TEL AVIV (May. 9)
Maj. Saad Haddad predicted today that the agreement between Israel and Lebanon will never be implemented because Syria has no intention of withdrawing its forces from Lebanon. In his first public comment on the matter since the agreement was approved by the Israeli Cabinet last Friday, he characterized the accord as worthless.
But he told an Israel Radio interviewer that he did not feel let down by the Israelis for accepting an agreement which places him in a subordinate role. He is to be deputy commander in charge of anti-terrorist intelligence, attached to the Lebanese army in south Lebanon. According to Haddad, he has been assured by Israel that he would continue to be in charge of security in south Lebanon.
Haddad’s 1,200-man Christian militia has been armed and financed by Israel for years. But in today’s interview, he insisted that his loyalty was to Lebanon, not Israel. “I have nothing against the Israelis,” he said, but “Israel is not my government. My government is the Lebanese government and what I did, I did for them. I backed them all the time. I do what my government tells me, not the Israelis. What I need and do I ask from Lebanon, not from Israel.”
Asked if he would cooperate with a Lebanese army commander appointed by the Beirut government, Haddad replied, “I don’t think this is going to be realized because the people here (in the south) would not accept it. My men would reject it. If I am not in command, my people will not carry out their duties.”