The State Department today deplored both the attack on an Israeli military bus in Lebanon yesterday and Israel’s apparent retaliation today.
Department deputy spokesman Alan Romberg commented when he was asked for the U.S. reaction to Israel’s air attack today on Syrian SAM-9 missile batteries in eastern Lebanon. He noted that the air raid was preceded by the bus ambush in which six Israeli soldiers were killed and 22 wounded.
“We deplore that incident and it underlines the importance for all parties to work together to seek the rapid withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon,” Romberg said. He said that the Israeli attack on the missile launcher and on Syrian and Palestine Liberation Organization positions near the Beirut-Damascus highway is “also regrettable. We call on all involved to exercise restraint and to ease tension.”
Romberg had no comment on reports that the Lebanese government plans to seek the removal of all Palestinians now living in Lebanon to other Arab countries. That matter presumably will be discussed when President Amin Gemayel of Lebanon meets with President Reagan here October 19.
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.