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  • June 8, 1982

    Military Action:

    Israeli forces advance to 15 miles from Beirut; one of the biggest air battles since the 1973 war takes place over Beirut (6 Syrian, 2 Israeli jets reported down); heavy...

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Military Action:

Israeli forces advance to 15 miles from Beirut; one of the biggest air battles since the 1973 war takes place over Beirut (6 Syrian, 2 Israeli jets reported down); heavy fighting in Tyre and Sidon continues, as Tyre residents are told via air-dropped leaflets to go to beaches to avoid bombings, city is shown in flames; 15,000 people try to enter city from countryside, saying they have no food; Israelis move 100 tanks into mountains east of PLO stronghold of Damour; Israeli shells re-portedly destroy a Red Cross center on the edge of Sidon; tank battles near Jezzine, and Israelis reportedly aim to cut highway to Syria; Israeli planes blast road 2 miles south of Beirut airport; fierce fighting between Israeli and Syrian troops on edge of Beirut; Israelis capture Lebanese president's summer residence at Beiteddine; third attack on Beirut sports complex.

Syrians engage Israelis on southern edges of Beirut, along Beirut-Damascus highway; major Syrian-Israeli tank battle shaping up in Chouf region, stronghold of PLO ally and Lebanese National Movement (LNM) leader Walid Jumblatt (temporarily out of country).

Fierce resistance from PLO units continues in Tyre and Sidon; a few PLO-fired rockets fall on northern Galilee, from enclave controlled by Syria; PLO and Lebanon accept UN call for a cease-fire.

Casualties:

Beirut residents stockpile goods and Palestinian suburbs almost deserted as residents fan out into city; Red Cross center in Sidon destroyed by Israeli shelling; thousands of refugees pour into Beirut from southern Lebanon; 10,000 people placed under Red Cross care in Tyre alone.

Political Responses:

Israel/Occupied Territories: Prime Minister Begin lays out 4 conditions for withdrawal from Lebanon, including removal of all Syrian and PLO forces from Lebanon, creation of a 40 km demilitarized zone north of the Israeli border; Knesset defeats no-confidence vote, 94-3; Israeli Ambassador Arens meets with Deputy Secretary of State Stoessel, Defense Secretary Weinberger and Senator Percy as a former Israeli general meets the US press; Begin calls on Assad not to engage Israeli troops; UN reports continue to be censored; about 40 demonstrators opposed to the invasion are attacked in Tel Aviv.

Palestinians/Lebanese: Arafat meets with USSR Ambassador; Lebanese president appeals to Arab League to hold a meeting; Lebanon's UN Ambassador says casualties run into thousands, mostly civilians.

Arab Governments: Iranian volunteers reported arriving in Lebanon via Syria, as well as Palestinian volunteers from Jordan and Kuwait; Arab diplomats from Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrein, Jordan and Algeria ask the US to pressure Israel to withdraw immediately, accept cease-fire; Syria rejects any troop withdrawal from Lebanon, reacting to reports of new Israeli conditions for a withdrawal.

US: Reagan, in London, appeals for an end to hostilities; Haig later says US would not deny Israel the "right of legitimate self-defense."

UN: Lebanon and the PLO accept the UN call for a cease-fire; Israel rejects the Security Council demand for withdrawal. Lebanon circulates a petition condemning Israel, threatening sanctions if it does not withdraw. UNIFIL General Callaghan makes first offi-cial protest of the invasion to Israel.