Israel, alleging cease-fire violations by Syrians and PLO, attacks on both fronts with artillery and air strikes (ordered following ambush deaths of 5 IDF soldiers near...
In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Nablus and Jenin at night. (PCHR 7/25)
In Damascus, Syrian govt. forces fire a rocket into Yarmuk r.c., reportedly killing 15 Palestinian civilians. (REU 27/4)
Assailants throw a bomb at security headquarters in Mansoura, Egypt, killing 1 and wounding more than a dozen. Meanwhile, Gen. al-Sisi calls for demonstrations in support of the ruling military and against “terrorism.” Separately, U.S. Pres. Barack Obama halts the scheduled delivery of 4 F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force, with the Pentagon’s Press Secy. George Little saying that the decision was due to it not being seen as “appropriate” to complete the delivery at this time. (AFP, AP, NYT 7/24)
IDF concentrates tanks near Museum, Galerie Semaan, port crossings into West Beirut as armor inches closer to Palestinian refugee camps on southern outskirts of city (PLO accuses IDF of breaking cease-fire with tank movements made under cover of artillery fire; entire IDF armored brigade stationed at Museum crossing; IDF exchange artillery fire with PLO units in Burj al-Barajneh, Lailake, Hayy al-Sollom); IDF commander Drori warns West Beirut residents to "leave before it is too late"; fears of all-out IDF assault rise as IDF stops work in port, orders dockers to go home (reports suggest IDF may try to cut PLO forces in two with thrust from Museum area to port area); IDF takes Mreigi, parts of Hayy al-Sollom; only 50 yards separate IDF/ PLO units along coastal road south of city; IDF asks ICRC to sponsor, assist evacuation of babies, pregnant women from West Beirut (Meridor says Israel has received no reply); PLO fires 5 rockets at Jounieh; PLO ambush near Litani River; light fire directed at IDF positions near Lake Karoun (IDF restricts movements of Mansoura villagers, claiming some cooperate with PLO).
Casualties estimated by Lebanese police at 238 dead, about 480 wounded (PLO says only 20-30 guerrillas killed; police-monitored death toll since June 4 now put at 3,541 for Beirut and 11,050 for all of Lebanon); Lebanese gendarmerie says 963 Palestinians and Lebanese killed, 2,013 wounded during July, most of them civilians; Fakhani area devastated; poor Palestinians, Lebanese unable to buy excessively-priced food; fuel running low; Berbir Hospital hit again (has lost 75 percent of staff); fires burn out of control; hospitals overcrowded (staff asks patients able to walk to leave right after being treated to make room; many linger as they have no homes to return to); most streets impassable; IDF claims 7,400 "terrorists" captured since start of war (ICRC says it has visited only 490 at Ansar camp); 2 IDF soldiers wounded in PLO ambush near Litani.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Israeli officials assert PLO will only leave Beirut if military pressure applied; Begin meets with US Assistant Secretary of State Morris Draper to discuss progress of negotiations (after meeting, Israeli officials claim there is still no firm PLO commitment to evacuate Beirut); Meridor (Israeli official in charge of humanitarian programs in southern Lebanon) says Israel will object to any Palestinian refugee camps within 25 miles of the Israeli border, suggests Palestinian refugees be dispersed throughout the country; Israel delays acceptance of UN resolution on cease-fire observers (PLO states willingness to cooperate).
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Habib confers with Sarkis, later with Lebanese general on withdrawal timetable, general later confers with PLO negotiator; Salam expresses anger at US, Reagan after touring damaged areas, decries IDF use of phosphorus bombs, destruction of pine forest in center of city; Jumblatt, touring Fakhani district, expresses fear Lebanon will be destroyed; PLO leader Hassan says PLO will leave Beirut, urges informal PLO-US dialogue to achieve overall peaceful settlement.
US and Other Countries: Reagan, in meeting with Shamir, bids Israel end fighting and allow food and medical supplies into Beirut; Shultz also meets with Shamir; Greece offers Arafat open invitation to live in Greece on temporary basis; Canadian ambassador to Beirut ordered to leave West Beirut by his government (last Western diplomat remaining in Beirut); Brezhnev sends personal message urging Reagan to halt Israeli attacks.
Israel, alleging cease-fire violations by Syrians and PLO, attacks on both fronts with artillery and air strikes (ordered following ambush deaths of 5 IDF soldiers near Mansura in the Bekaa); jets bomb PLO artillery emplacements near the stadium and airport following wounding of IDF soldier near airport; PLO estimates 6 people killed or wounded in the attacks; PLO operates behind Syrian lines in the eastern Bekaa; 5 IDF wounded in machinegun attack near Tyre; bombs dropped after 30 minutes of mock attacks in Fakhani quarter and camps of Burj al-Barajneh, Sabra and Shatila, as well as the stadium and the neighborhood of Ramlet el-Baida; IDF launches air and land attacks along entire cease-fire line in eastern Lebanon (jets strike barracks near Baalbek, several Syrian-controlled villages).
Casualties: Palestinian sources estimate 62 killed, injured in attacks on Beirut; 2 IDF soldiers killed, 2 wounded during fighting.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Begin summons Cabinet for special meeting to discuss Lewis report; retaliatory measures reportedly agreed on at the meeting; IDF spokesman claims 75 PLO violations of the cease-fire in the past 3 weeks, claims Syrians try to advance their lines; denies final Israel assault on Beirut.
Arab Governments: Attacks come as Habib undertakes a weeklong mission to Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and possibly other Arab nations to get them to accept PLO fighters from Beirut; King Hussein of Jordan meets UK Prime Minister Thatcher in London.