TEL AVIV (Jul. 4)
Sources here said today that Palestinian terrorists are infiltrating into south Lebanon with the tacit consent of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). According to the sources, UNIFIL units have come to a de facto agreement, or modus vivendi, with the terrorists allowing them to return to the region as long as they do not openly challenge UNIFIL soldiers. This has been vigorously denied by the UNIFIL command and by the United Nations Secretariate in New York.
But Israel estimates that there are now more than 400 armed terrorists in south Lebanon. They avoid the villages and camp out in orchards and groves, relying on sympathizers among the villagers to supply them with food. According to Israeli sources, the terrorists are crossing the Litani River in the Tyre region and other areas that are held by untrained UNIFIL soldiers from Fiji and Senegal. The main UNIFIL forces and its best combat troops are concentrated in the Christian enclaves near the Israeli border, the sources said.
The terrorists are spread out in the eastern and western ends of the front while the central front, held by Iranian troops, is believed free of terrorists. But terrorists have taken over the Beaufort Castle north of the Litani River, following the withdrawal of an Iraqi unit, and have begun shelling Christian villages, Israeli sources reported.