INTRODUCTION: Tension has been rising recently in southern Lebanon as Israel has stopped up raids on Palestinian targets across the border.
GV & SV Uniformed men sitting in jeeps in street. (2 SHOTS)
SV Woman presents flowers to uniformed men in street.
GV People watching from balcony.
TRAVEL SHOT & GV Jeeps and small trucks leaving along street. (2 SHOTS)
GV Jeeps and trucks followed by Red Crescent ambulance. (2 SHOTS)
(MUTE) SV INT Lebanese Prime Minister Shafik al-Wazzan greeting U.S. Ambassador Robert Dillon, both sit down.
SCU Dillon and al-Wazzan seated. (3 SHOTS)
(SOUND) SV Soviet Ambassador Alexander Soldatov entering room, greeted by al-Wazzan.
SV & CU Al-Wazzan and Soldatov seated, talking. (2 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Tension has been rising recently in southern Lebanon as Israel has stopped up raids on Palestinian targets across the border. The Lebanese Prime Minister Shafik al-Wazzan summoned the Soviet and American ambassadors in Beirut earlier this week to register his protest at Israel's actions. But in the city of Beirut itself tension has been easing recently following a lull in the factional feuding.
SYNOPSIS: Earlier this week the leftist Murabitoun forces withdrew from their positions along the Green line, the unofficial border between Moslem west and Christian east Beirut.
Local residents celebrated the occasion by presenting the militiamen with flowers as they prepared to pull out.
A Moslem grouping which owes allegiance to Egypt's late President Nasser, the Murabitoun were usually to be found aligned with leftist and Palestinian forces in the fighting against Christian militias across the city.
There were about 30 armed vehicles in the procession as the gunmen withdrew on Tuesday (14 July). Their decision to pull back came as communications were slowly being restored between both sides of the city. One of the main crossing points between the Moslem and Christian sectors was recently opened, a conciliatory move made possible by the apparent cease-fire secured by Aran League foreign ministers.
On the same day as the Mourabitoun withdrawal, Lebanese Prime Minister Shafik al-Wazzan first received U.S. Ambassador Robert Dillon to voice his government's protest against Israeli raids in the south. On that day too Israeli aircraft had attacked targets in Lebanon for the third time in five days. They had attached Delhamiyeh, not far south of Beirut, and the area around Nabatiyeh.
Soviet Ambassador Alexander Soldatov also heard the Lebanese Prime Minister's protest. Lebanon earlier asked its United Nations representative to lodge a protest over an Israeli raid with the U.N. Security Council, of which the Soviet Union and United States are permanent members.
Israel has continued its attacks in south Lebanon. Lebanese sources said 28 people died in air raids on Thursday (16 July).