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Report Lebanon War Reduced Jewish Community from 2000 to 300-400

A French tourist who met a Lebanese Jewish leader in Cyprus recently reported here today that only 300-400 Jews remain in strife-torn Lebanon out of a community of 2000 before the civil war in that country. He also said that, according to the Jewish leader, no Jew was hurt in Lebanon because he was a Jew. But 14 Jews lost their lives during the fighting between Christians and Moslems.

According to the informant, two were murdered by thieves and the other 12 Jewish fatalities were caused by stray bullets. During the fighting both sides protected Jews whom they regarded as neutral in the bitter struggle between Moslems and Christians. Even during the period of mass kidnappings, Jews were allowed to pass, the French tourist said he was told. He said that Christians reportedly stopped Jews in the streets to ask, where are the Israelis–indicating that they hoped Israel would intervene to protect them from their Moslem antagonists.

While the great majority of Lebanese Jews managed to leave that country, the few hundred who remain are trapped there either because they lack money to flee because the banks are closed or they are unable to reach the airport due to the fighting, the French tourist reported.

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