Wednesday, August 4, 1982

Military Action:

IDF attacks West Beirut by land, sea, air as IDF armored units advance on Palestinian areas on southern edge of city (negotiations broght to standstill; PLO puts up fierce resistance; all of West Beirut under rocket, artillery attack; offices of Wazzan, Lebanese Ministry of Information, Al-Nahar news-paper, UPI hit; Bristol, Commodore hotels hit; IDF takes up new positions in Lebanese army barracks, close to Bir Hassan-Kuwait Embassy junction; IDF tries to enter Sabra Shatila camps; IDF advances only 300-500 yards near Museum crossing); PLO fires on IDF forces backed up in East Beirut, shelling Ashrafiya, Yarze and Baabda areas.


Casualties estimated in hundreds, 80 percent civilian (American University Hospital alone receives 55 dead, 200 wounded; Beirut radio reports 300 killed, 670 wounded); fires rage throughout town; IDF maintains tight blockade; streets of East Beirut deserted; Islamic Asylum hit for third time; rescue capabilities deteriorate as fuel in short supply; only 80 firemen remain working (many casualties left to die in rubble); 19 IDF soldiers killed; 50 killed in East Beirut.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Begin tells 190 United Jewish Appeal contributors war will end soon because PLO cannot hold out., angrily attacks reported Percy statement asking Reagan to "bring Israel to its knees."

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Sarkis accuses Habib of stalling to allow IDF time to finish off PLO; volunteers in thousands flock to fight with PLO (most in eastern Lebanon).

Arab Govemments: Egyptian Ambassador to Israel called home "for consultations"; Egypt may not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel if IDF makes full-scale attack on Beirut.

Political Responses:

US and Other Countries: Reagan cables strong protest to Begin, saying attacks undermine Habib efforts (White House issues statement emphasizing necessity of re-establishing cease-fire); US discusses possible sanctions against Israel for first time in crisis management group and at session of National Security Council; France protests to IDF regarding attacks on embassy.

UN: Security Council draft resolution proposed by Spain, Jordan revised after US objections but still expected to be vetoed; Egypt, at UN, warns that Israeli actions threaten Camp David Accords.