Friday, June 25, 1982

Military Action:

Syrians concede loss of Bhamdoun, evacuate Aley, accuse Israel of using nerve gas (Israel denies); Chtaura bombed by IDF jets, causing extensive damage; IDF artillery shells Syrian positions above town; 10 miles of Damascus highway reportedly in IDF hands; jets fly missions throughout the day before new 8 PM cease-fire called by IDF; Syrian brigade north of highway retreating eastward; IDF sources report Lebanese Phalangists join battle, capturing Jamhur; IDF jets, gunboats, artillery wage non-stop barrage of W. Beirut, heaviest since invasion; estimated 100,000 IDF troops inside Lebanon; Syria takes security measures around Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus; big IDF build-up on outskirts of Beirut (500 tanks, 1200 armored personnel carriers, 60 howitzers); Israeli and Phalangist forces coordinate actions via special phone system, as Israeli officers seen frequently visiting Phalangist headquarters; UK embassy, American University of Beirut hit by IDF fire.


ICRC looking after 12,000 refugees in Bekaa; Israel changes mind, says relief efforts will be for both Palestinians and Lebanese; thousands of refugees flee south along coastal road, creating huge traffic jams; Lebanese po-lice estimate 100 killed, 250 injured in day-long barrage; 30 Israelis killed, over 200 wounded in fighting along highway.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories:S haron says IDF coming close to total elimination of PLO and removal of Syrian troops from Lebanon; Israel bans satellite broadcast of all footage from Lebanon by 3 US TV networks; Jerusalem Post raises issue of what Israeli war aims are; Abba Eban questions why war was not ended when original 25-mile goal reached; Sharon predicts IDF will stay in Lebanon beyond 10 weeks.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Wazzan, denouncing new fighting, resigns (calls IDF attacks a form of "blackmail," accuses Habib of collusion with Israel in attempting to force PLO into unconditional surrender); two other Muslim Cabinet ministers also resign as Lebanese government close to collapse; Jumblatt announces withdrawal from Council, says withdrawing from political life (accuses Sarkis of wanting to finish PLO, says there is a plan to install Bashir Gemayel as Lebanese President); Gemayel, Arafat speak by phone; PLO supports French proposals at UN.

Arab Governments: Saudis exert strong pressure on US to halt Israelis, reportedly considers oil shutoff, opening relations with USSR if W. Beirut attacked.

US and Other Countries: Several sources indicate US is sending somewhat contradictory diplomatic signals to Riyadh and to Habib, the Lebanese and PLO; General Haig resigns as US Secretary of State, replaced by George Shultz (disagreement within the Administration over Lebanon reportedly a major factor); Indians ransack US library in Calcutta to protest US support for Israel.

UN: Security Council debates French proposal; Secretary General appeals for cease-fire; General Assembly debates resolution condemning Israeli invasion.