TEL AVIV (Aug. 12)
Prime Minister Golda Meir warned Lebanon today that it could not escape responsibility for the activities of Arab guerrillas operating against Israel from Lebanese soil.
Mrs. Meir said at a press conference in Haifa that “if Lebanese authorities could not deal with them, we shall have to.” She said Israel’s airstrike Monday was aimed at guerrilla bases, not at Lebanon’s people. Lebanese sources said eight persons were killed and 21 wounded in the Israeli air attacks.
Mrs. Meir said Israel was not trying to escalate fighting along its frontier. She claimed that Sunday’s air attack on Jordanian targets in which the Ghor irrigation canal was damaged for the second time in two months was intended to “cool” the border. “Maybe that Israel action and the fact that the water is not running where it used to will cool the escalation,” she said.
LEBANESE REPORTED QUITTING GUERRILLA INFESTED AREAS
Observers in Israel’s northern border region reported today that Lebanese villagers were evacuating the area that came under heavy Israeli air attack yesterday. Lebanese border villages were blacked out last night. According to Israeli sources, the area on the heavily wooded western slopes of Mt. Hermon contained a concentration of Arab guerrilla bases. These were said to have been the targets of the Israeli jets.
Israeli sources said the raid was carried out in response to an escalation of sabotage and terrorist activities from Lebanese territory in recent weeks. They said that Arab commandos encamped on Lebanese soil have established an enclave near the Israeli border over which the Lebanese government has no control. They were held responsible for 21 incidents during the past month.
BEISAN VALLEY AREA ENJOYS QUIET AFTER JET RAIDS ON JORDAN
A military spokesman said the Beisan Valley area was quiet today for the second consecutive day following Sunday’s jet raid on Jordanian military targets including the Ghor irrigation canal. They said the Beisan Valley settlements had passed two quiet nights for the first time in weeks.
Israeli authorities reported 89 instances of Jordanian fire across the cease-fire demarcation line last week. They said the fire was not concentrated but sporadic. In 19 instances the Jordanians fired artillery and in 33 instances mortars were used.
An Israeli soldier was wounded by an Egyptian sniper firing from the west bank of the Suez Canal shortly before noon today.
A military spokesman said the Egyptians had resumed their commando penetrations of the Israeli-occupied East Bank of the canal but had restricted their operations to sabotage and mine-laying. He said that two Israeli vehicles and a tractor were damaged by mines last week. Egyptian commandos also sabotaged a telephone cable south of Ismailia.
(News agencies reported from London that the Soviet Union had warned Egypt strongly against any escalation of the Middle East conflict into a full-scale war. There was no confirmation from Arab capitals. Al Ahram, semi-official Cairo daily, reported that President Nasser was considering a new Arab summit conference to consider the situation and the Arab reaction to the scheduled delivery by the United States of the F-4 Phantom supersonic fighter planes to Israel.
(In Washington, State Department sources said today that it was unlikely that the Soviet-American bilateral talks on the Arab-Israeli conflict could be resumed before next month. Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Sisco, who has been conducting the talks with Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, was to leave today on a short vacation. Ambassador Dobrynin is still in the Soviet Union, reportedly on sick leave . Sen. Charles Goodell, New York Republican, will go to Israel Aug. 19 for a nine-day visit to study the situation there and make proposals regarding United States policy, it was announced today. Sen. Goodell will be accompanied by Prof. D. Rustow, of Columbia University and Prof. John Peretz of New York State University, Binghamton.)