INTRODUCTION: Units of the Israeli army have been holding manoeuvres near Kuneitra in the Golan Heights, close to the Syrian border.
GVs Israeli trucks and tractors on road near border (2 shots)
GV ZOOM IN TO CU United Nations checkpoint
GV Army vehicles moving along road
GV Tanks lined up on road
SV PULL BACK TO GV PAN U.N. road block
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Units of the Israeli army have been holding manoeuvres near Kuneitra in the Golan Heights, close to the Syrian border. Military leaders say their army is ready to move if the conflict in southern Lebanon worsens, and fighting in border regions intensifies. Meanwhile, the United States special envoy, Philip Habib, assured the Lebanese President Elias Sarkis in Beirut on Friday (8 May) of Washington's support for Lebanon's independence, sovereignty and integrity. He had given Mr. Sarkis a message from President Reagan, but would not divulge its contents to newsmen.
SYNOPSIS: Israel has moved squadrons of Merkava tanks and ancillary vehicles into positions near the Syrian border. It has heavy earth-moving equipment already available to lay down new roads across border territories if needed.
Observers say the Israelis were making these overt movements as a show of force to deter Syria from using SAM missiles deployed on their side of the border.
Syria, however, has declared the missiles would continue to be installed on a wide scale, claiming the rockets are an integral part of their defence forces. The Israeli movement of armour was seen as a tactical flexing of muscles because it could not prevent missiles from inflicting damage further inside their territory.
Israel has indicated it might use its air force to attack the missile emplacements if diplomatic efforts fail to get them removed. Mr. Habib said recent developments have created what he called a "dangerous situation".