Thursday, February 24, 1983

Military Action:

Three hours of machine gun and RPG battles in Tripoli between PFLP-GC and anti-Syrian Lebanese militia; Saad Haddad, accompanied by IDF, occupies Jubb Jannin, northern-most Israeli position in Bekaa valley; IDF increases patrols in Sidon area; IDF APC detonates mine near Khamed al-Luz in northern Bekaa, no injuries.


3 bodies found earlier this week in Sidon area; PLO says Israel has offered, through Austrian mediation, to release 800 prisoners for 8 IDF captured in Lebanon; IDF says it holds 293 Syrian prisoners, 5,099 Palestinians and Lebanese at Ansar.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Foreign Minister Shamir criticizes Reagan for use of word homeland with reference to resolution of Palestinian question, says it is not by accident that this term does not appear in the Camp David accords; 3 Israeli officers, including a Captain, and three soldiers are currently serving prison terms for refusing to serve in Lebanon; police detain 6 persons for harassing Peace Now demonstration on February 10; members of Ramallah area Village League to face charges of aggravated assault and illegal detention and interrogation as a result of complaints by Ramallah residents over incident occurring a year ago.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: 18th session of Lebanese-Israeli-US talks in Khalde results in initial agreement on security arrangements; Habib meets with President Gemayel and other Lebanese leaders.

Arab Governments: Jordanian Foreign Minister, after talks in Beirut with President Amin Gemayel, says Israel must first withdraw from Lebanon and agree to settlement freeze before comprehensive negotiations can take place; Saudi Arabia, principal export market for Lebanon, bans all imports to prevent flow of Israeli goods.

US and Other Countries: Defense Secretary Weinberger denies Israeli reports that US Marines ordered not to have direct liaison with IDF, but says current system of liaison through a military council is satisfactory; Weinberger also says number of Marines in MNF may have to be increased if withdrawal of Israeli, Syrian and Palestinian forces is achieved; Shultz rejects Israeli position, reiterated yesterday by Arens, that a Palestinian state and homeland exists already in Jordan; US Gallup Poll taken in January 1983 finds American public sympathy toward Israel has returned to level of July 1981, following sharp drop after Beirut massacre.