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Open Fence May Be Closed

October 12, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Political sources said here that the open fence on the Lebanese border may be closed as part of the stabilization process in southern Lebanon. They said that while Israel would like to keep the fence open, it could hardly object if the Lebanese government is able to re-establish its authority in the south and wants to shut the fence down.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fuad Boutrus has said that the fence will be closed when the Lebanese army enters the area. The recent cease-fire agreement called for warring Palestinians and Christians to withdraw from strategic locations to be replaced by Lebanese army regulars. Implementation of that agreement could be delayed by a renewal of fighting. Moslems and Christians exchanged light artillery fire over the weekend indicating that the cease-fire was shaky.

The open fence has given southern Lebanese free access to Israel for over a year to seek medical treatment, to trade and to find work in Israel. Israel regards the fence as means of maintaining normal relations with Lebanese farmers and villagers.

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