Top level sources in Israel believe the present cease-fire in Lebanon between Palestinian guerrillas and the regime of President Charles Helou has settled nothing. The struggle for control of Lebanon is continuing but President Helou is still standing firm against the guerrillas and apparently has a large part of the Lebanese population behind him, according to these sources.
The sources here said the crisis in Lebanon is being directed by the Soviet Union which seeks to undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty Syria is playing an active role but will not move its army into Lebanon in the present circumstances, the Israelis said. They claimed that Syria prefers to let the Palestinian El Fatah and the Damascus-sponsored Al Saiqa guerrilla group handle the situation for the present.
There are about 5,000 trained guerrillas in Lebanon and Syria is providing them with guns, food and transportation. The Al Saiqa leader is a detached Syrian Army officer, Raif Alowani. The high level sources here repeated Israel’s warning that it will not tolerate “lawlessness” on its northern border. They said that Israel intends to guard the lives, well-being and security of all its citizens.
Reports from Cairo quoted official Egyptian sources today as saying that the Lebanese Army and Palestinian commandos had reached agreement on all points of dispute between them. This would free guerrillas based in Lebanon to continue their attacks on Israel despite the danger of Israeli retaliation.
The Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot said today that Israel would not tolerate a situation which would leave the guerrillas free to launch strikes on its territory without retaliating in force. Political sources here said Premier Golda Meir would make that policy clear in a message to President Helou, They said that Mrs. Meir has called a high level conference on the Lebanese crisis. The word was that Lebanon could expect Israel to retaliate swiftly against any terrorist incursions.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.