Wednesday, November 17, 1982

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Major Haddad, in testimony before Commission of Inquiry, denies his militiamen were involved in massacre, says three militiamen caught in fight involving IDF and Druze forces near Beirut at time were far from camps and in Beirut on private visit, says on Friday, September 17, he flew to Beirut on IDF aircraft to offer condolences to Gemayel family, visited Jounieh, then returned by car to Marjayoun, accuses Saeb Salam of covering up for Phalangists on orders from Saudi Arabia by blaming Haddad forces; Foreign Ministry official Hana Bar-On testifies he relayed US official's report on "irregularities" in Beirut camps to Begin's military secretary, Colonal Azriel Nevo, Friday evening, September 17; political storm rages over New York Times opinion piece that implies Labor Party leaders want US to reduce aid to Israel as means to pressure Begin but Peres denies Labor Party supports cut in US aid; two leaders of Gush Emunim settlement of Qiryat Arba charged with destroying possible clues to unsolved bombings that crippled two Palestinian Mayors in 1980, trial is set for December 9; 25,000 Israeli settlers now estimated living in occupied territories, is twice as many as in 1980, five times as many as in 1977; Knesset finance committee defers decision on funding 9 new settlements (Labor Party criticizes 8 planned for West Bank, and IDF outposts in territories being turned over to right-wing Kach).

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Walid Jumblatt, in interview, accuses Phalange of planning massacres of Druze and says talks are useless; Phalange spokesman Hayek denies charge, says Phalange militiamen only seeking to return to their former villages in Chouf.

Arab Governments: King Hussein, ending Arab League delegation visit to France, accuses Israel of holding up peace process through continued West Bank settlements, refusal to consider Reagan peace proposals, says question of Israel's eventual borders remains major obstacle to peace; Syrian President Assad tells visiting US Congressional delegation that Reagan plan is "incomplete" solution.

US and Other Countries: Habib leaves several days early for Mideast in wake of cancellation of Begin-Reagan meeting, as State Department expresses concern at lack of progress on troop withdrawals; Shultz meets with Habib, Veliotes, Fairbanks, M. Charles Hill and Samuel W. Lewis to review lack of progress on peace plan; Britain announces Arab League mission planned to arrive next week has been postponed to December, and it will continue to refuse inclusion of PLO representative in delegation; West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, in New York, tells US Jewish leaders he intends to strengthen West German relations with Israel, and supports Camp David process.