• Short Summary

    The fighting in the South Lebanon...and both Israel and the Lebanon have asked for a?

  • Description

    GV: Artillery firing from hillside in the western sector of Southern Lebanon. (4 SHOTS)

    GV: Israeli armoured vehicles moving along road. near Bin Djabil. (3 SHOTS)

    SV: Israeli troops tackle guerrillas in outpost firing and moving in from armoured vehicle. (4 SHOTS)

    SV & CU: Israeli troops take prisoner and he is led away. (3 SHOTS)

    LV: Dead body after fight ZOOM OUT TO Israeli soldier.

    SV: Israeli armoured vehicles go through captured town. (2 SHOTS)

    CU: Israeli Chief-of-Staff General Mordechai Gur speaking to reporters at Bin Djabil.

    GV: Israeli bulldozers build road while troops guard it in buffer zone near Metullah. (4 SHOTS)

    REPORTER: "There are talks now in the United States about replacing the Israeli army with United Nations forces. Do you think that the UN forces will be sufficient to stop terrorists from infiltrating to Israel?"

    GUR: "That is much more a political question than a military one. We are stationed here in the south and, no doubt, it will take some time until all the elements that are involved in that problem will have to decide exactly what will be the best way to dominate the area. But, right now, it is still a military operation, and that is why we have to go on with it."

    Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin is due in Washington on Sunday night (19 March) for talks with President Carter on moves toward a Middle East peace settlement. Observers believe Israel wants the fighting ended before then. However, Palestinian sources claim that on Friday (17 March) Israeli forces landed in the coastal town of Aadloun, north of the port city of Tyre, and engaged in combat with guerrilla forces. Fourteen civilians were killed when two taxis were damaged, but it was unconfirmed whether this resulted from ground forces' action or bombardment from ships offshore. Israeli military sources declined to comment on alleged raid, but observers say, if it did occur, it would be significant as the first Israeli military incursion north of the river Litani, the geographical dividing line between the bulk of the Lebanon and the south. Israel has said it would keep well away from Syrian troops in the 30,000-man Arab Truce force in Lebanon, so such as attack would have brought them dangerously close to conflict. The Syrian troops are stationed only 12 kilometres (seven miles) north of Aadlou at the Zaharani oil refinery. The head of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's military operation, Mr. Zuheir Moshen, said Syrian aircraft had already been in the air, ready to defend Syrian ground positions against Israeli attack.

    Initials JS/0230


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The fighting in the South Lebanon...and both Israel and the Lebanon have asked for a United Nations' Security Council debate on the dispute. the Lebanese government has also accepted the idea of a United Nations buffer force to replace the Israeli presence, but observers say that Israel has studied the suggestion without visible enthusiasm Israeli Defence Minister Ezer Weizman told reporters as he toured the occupied territory that the idea would be considered. No proposal that could provide a solution would be ignored, he said.

    SYNOPSIS: Fighting continued on Friday in the South Lebanon, as Israeli forces continued to meet pockets of fierce resistance. As more Palestinian guerrilla strongholds in the region fell to the Israeli military onslaught, the last remaining concentration of guerrilla power was in the area near the coastal city of Tyre.

    Israel said the area near the order, which they crossed in force late on Tuesday night, was virtually clear of guerrillas. But some were still in the hills and launching occasional attacks. Here at Bin Djabil, Israeli troops snapped into action after a suspicious movement was noticed. There were three men in the bunker. Two were killed by a grenade but the third emerged and was taken prisoner. He claimed to be a Lebanese journalist, and denied being a guerrilla, but was taken away for interrogation.

    Israel admitted the loss of 14 men during the first three days of combat, while claiming to have killed 200 guerrillas. The Lebanese Red Cross estimated at least 250 people had died, including many innocent civilians. On Friday, the Israeli Commander-in-Chief, General Mordechai Gur, spoke to reporters in the occupied village of Bin Djabil.

    Israel says its incursion into the South Lebanon is a short-term one. But observers believe Israel could be reluctant to give up the occupied area for security reasons.

    Already, in the area near the village of Metullah, Israeli bulldozers are at work building a permanent road surface from Israel into Southern Lebanon.

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