Weizman Says Israel Can Defend Its Borders if Peace Treaty Fails

Defense Minister Ezer Weizman assured Israelis yesterday that if the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt were to be broken, “Israel would still be capable of defending its borders.”

Speaking to some 1000 people at graduation ceremonies at the Technion in Haifa, Weizman stressed that both Israelis and Egyptians took risks in agreeing to the treaty. He expressed the hope that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat would withstand pressure from the Arab world to renounce the peace process. Weizman also pledged that the Israeli army would continue to fight the Palestine Liberation Organization and would try to avoid civilian casualties.

The Defense Minister also said he agreed with the report by State Comptroller Ernest Nebenzahl last week criticizing the army for a lack of planning and coordination in Israel’s invasion and occupation of south Lebanon in April 1978. The report cited errors in logistics, operations and intelligence, and serious breaches of discipline. “I both support criticism of this nature as well as a strong, uncompromising State Comptroller,” Weizman said.

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