professional reasons.