Tuesday, January 18, 1983

Military Action:

Phalange and Druze militia exchange artillery and rocket fire during night and morning in Shweifat, Baabda, Aley and Bhamdoun; lDF sets up checkpoints on Beirut-Damascus highway to divert traffic from areas of fighting.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Chief of Staff Eitan tells Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that 117 IDF were killed in western Lebanon, 8 in Beirut, that Begin denied Eitan's request during war for 2 more hours to cross Beirut-Damascus highway and destroy Syrian T-72 tank group, that critics such as Yossi Sarid and Shulamit Aloni harmed the war effort by talking about number of Palestinian homeless and refugees; Shamir and Kimche meet for 2'h4 hours with Habib and Draper; Sharon arrives in Zaire; 1DF spokeswoman confirms 10 Israeli Druze soldiers were jailed for defying orders in South Lebanon; Knesset votes 46-44 not to censure Kiryat Arba Council for destroying 4 of Hebron municipality's electricity pylons; Elias Freij and Rashad Shawa say they are willing to be members of a Palestinian-Jordanian delegation in peace talks with Israel.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: After 3 days of meetings in Damascus, PLO Executive Committee does not give Arafat support for alliance with Jordan; Lebanese Government insists end to state of war must be linked to complete Israeli withdrawal; Foreign Minister Elie Salem says another month or 2 of intensive discussion necessary to clear differences with Israel, he is confident Syrian and Palestinian forces will leave when Israelis leave, Lebanon is prepared to guarantee it will never again be base of operations against Israel, calls for multinational force and UNIFIL to double in size; Prime Minister Wazzan asks Justice Minister Roger Shikhani to investigate missing persons and to speed up interrogation of hundreds of detainees.

US and Other Countries: State Department says that Carter and Ford rightly focus on settlements as obstacle, but they are not the major obstacle to peace, and refuse to call settlements illegal; Weinberger and French Defense Minister Charles Hernu hold talks in Washington, Hernu says France will increase its contingent in Lebanon and take on more responsibility after the withdrawal of Syrian, Israeli and Palestinian forces, providing US and Italy do the same.

UN: Security Council votes to extend mandate of 5,800 UNIFIL troops for another 6 months; Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Blum says UNIFL has outlived its usefulness; US delegate says UNIFIL is a positive element in the negotiations.