Natural resources, energy and environment
In Lebanon there are minerals, but only iron ore,
salt, calcium and gypsum are present in such quantities
that it is worthwhile to extract them. The country also
has assets of marble, sandstone and limestone but mining
has been halted due to environmental problems.
Lebanon derives its water mainly from caves beneath
the mountains of Lebanon and from the rivers Damour and
Antelias, which flow towards the Mediterranean. At the
end of the summer, there is often a water shortage in
the capital Beirut. In 2002, Lebanon began pumping water
from the Wazzani River, which also supplies Israel with
water, which increased tensions in the region. A planned
dam construction in the Awwali River a few miles south
of Beirut is intended to be financed through loans from
the World Bank and provide both drinking water and
irrigation, but there is an environmental opinion
against the construction.
Major exports by Lebanon with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Lebanon's energy needs are largely covered by
imported oil. Increased use of natural gas and green
energy is planned. Natural gas is imported from eg
Egypt. Large resources of oil and natural gas have been
discovered offshore in the waters between Israel and
Lebanon. However, it is unclear where the sea border
goes, and Lebanon has requested that the UN help clarify
the issue. The test drilling done has been promising and
interest from foreign companies is great, but the
government has postponed the issue of production
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Electricity production is not enough to meet the need
despite the electricity grid being connected to those of
neighboring countries. Electric resonance occurs,
especially during the summer when air conditioning
requires a lot of energy. Private companies often have
their own generators to cope with the constant power
Air and water pollution are major problems in
Lebanon. In the capital Beirut, the air is polluted by
emissions from traffic and incineration of industrial
waste. The water along the coasts is polluted by
garbage, impure wastewater discharged directly into the
sea and by oil spills from shipping (see
Calendar). Other problems are deforestation and
overgrazing of land within the livestock management,
which paves the way for soil degradation. It has also
been reported that illegal activities occur in quarries
where decisions have been made to stop mining.
Nature conservation organizations are very concerned
that large numbers of migratory birds are being killed
in Lebanon. For bird species such as storks and
pelicans, the death toll is very high, because they are
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1 335 kilograms of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
2888 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
24 070 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
4.3 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
3.6 percent (2015)
Syrian bomb attack
Three people lose their lives when Syrian bombers attack targets near the
city of Arsal. Syria regularly raids Arsal where Syrian rebels have taken
Relatives of prisoners require action
Relatives of the police and soldiers captured in Arsal in September are
blocking roads in Beirut and elsewhere and demanding that the authorities act to
free the prisoners. The unrest erupts since the rebels announce that another
prisoner has been executed.
Six soldiers killed
Six soldiers are killed in an ambush in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon.
The ambush is linked to the news that Lebanon in the city of Arsal has arrested
an ex-wife and a daughter of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Parliamentary elections are postponed
Parliament votes to postpone the parliamentary elections that would have been
held during the month; By a large majority, Parliament is voting to extend its
mandate to March 2017. The elections would have actually been held as early as
May 2013 but were postponed with reference to the deteriorating security
situation in the country. The same reasons for the decision are stated this
Agreement on weapons for the army
France and Saudi Arabia conclude an agreement on France to provide the
Lebanese army with $ 3 billion weapons while Saudi Arabia stands for the bill.
Deliveries are expected to start in early 2015.
Fighting in Tripoli requires several casualties
Two days of fighting in Tripoli between the Lebanese army and Islamist
militia require over 16 lives, including at least 5 civilians. It is one of the
most serious clashes in Lebanon related to the civil war in Syria.
Three soldiers are killed
Three soldiers are killed in various assaults during the month, two of them
Bomb against Israeli patrol
Hezbollah detonates a bomb against an Israeli patrol near the disputed area
of the Sheba farms in the south and two Israelis are injured. Israel answers
the attack by airstrikes against Hezbollah's positions in southern Lebanon.
According to Hezbollah, the attack is a revenge for one of the movement's
members killed in an Israeli blast in southern Lebanon in September.
Struggles between Hezbollah and Syrian rebels
A firefight erupts in the mountains east of the city of Baalbek between
Hezbollah and rebels from Syria. The fighting requires at least eight Hezbollah
deaths, while "dozens" of Syrians are killed according to Hezbollah.
The violence continues
A Hezbollah member is killed as he approaches an object in southern Lebanon
suspected of being an Israeli interceptor. The man loses his life when Israel
blasts the device in the distance.
At least three people are killed when a suicide bomber attacks a roadblock in
the Beka Valley manned by Hezbollah.
A soldier is shot to death in the city of Tripoli when armed Sunni Muslims
attack an army posting. The attack is part of a pattern of attacks against
extremist soldiers accusing the Lebanese army of supporting Hezbollah.
Prisoners are executed
Two more of the prisoners taken by the al-Nusra front and IS during the Arsal
battle in August are executed.
Lebanon supports fight against IS
Lebanon, along with other states in the region, promises to support the US
fight against the Islamic State, which has taken control of much of Iraq and
Syria and has made itself known for extremely brutal methods. The countries
pledge to join the military fight against IS and to stop recruits trying to get
to IS via their territory. The countries also undertake to stop money subsidies
Saad Hariri returns to Lebanon from his exile. Among other things, he will
oversee that a Saudi $ 1 billion donation will benefit Lebanon's army. The
donation is intended to strengthen the army against the threat of extremist
IS attacks Arsal
Around 60 people are killed and thousands of residents flee as Syrian rebels
from the al-Nusra front and Islamic State attack the city of Arsal in the Bekaa
Valley as it borders Syria. The rebels occupy buildings in the city and demand
the release of one of the group's leaders who were arrested at a nearby
roadblock. The Lebanese army sends troops and the fighting extends over several
days before a ceasefire is reached and the rebels are reported to withdraw. Two
thirds of the victims are civilians. The others are government soldiers. The
number of injured or killed among the rebels is unknown. 30 soldiers and police
are captured by the rebels who threaten to execute them unless Hezbollah stops
supporting the regime in Syria. They also demand that Islamists in Lebanese
prisons be released. When they are not heard for their demands, a Lebanese
soldier is beheaded by IS. The murder is filmed and posted on the Internet.
Islamist group threatens to attack churches
The Group of the Free Sunnite Brigade in Baalbek states that it is loyal to
the extremist Islamist group Islamic State which has proclaimed a caliphate in
Iraq and Syria. The Brigade announces that it intends to attack Christian
churches in the Beka Valley.
Lebanon receives criticism from Amnesty
Human rights organization Amnesty International accuses Lebanon of
discriminating against Syrian Palestinians seeking protection in the country.
According to Amnesty, border inspectors set a string of almost unattainable
requirements to allow Palestinians to enter. The Lebanese authorities deny that
this would be the case.
More suicide bombings
A few days later, a young man dies from the security service when he stops a
suspected suicide bomber outside a Beirut cafe. 12 people are injured in the
attack. Another man blasts himself into the air as the security service storms
his hotel room. Ten people are injured.
Bomb attack at roadblock
A suicide bomber brings a person to death when he blasts himself into the air
at a roadblock on the highway between Beirut and Syria's capital Damascus. The
attack takes place shortly after a vehicle column has passed with a senior
security officer who is considered to be Hezbollah close.
The President resigns
President Michel Suleiman resigns when his term expires on May 25 without
Parliament being able to appoint a successor. Prime Minister Tamam Salam takes
over as interim president.
New visa rules
Lebanon issues new visa rules that make it harder for Palestinians from Syria
to enter the country.
A presidential vote is absent
On April 23, a vote will be held in Parliament to appoint a new president.
Rivals for the presidential post are two Christian politicians, Michel Aoun (see
June 2009) and Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese forces
Christian Party. Aoun is backed by Hezbollah and the March 8 movement, while
anti-Syrian Geagea is backed by the March 14 alliance. However, no vote can be
held as not enough members appear. In order for the vote to take place,
two-thirds of the members must be present.
A new vote is announced until April 30, but no candidate can be appointed now
either. The next vote is postponed until May.
Fighting in refugee camps
Nine people are killed in fighting between two armed groups in a Palestinian
refugee camp on April 6. One of those killed should be a Palestinian relief
worker. More than 400,000 Palestinians live in various refugee camps in Lebanon.
New law prohibits domestic violence
On 1 April Parliament voted in favor of a law that prohibits domestic
violence. This is done after years of lobbying by women's rights organizations.
Sections of Lebanese society have traditionally seen violence against women and
children as socially and religiously accepted. The law was described as
"historical" by Human Rights Watch. The organization points out that the law is
too vague to guarantee women's safety, but still calls it a milestone on the
The army intervenes in Tripoli
The Lebanese army launches troops with helicopters in Tripoli to stifle the
violence that has sprung up in the city as a result of the civil war in Syria
(see February 2012).
UN coordinator appeals for help to refugees
Ross Mountain, which coordinates UN support for Lebanon, appeals to the
outside world for more help to Syrian refugees in the country. To date, more
than one million people have moved from Syria to Lebanon, half of them children.
The UN estimates that there will be another half a million people by the end of
the year. According to a study by the World Bank, the refugee crisis has cost
Lebanon more than $ 7 billion through reduced trade and tourism.
Suicide bombing at border with Syria
On March 30, three soldiers were killed in a suicide attack at a border post
against Syria. According to reports, the attack was carried out by the Sunni
al-Nusra Front, which operates in both Syria and Lebanon. The subject should
have been the Lebanese army's alleged cooperation with Hezbollah, which in turn
supports the Assad regime, after the deed announces the Lebanese army that it
intends to intensify its efforts to fight against " jihadists " in Lebanon.
Violence in Tripoli
On several occasions in March, violence erupted between Alawites and Sunni
Muslims in the port city of Tripoli in the north. At least 30 people, most
civilians, are reported to have been killed. The unrest continues even after
Lebanon deployed security forces to curb the violence.
New government approved after disagreements
Parliament approves the new government (see February 2014)
with 94 votes in favor and four against. The process has dragged on over time
due to disagreement over what military role Hezbollah should have. Hezbollah,
which has not been disarmed since the end of the civil war in 1990, has a
military capability that exceeds the regular army, and the March 14 alliance
wants during the negotiations for Hezbollah's weapons arsenal to be put under
state review. The discussion ends with a compromise, and Hezbollah is allowed to
keep its weapon.
Israeli attack against Hezbollah
Israel strikes targets in Lebanon since Hezbollah has attacked an Israeli
patrol near the border with explosive charges. Hezbollah's attack is believed to
be a revenge for the Israeli attack in February against Hezbollah in the Bekaa
Valley. No man is reported to have been injured in the attacks.
Sunni Muslim targets are bombed by Syria
Syrian helicopters bomb targets near the Sunni Muslim village of Arsal on the
Lebanese side of the border. Many of Arsal's residents support the rebellion
against Syrian President Assad and the city is used as a hiding place by Syrian
rebel groups. Arsal is also located along one of the roads used by the rebels to
smuggle weapons in and out of Syria.
Israel is said to have bombed the Hezbollah stronghold
Lebanese security sources say Israel bombed one of Hezbollah's strongholds in
the Bekaa Valley at the Lebanon-Syria border. If the information is correct,
according to AFP, the first time Israel bombs targets in Lebanon since the
summer of 2006 (see Modern History). As a rule, Israel does not officially
comment on reports of this kind, but an Israeli security source states that the
target was a missile transport. The missile in question could carry far more
powerful charges than those previously sent by Hezbollah across the border to
Israel. Four people are said to have lost their lives in the attack and
Hezbollah promises to take revenge.
Suicide bombing near Iranian cultural center
At least four people are killed and dozens injured when two concerted suicide
attacks are carried out near an Iranian cultural center in southern Beirut,
where Hezbollah is strong. One man in a car and another man on a motorcycle
blast themselves in the air in various places at the center.
After ten months of negotiations, Tamam Salam manages to form a government
with both the March 8 movement dominated by Hezbollah and Said Hariri's March 14
alliance. Both groups receive eight ministerial posts each. The remaining eight
items go to people described as politically neutral, including the only female
One more charged with murder investigation
A fifth member of Hezbollah is indicted in his absence for involvement in the
assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri (see January 2014 and
February 2005). The ongoing trial against four other defendants is thus
postponed for a few months so that the defense of the fifth person can prepare
for the negotiations.
Young man convicted for statement on Twitter
A young man is sentenced to two months in prison for insulting President
Suleiman on Twitter. The convict has written in a message that the president is
"politically neutered". This is the first time anyone has been convicted of
making a statement on social media, but similar statements in other contexts
have also led to prison sentences.
Attacks against Hezbollah
Four people lose their lives in a new attack on one of Hezbollah's
strongholds. In addition to the deaths, at least 15 people are injured when a
suicide bomber triggers an explosive charge in a car near a petrol station in
the city of Hermel in northeast Lebanon. It is the seventh assault against
Hezbollah since the movement engaged on that side of the regime in the war in
New fighting between Alawites and Sunni Muslims in the city of Tripoli
requires ten lives.
Trial against prosecuted Hezbollah members begins
Four people are killed when a car bomb explodes in Hezbollah-controlled area
in southern Beirut. A group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon
takes on the blame for the deed (see December 2013).
The Islamist group Isis (later Islamic State) also announces
that it will start operating in Lebanon.