New figures emerge on the cost in lives of Israel's war in Lebanon

As Lebanon recovers from last summer's violence - and tries to instill order in areas still beset by factional fighting - new, more authorative estimates of the cost of Israel's invasion are being made.

Lebanese police now say that between June 4 and Aug. 31, 1982 - a period ranging from the first Israeli bombing raids until completion of the Palestinian withdrawal - 19,085 people were killed and 30,302 wounded. In Beirut alone 6,775 died, 84 percent of them civilians, the police report. This reflects the grim two-month Israeli siege and repeated bombing and shelling of the capital city.

In southern Lebanon, which the Israeli Army blitzed through in less than two weeks, only 20 percent of the dead were civilians, the rest were Palestinian, Syrian, or Lebanese fighters.

Another 328 people are known to have been killed in the mid-September massacres at Beirut's Palestinian camps, and 991 are missing.

The Israeli Army, meanwhile, says 446 of its soldiers were killed and 2,383 wounded between June 4 and Nov. 19.

The Lebanese government estimates that physical damage from the invasion amounted to $1.9 billion. Housing alone accounting for $670 million. The cost of rebuilding Lebanon, which includes damage sustained in the seven years of fighting before the Israeli invasion, is now estimated at $24 billion, half to come from private sources and half from the government and foreign aid.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.