JERUSALEM (Jul. 12)
A military spokesman announced this morning that three Israeli soldiers were killed during artillery duels between Israeli forces and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Beirut yesterday. The fighting was said to be the fiercest since Israel laid siege to west Beirut more than two weeks ago. It was announced earlier that 28 Israeli soldiers were wounded in yesterday’s combat during which Christian east Beirut was also hit by shell fire.
The situation was reported quiet this morning after still another ceasefire was called. Diplomatic negotiations conducted by U.S. special envoy Philip Habib continued. Habib met again with David Kimche, Director General at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and several senior Israeli planning and intelligence officers.
A military spokesman disclosed, meanwhile, that the bodies of six Yemeni volunteers fighting with the PLO were found today after an attempted night attack by the PLO on Israeli positions east of Lake Karoun.
SOLONS SAY U. S. PUBLIC UNAWARE OF WAR’S BACKGROUND
Two U.S. Senators, just returned from an inspection tour of Lebanon, said here today that the American public is not sufficiently aware of the background of the war in Lebanon, specifically that the fighting did not begin with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon June 6.
It has been going on for years between various factions of Christians, Moslems, the PLO and the Syrians, Sens. Christopher Dodd (D. Conn.) and Carl Levin (D. Mich.) pointed out. They said that 100,000 persons had died during those years of strife, a fact not generally known or understood in the U.S.
According to the Senators, there is a broad consensus among Lebanese of all sects to get foreign forces out of Lebanon once and for all, primarily the PLO. That consensus embraces Moslems as well as Christians and Druze.
Dodd said the PLO had turned south Lebanon into an anarchic mini-state filled with weapons caches. This “hasn’t gotten through to the American public. People in the U.S. were unaware of the strategic implications of this situation in terms of a projection of Soviet surrogate power,” according to Dodd, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Levin is a member of the Armed Services Committee.