WASHINGTON (Aug. 22)
Deploring “bombs set by terrorists yesterday in Israel, ” in which four people were injured at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Grounds, and the “intense artillery exchanges in southern Lebanon,” the State Department today urged restraint by “all parties” involved in renewed fighting between Palestine Liberation Organization forces and Israelis along with Lebanese Christian militia.
Department spokesman Tom Reston volunteered a prepared statement that said mainly on the basis of press reports the militia “did most of the shelling but shelling by Palestinians on Lebanese positions also was heavy.”
Reston said “this tragedy is measured” in losses of innocent lives, destruction of homes and forms and the flight of people. “We call on all involved to stop this continuing human tragedy.”
Asked why armed PLO forces operate in southern Lebanon, Reston replied the question should be addressed to them Asked if the U.S. was making representations to the Soviet Union; Syria and Saudi Arabia which support the PLO, Reston said “we can assume our position in Lebanon is well known to all parties.”