WASHINGTON (Jun. 20)
Press reports here from Lebanon that Israel has been intensifying its attacks on Palestinian terrorists because President Nixon gave the Israelis a “green light” were angrily denounced by the State Department today. The question was raised by a newsman following Israeli raids on terrorist camps in southern Lebanon. The State Department, however, deplored the continuing violence in the Middle East in the wake of the Israeli raids.
Department spokesman Robert Anderson declared that “the United States has not given a green light to anybody. As you well know the Secretary’s (Kissinger’s) six-month effort and the President’s trip show they are bending every effort to bring about a negotiated peace in the Middle East.” Anderson added the American aim is to encourage the moderates in the area as indicated by the disengagement accords by Egypt and Syria with Israel.
Commenting directly on the raids, Anderson said, “We deplore very strongly the continuing action and reaction of cycles of violence across the Lebanese border.” When a reporter suggested that Israel is seeking to stir up trouble and undo the work of President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, Anderson retorted: “I have absolutely no comment on that speculation.”
Asked to comment on the Israeli raids, White House spokesman Gerald Warren today referred newsmen to a statement by the State Department yesterday which said “Violence seeds the climate of hatred which works against the climate of any peace settlement.” The Department had also deplored “the great loss of innocent lives.” Warren added today that “we deplore the continuing cycle of violence” and the loss of “innocent lives.”