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U.S. Israeli Officials Meeting in Lebanon to Avoid Future Incidents

February 4, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

American and Israeli officials are meeting “on the ground” in Lebanon to try to avoid future incidents such as the one yesterday when a Marine Corps Captain brandished a weapon at three Israeli tanks, State Department spokesman said today.

The spokesman, Alan Romberg, refused to say anything about the incident except to declare that he stood on the statement he made yesterday that the incident was an Israeli challenge to the marines. He would not comment either on Israel’s denial that its tanks were attempting to cross American lines.

But Romberg indicated that the two conflicting statements demonstrated that there is a “misunderstanding” of an agreement between the Israelis and marines on the demarcation line between the area held by Israel and the zone patrolled by the marines.

Romberg said it was not useful to discuss the past nor was the problem a “legal issue.” He said the issue now is one of “trying to prevent incidents” in the future. The spokesman also would not comment on a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer today by its reporter who was 400 yards from the scene of the alleged clash and challenged the U.S. version of the incident. Romberg said the view from 400 yards “is not something we would respond to.”

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