Thursday, August 5, 1982

Military Action:

Sporadic small arms and artillery fire and mock IDF air raids; Alexandre Hotel in East Beirut jolted by bomb explosion (apparent reprisal for hitting of Commodore; international phone, telex communications from East Beirut cut).


Thousands of residents flee W. Beirut despite calm (traffic jams at crossing points, many journalists leave, heavy damage along Corniche Mazraa and near Museum, many streets impassable).

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Israeli Cabinet rejects Security Council order to pull back troops in Beirut, permit additional UN observers into area (as Cabinet meets, over 2,000 anti-war demonstrators protest outside Begin's offices); Israel slashes subsidies for basic commodities by up to 36 percent to finance war (bread rises 15 percent in price, bus fares 25 percent, milk 36 percent); several Cabinet members want to restrict Sharon, claiming he is bypassing government in ordering major IDF tactical advances.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Salam announces plan for withdrawal, new timetable, as breakthrough in negotiations expected; Lebanese politicians optimistic about new proposals offering US guarantees for physical safety of departing PLO.

Arab Governments: Saudi King Fahd telephones Reagan, asks him to prevent an all-out attack on Beirut; Yemeni ambassadors meet in Libya, following meetings in Syria and Saudi Arabia, to gain agreement for Arab leaders' meeting on Lebanon; meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers scheduled for next Tuesday in Tunisia; Kuwaiti parliament members press government to sever relations with the US, suspend oil shipments and withdraw funds from US banks (Saudi Arabia threatened to withdraw $100 b. from US banks last month).

US and Other Countries: US asks Israel to yield advances won Wednesday, withdraw to Sunday cease-fire lines, accept two-week total cease-fire to aid negotiations (Israel rejects appeal, official reports that Reagan feels misled by Begin); International Commission of Jurists ask that captured PLO members be given prisoner of war status; USSR praises PLO resistance; French Embassy evacuates to E. Beirut.

UN: US expected to veto any call for sanctions against Israel for rejecting UN call for pull-back; Secretary General cancels trip to Mideast after Begin refuses to meet with him if he meets with Arafat; Security Council members complain of slow US responses in UN discussions (Kirkpatrick reportedly unable to delegate responsibilites).