Premier Yitzhak Shamir denied today that Israel was acquiescing to the partition of Lebanon by keeping its army in that country. Israel is opposed to the partition of Lebanon and will not be a party to such partition, Shamir told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in reply to opposition critics.
He also rejected a charge by Labor MK Yossi Sarid that the Israel Defense Force was being kept in Lebanon for reasons of national prestige. He denied reports of sharp differences within his Cabinet over Lebanon. All of the ministers agree that Israel must seek adequate security measures which would make a permanent IDF presence in Lebanon unnecessary, Shamir said.
He said that Israel is now dealing with the last stages of the war in Lebanon. He rejected a parallel drawn by Labor MK Yaacov Tzur between the government’s intentions on the West Bank and the occupation of south Lebanon which Tzur called “the north bank.”
“Lebanon is not Israel and therefore south Lebanon cannot be described as the ‘north bank’,” Shamir said. Former Deputy Foreign Minister Yehuda Ben-Meir of the National Religious Party said everyone agreed that Israel’s presence in Lebanon was undesirable. ” He suggested a redeployment of the IDF in south Lebanon along lines worked out by the IDF. “We must find the middle of the rood, perhaps not 100 percent security but sufficient security, Ben-Meir said.
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.