Israeli Official Stresses No Decision Has Been Made on Redeployment of Israeli Troops

An official at the Israel Embassy here said today that “for the time being there is absolutely no decision” by Israel for a partial, unilateral redeployment of Israeli troops in Lebanon. “There is absolutely no pressure from anybody on Israel,” the official added in the course of briefing reporters on the situation in Lebanon.

He acknowledged, however that “the idea of a partial, unilateral redeployment of forces was raised in Israel.” He charged that Syria is “now trying to sabotage the agreement between Israel and Lebanon by putting physical pressures on members of the Lebanese parliament to prevent ratification of the treaty.” However, he said, “We expect ratification” by the Lebanese parliament.

The official said that the “mere presence” of Soviet advisors in Syria “and the missiles now in the area convey the impression that the Soviet Union is supporting all the negative steps taken by the Syrian government.” According to the official, the Syrians “probably misread Israeli public opinion” and “they think they will create enough pressures inside Israel to create a situation in which the Israel government will have to withdraw unilaterally and will not act in conformity with the agreement.”

He said the Syrians “also try to create pressures on Israel’s allies, doing everying possible to prevent a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.”

The official added: “It seems Syria at this stage does not intend to withdraw but we are in close contact with the American Administration to try to do everything possible. We do hope the problem will be resolved and enough pressure will be put on Syria that they will withdraw from Lebanon.”

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