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Sharon Says Israel is ‘close To’ a Security Arrangement with Lebanon

December 10, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel’s Defense Minister Ariel Sharon said here today that Israel is “close to” a security arrangement with Lebanon and seeks a normalization of relations with that country as the first step toward a full-fledged peace treaty.

He warned that Israel was unalterably opposed to any linkage between progress toward a peace treaty with Lebanon and concessions by Israel on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He contended that President, Reagan’s “plan” for the West Bank would “re-institute the Lebanese model” that existed before June, 1982 when Israel launched its “Peace for Galilee” campaign.

Sharon made his remarks in the course of a 90-minute closed meeting with representatives of the Con- ference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations attended by some 100 persons. The meeting was chaired by Yehuda Hellman, executive vice chairman of the Conference, in the absence of its chairman, Julius Berman, who is in Israel.

The contents of Sharon’s speech and his replies to questions were reported to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by a source who was present at the meeting. According to the source, Sharon intimated that the negotiations for security arrangements with Lebanon were direct. He did not say where or at what level they were being conducted.


He stressed, however, that security arrangements can come about only through direct negotiations so that the signatories can be held accountable for carrying out the terms. According to the source, Sharon said the security arrangements “we are close to” would contain the following terms:

* No Arab army will again be allowed into Lebanese territory.

* Any other foreign forces such as peacekeeping troops must be from countries which recognize Israel.

* Lebanon will not permit the military or political presence of any terrorist group on its soil.

* No artillery, rocket-launchers or surface-to-air missiles will be permitted in the 45-50 kilometer zone bordering on Israel.

* Israeli warning stations will be operated in that zone until a formal peace treaty is signed.

Sharon warned that unless President Amin Gemayel of Lebanon signs a peace treaty with Israel he will be the “President of the Presidential Palace but not of the country.” He meant apparently, that Lebanon would degenerate into warring factions as was the situation before the Israeli campaign.

But Sharon insisted that Israel was not putting pressure on Lebanon. “Nothing in our demands go beyond the normal security needs of both countries, he said. “There is nothing to be ashamed of that we want to have a peace treaty with our neighbors, nothing to be ashamed of that we want to negotiate directly in our capital and in their capital.”


Sharon disclosed, according to the source, that as of November 15, 1982, Israel formally opened its border with Lebanon with normal customs and passport controls and that thousands of Lebanese have crossed into Israel for business or as tourists. He did not say where the border post is located.

He claimed that commercial normalization has already begun. He said $20 million worth of goods has already entered Lebanon from Israel, half of it being Israeli exports and the rest Lebanese imports from other countries transshipped via Israeli ports. Sharon said Lebanese importers prefer to use Haifa to their own ports.


With respect to Reagan’s plan, which called for Palestinian control of the West Bank in association with Jordan, Sharon’s view, as conveyed to the JTA, was that it would invite the same chaos that prevailed in Lebanon before June, 1982. According to Sharon, without Israeli forces in control of internal and external security in the territory, any demilitarized zone associated with Jordan would be open to infiltration by Arab armies and terrorists.

Sharon said that between January I, 1965 and June 5, 1982, terrorists operating from Lebanon caused over 7,000 casualties: 1,392 dead and 6,239 wounded:. He said Israel had good relations with the Lebanese in south Lebanon long before June, 1982.

He said these were not only the Christians who would not exist today were it not for Israel’s protection but Moslems, mainly Shi’ites, who also suffered from the Palestine Liberation Organization. He said the Shiites often prevented the PLO from operating against Israel from their villages.

Sharon said he could not comment on the commission of inquiry in Israel currently investigating the massacres in the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps in west Beirut last September because the matter is still sub judice. However, he declared, “I believe in Israeli justice.”


He said that 479 persons were killed in the Shatila camp of whom 118 were Lebanese, including 98 men, eight women and 12 children; 328 Palestinians, including 313 men, seven women and eight children; seven Syrians; two Algerians; three Pakistanis; and 21 Iranians–all of them male.

Sharon said those figures came from the Lebanese Red Cross, the International Red Cross, the Lebanese civilian defense, relief organizations and the relatives of victims.

Sharon arrived in New York yesterday after visiting Honduras where he conferred with government officials. His meeting with the Presidents Conference was held at the headquarters of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency American sections at 515 Park Avenue.

According to JTA’s informant he received a “warm welcome” and his statements drew a “positive response.”

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