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Vance Says Israel May Have Violated Agreement with U.S.

August 8, 1979
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Secretary of State Cyrus Vance said today that Israel may have violated an agreement with the United States by using American-made weapons in its strikes into Lebanon last month. But Vance said that any action by the U.S. “will depend on the course of events and our assessment of them.”

Vance’s statement was in a letter to Rep. Clement Zablocki (D.Wisc.), chairman of the House foreign Affairs Committee, in response to a demand by Rep. Paul Findley of Illinois, the ranking Republican on the Committee, that the State Department tell Congress whether Israel had violated U.S. law in the raids. Findley introduced a resolution last week that the Department be compelled to report to Congress if Israel violated the law, but Congress adjourned for its summer vacation before the House could act on it.

The State Department confirmed today that Vance had sent a letter to Zablocki but refused to make its contents public. However, the letter was released by Findley.

It said: “A violation of the 1952 agreement between Israel and the United States may have occurred…by reason of such actions as Israel’s July 22 air strike and the deployment in southern Lebanon of U.S. supplied artillery. We are continuing to watch this situation with seriousness and concern. Further action on our part will depend on the course of events and our assessment of them.”

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