Pines Operation

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Military project in preparation between 1980 and 1981 by the Israeli defense minister, Ariel Sharon, and the general staff of the Israel Defense Force, headed by Raphael Eitan. This plan provided for the invasion of Lebanon, so as to neutralize, definitively, the terrorist actions of Palestinian movements in this country. Thereby deprived of the support of armed resistance, the Palestinian population of the territories would no longer be able to oppose the establishment of a limited autonomy, one that perpetuated the Israeli occupation. Israeli military experts, however, considered that this would be an opportunity to resolve the Syrian issue also: Either Damascus would decide to intervene, resulting in a sure defeat for the Syrian army, or Syria would not intervene, becoming scorned by the Arab world. In either case, the Syrian influence in Lebanon would be greatly reduced. When it was first presented to the Israeli government on 20 December, 1981, the plan was rejected, at least for the time being.