Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Evron: Israel Wants Government of Lebanon to Stop PLO from Attacking Israeli Territory Before It End

July 23, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ephraim Evron, made it clear today that Israel wants the Lebanese government to stop the Palestine Liberation Organization from attacking Israeli territory before Israel ends its raids on terrorist bases in Lebanon.

The Lebanese government has permitted the PLO to operate along the Israeli-Lebanon border and it is that government’s “responsibility” to restore calm to the border, Evron told reporters after a meeting with Secretary of State Alexander Haig at the State Department.

Evron noted that Israel “didn’t start” the current violence across the border. “What we want is to

to have a situation restored to what it is supposed to be — no killings of our citizens, no bombings of our settlements, no harassment of our country,” he said.


The Israeli envoy, who returned to Washingtone last night from consultations in Jerusalem, said he told Haig that President Reagan’s decision to suspend delivery of F-16 fighter-bombers to Israel would “destabilize” the area and will cause problems.

Evron acknowledged that “there is a problem” in Israeli-American relations but that the “basic relationship” is such that it will be “overcome.” He stressed that Israel supports the efforts of U.S. special envoy Philip Habib to bring about a cease-fire across the Israeli-Lebanese border, although he was careful to use the term “peaceful arrangement.”

Evron denied that the Israeli Cabinet yesterday had rejected Habib’s proposal for a cease-fire. He said Habib was “satisfied” with Israel’s position. Later, State Department spokesman Dean Fischer also denied that Israel had rejected the U.S. proposal for a cease-fire. He said it would be wrong to put too much meaning in the use of different terminology by Israel and the U.S.

A State Department source said there may be differences in interpretation. The source said the U.S. considered a cease-fire to mean an end to shooting while Israel may have attached conditions for an end to shooting. But the source stressed that this is all part of normal diplomatic negotiations. The source noted that both sides have continued shooting, the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Evron stressed that Israel “will not deal with the PLO in any shape or form.” He insisted that it was the responsibility of the Lebanese government to control the PLO and said Israel would negotiate with the Lebanese government.


Asked if Israel had second thoughts about its air attack on Beirut last Friday in view of the unfavorable world-wide reaction, Evron asked where the reaction was when 240 houses in Kiryat Shemona were damaged by Palestinian rockets or when Israeli citizens were constantly harassed by attacks from across the border. He also wanted to know where was the public outcry when Syria recently attacked the Christian town of Zahle in Lebanon.

Evron said Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger was “wrong” when he accused Israel today of having “undercut” Habib’s efforts to get Syria to remove its SAM-6 anti-aircraft missiles from Lebanon by attacking Iraq’s nuclear reactor last June 7 and by Israel’s more recent air raids on Lebanon. But Evron said he did not wish to get into a public argument with the Defense Secretary.

Fischer refused to comment when asked if Habib has been “close” to resolving the Syrian missile crisis when the Israeli attack on Iraq took place.

Recommended from JTA