Eban Warns Lebanon That Israel Will Not Tolerate Border ‘lawlessness, Aggression’
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Eban Warns Lebanon That Israel Will Not Tolerate Border ‘lawlessness, Aggression’

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Foreign Minister Abba Eban today warned Lebanon that Israel will not tolerate a northern frontier at which “lawlessness and aggression are given free play.” In a nationwide television interview, Mr. Eban also said that the Soviet Union’s open support of Arab terrorists” is a logical continuation of its attitudes since the 1967 war and before.” He recalled that Soviet incitement of the Arabs had played a large role in goading the Arabs into military actions that culminated in the Six-Day War.

His warning to the Lebanese–and in effect to the Palestinian guerrillas who are based in Southern Lebanon and elsewhere–came in the wake of a Lebanese-guerrilla agreement worked out in Cairo which grants the guerrillas freedom of action in certain parts of the country in return for their willingness to limit the scope of their operations.

As if to validate their intention to keep Israel’s Northern border communities under fire, terrorists fired a Katyusha rocket today at Ramat Naftali, a moshav in the Upper Galilee. Windows were broken but no casualties were reported. In other military action, Israel sent a lone plane to buzz Cairo. Israeli jets also attacked Jordan Army artillery positions in retaliation for an attack against Israeli positions near the Damiya Bridge. Egyptian fire killed an Israeli soldier near Kantara on the Suez Canal.


The Foreign Minister said on TV that Israel favors Lebanese “independence and her right to her own unique national and cultural character. However, Lebanon is under obligation to respect the independence and security of Israel and prevent any attacks made from her territory upon Israeli citizens and territory.”

Warning the guerrillas, he said that if terrorist organizations regard themselves as having the right to attack Israel, then Israel is entitled to take action against them in any way she deems effective. Soviet support for terrorists, Mr. Egan said, has had repercussions in Lebanon, proving that the Soviet Union “is not a peace-loving state” and does not desire Mideast peace. Also speaking on reported American new peace proposals to Russia, he said that the U.S. stand “is known to us and does not obligate Israel.” Mr. Eban said that Israel “does not negotiate with the U.S. over borders.”

Israel has intimated that Lebanon is courting swift and strong retaliation for any guerrilla strikes which it permits across its southern border. The principal factor leading to the 13-day near-civil-war in Lebanon between its Army and the guerrillas stemmed from Beirut’s fear of Israeli reprisal. It had a foretaste of Israel’s intentions last December when Israeli helicopter units struck Beirut International Airport and destroyed 13 commercial airliners. The fighting was the worst crisis faced by Lebanon since the 1958 civil war which was cooled down by the presence of United States Marines sent in by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The fighting flared last month when the Army cracked down on the guerrillas.

Following announcement of the agreement with Lebanon, worked out under the auspices of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, El Fatah leader Yassir Arafat announced “our military activity will not cease except when we achieve victory and regain occupied territory.” Arafat is also chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which coordinates various guerrilla organizations. In Amman, Bahjat al-Talhouni, the Jordanian Premier, said his country was grateful for Col. Nasser’s efforts to solve the crisis so that “Arab blood is shed only on the field of honor and martyrdom.”

While details of the pact worked out between Arafat and Maj. Gen. Emile Bustani, Commander-in-Chief of the Lebanese Army, were not made public, Beirut reports reaching here said that Lebanon formally endorsed the presence of guerrillas in her territory and got a guerrilla pledge to “cooperate” with her Army. Najeeb Sadaka, secretary-general of the Lebanon Foreign Ministry and a member of the negotiating team, said the agreement “reconciled Lebanon’s sovereignty and security with ensuring effectiveness in occupied territory” of the guerrillas. It was also reported here that Lebanese negotiators won a point in insisting that the guerrillas must give Lebanon prior notice of intended raids and must cross the border before attacking; rockets and artillery must not be fired into Israel from Lebanon.

Israeli has indicated that it will not accept the so-called “new Arafat trail” which will give the guerrillas an open line of communication from their positions in Lebanon’s Arkoub region to Syria. This supply line would lead right to the Israeli border. Israeli military circles said that if given a free hand, the guerrillas could establish themselves in southern Lebanon strongly within a few days.

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