South Lebanon Merchants in General Strike to Protest Pact with Israel

Merchants in south Lebanon observed a general strike today in protest against the agreement between Israel and Lebanon. Shops and businesses remained closed in Tyre, Sidon and other towns south of Beirut. Youths set up barricades of burning tires to block the coastal road but Israeli troops promptly removed them and traffic was not halted.

Israeli sources said the merchants were incited to strike by the pro-Syrian Amal movement. But the local population seemed most angered by the shooting of a youngster by Israeli soldiers trying to break up a demonstration in a Sidon school over the weekend.

TRYING TO ARRANGE A CEASE-FIRE

Elsewhere in Lebanon, Israeli army officers were said to be trying to arrange a cease-fire between warring militias in and around Beirut. Beirut police said that 12 persons were killed yesterday and 22 wounded. They put the casualities of the last four days of fighting at 36 killed and 125 wounded. Artillery and mortar exchanges between Christian Phalangists and Druze villagers in the Shouf mountains east of Beirut appeared to be subsiding today. Meanwhile, American reporters who travelled to Paris with Secretary of State George Shultz yesterday reported that Shultz expressed anger at both the Israelis and Syrians for failing to end the bloodshed in the areas of Lebanon they control. “Those countries that are occupying Lebanese soil have the reponsibility to control any fire from the areas they occupy, ” Shultz was quoted as saying.

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