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Weizman Rejects Demands for Actions Against Syrians in Lebanon

July 26, 1978
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Defense Minister Ezer Weizman rejected demands by some Knesset members that Israel act to deter the Syrians from massacring Christians in Lebanon. Appearing before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Weizman said Israel should avoid an unnecessary confrontation with the Syrians. He expressed satisfaction with the situation in south Lebanon which he said was “very quiet” and saw no signs of disturbances there in the future.

According to Weizman, the 30,000-man Syrian army in Lebanon was weakened by lack of discipline and physical debility and the Syrians would like to pull out. But they fear disgrace if they leave without completing the task of stabilizing the country, he said.

The consensus of the committee was that more could be done to secure Lebanon’s independence. Amnon Rubinstein of the Democratic Movement for Change (DMC) thought the country should be partitioned between Moslems and Christians. Moshe Shamir, of Likud, said Israel should react to Syrian attacks on rightwing Christians in Beirut by annexing the Golan Heights. Another Likud MK, Yosef Tamir, said the atrocities against Christians in Lebanon were part of a global Communist plot against Israel.

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