Tuesday, March 15, 1983

Military Action:

Grenades, mortars, rockets fired in Tripoli fighting between Lebanese Communist Party rnilitia and Soldiers of God militia; land mine explodes near Khiyam; Italian MNF patrol attacked with RPGs near airport; remote-controlled bomb explodes near IDF vehicle outside refugee camp near Tyre, area closed and searched; IDF surrounds town of Barja, arrests 3 Lebanese suspected of involvement in ambushes.


2 killed, 7 wounded in Tripoli fighting, schools and shops closed in old quarter of city; 9 Italian MNF wounded in 2 Beirut attacks, 2 vehicles destroyed; Lebanese Army informs residents of Burj al-Barajneh camp in Beirut that government prohibits repairs of bombed-out roofs, arrests 15 on charges of abusive construction, threatens to arrest additional 34 tomorrow.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Defense Minister Arens orders drastic cuts in ministry's National Security Unit, expanded by Sharon to proportions of alternative general staff; Arens tells Knesset Foreign Affairs committee there is no need to freeze West Bank settlements to entice King Hussein to enter peace negotiations; Cabinet selects Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Moshe Levy to replace IDF Chief of Staff Eitan; Central Bureau of Statistics says inflation rate is 130% a year; 3 suspects in attempt to take over Temple Mount released on bail; Nazareth municipal employee sentenced to 3 months in jail for participating in illegal Land Day demonstration in 1982; two new Chief Rabbis elected for 10-year terms, say that West Bank and South Lebanon are part of Israel; Bedouins call off hunger strike after Agriculture Ministry official agrees to meet them; curfews remain in force in Halhoul, Dheisheh, Aida, Jalazon and Ein Beit Alma, new curfew imposed on Balata camp; IDF seizes house opposite al-Amari camp for lookout post; 5 Village League members armed with automatic rifles enter village of Nuba, threaten to destroy it unless alleged demonstrators are turned in, IDF later arrests 3 residents,on charges of calling Hebron Village League head a traitor.

Arab Governments: Syrian officials say troops will not be withdrawn from Lebanon if any Israeli-Lebanese agreement provides for Israeli troops in Lebanon and formal trade, tourist, or diplomatic ties; Egyptian and Israeli officials hold second round of talks in Cairo on reviving trade relations.

US and Other Countries: State Department announces progress after third day of talks between Shultz and Shamir, emphasizes proposals for increased US responsibility for security, including training and equipping elite Lebanese force to patrol border, expansion in size and responsibility of MNF, and creation of a joint Lebanese- Israeli-US military commission to oversee security zone in South Lebanon; US officials say incentives to Israel such as high aid levels and release of F-16s are likely to accompany agreement to troop withdrawal accord; in statement read to conference on Soviet Jewry, Reagan says plight of Soviet Jews who are denied right to emigrate will remain in forefront of US foreign policy and human rights concerns.