JERUSALEM (Mar. 20)
Israel refrained today from any official comment on yesterday’s United Nations Security Council resolution calling for on end to its military operations in Lebanon and the withdrawal of Israeli forces to be replace by UN peace-keeping units. Defense Minister Ezer Weizman said at a press conference tonight that no decision has been taken on the Security Council action and expressed hope that there would be no confrontation between Israel and the UN. (See related story from the UN.)
Asked if Israel would defy the resolution, Weizman said “I hope not. I sincerely hope it would not come to a head-on argument with the (UN) decision. But I hope the decision has in it the wish to bring southern Lebanon to peace,” he added.
He said the Israeli government’s “only decision taken so far is that south Lebanon should not be a base for terrorists.” He said he had met earlier in the day with Gen. Ensio Siilasvuo, commander of United Nations forces in the Middle East, to discuss elements of the Security Council resolution. He said Israel wanted to know how capable the projected 4000-man UN force would be to keep Palestinian terrorists from returning to the region. (See story P. 3.)
The Cabinet issued a statement after its special meeting today reiterating Israel’s objectives in south Lebanon. It said: “Any settlement in southern Lebanon must ensure that southern Lebanon will no longer serve as a base for the terrorists and their murderous attacks and ensure the well-being and normal way of life of the citizens of Israel and the residents of southern Lebanon.”