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Expect Extension of Unifil Mandate

January 10, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli sources expressed the belief today that the United Nations Security Council will extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) which expires in 10 days. But the sources expressed concern that Iran and France are almost certain to withdraw their units from UNIFIL and that the Palestinian terrorists and the Christian militia in south Lebanon would each try to take advantage of the gap. Skirmishes have broken out between terrorists and the militia in recent days.

With respect to developments elsewhere, the Israeli sources believe that Egyptian Prime Minister Mustapha Khalil is emerging as the second strongest political figure in Egypt after President Anwar Sadat and will have a greater role than before in the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty negotiations. War Minister Mohammed Gamassy has been relegated to the background recently but the Israelis believe he will still play an important role in Egyptian politics. Syria, on the other hand, is seen to be drawing closer to Soviet orbit. The sources said that the present stream of Syrian delegations to Moscow would culminate in a visit to the Soviet capital by President Hafez Assad.

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