icmisban.gif (3901 bytes)

redbut.gif (945 bytes)Press reports of the capture of Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, and Zvi Feldman.

The Associated Press
June 11, 1982, Friday

Syrians Parade Israeli Tank Through Damascus

BYLINE: By NICOLAS B. TATRO, Associated Press Writer

Followed by a line of horn-honking motorists and cheered by passers-by, soldiers paraded a captured Israeli tank through the streets of Damascus Friday after Syria agreed to a cease-fire with Israel in Lebanon. The tank rumbled down Beirut Avenue in the Syrian capital and stopped in front of the offices of President Hafez Assad's brother Rifaat, who commands the elite Defense Brigade Commandos. The Syrian soldiers shouted slogans, and motorists who lined up behind the tank honked their car horns as it moved down the street, belching black smoke and flying Syrian and Palestinian flags. At Rifaat Assad's office, it was greeted by cheers and one security man fired a pistol in the air. Witnesses said the Syrian soldiers had prisoners that they identified as the crew of an Israeli tank.

Ambulances raced along the same road, bringing wounded soldiers from Lebanon to Damascus and then shuttling back to the border. The official Syrian news agency SANA announced that Assad ordered his troops to stop firing on Israeli forces at noon (6 a.m. EDT). But the Syrian statement warned that a lasting truce required a complete Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, while Israel's cease-fire announcement did not mention withdrawal. The truce followed three days of intense diplomatic efforts by President Reagan's Middle East troubleshooter, Philip C. Habib, who went to Israel Friday. Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev also sent a letter to Assad that was believed to urge restraint in the fighting, and Western diplomats said the Soviet Union refrained from helping Syria replace equipment lost on the battlefield.
After the cease-fire, a reporter saw columns of Syrian T-62 tanks, track-mounted anti-aircraft missiles, armored personnel carriers and artillery moving into Syria from the direction of the Lebanese border. The troops, who appeared weary from combat, dug in on the slopes of the rolling hills about five miles inside the border, near the Syrian town of Jadaida on the Beirut-Damacus highway. The new defense lines appeared intended to defend the Syrian capital from a ground attack. Damascus is only 20 miles from the Lebanese border and diplomatic sources said there were reports that before the cease-fire, Israeli units had driven to about two miles south of the Lebanese town of Chtaura in the Bekaa Valley, where Syrian troops had their headquarters in Lebanon. Syria had an estimated 30,000 troops in Lebanon under an Arab League mandate issued following the 1975-76 civil war. Syrian communiqués summing up the four days of Syrian-Israeli battles claimed Syria had proved that a successful war could be waged against Israel, even though the largest Arab country, Egypt, had made peace with the Jewish state through the 1979 Camp David accords. "If the planners of Camp David thought that by taking Egypt out of the battle and by keeping Syria busy with problems ... there will never be another war with the Zionist enemy then they were fooling themselves," the communiqué carried by SANA stated. Syria, it added, had proved it was the "beating heart of Arabism".
Western diplomats who declined to be identified said, however, that Syria had suffered heavy losses in the fighting in Lebanon, including about 90 airplanes and 23 missile batteries. The losses, they contended, were one factor in the Assad government's acceptance of a cease-fire in advance of an Israeli withdrawal. The Israelis claimed to have shot down 79 Syrian planes. The diplomats said the Syrians also lost most of an armored brigade that was stationed in Lebanon during the intensive ground and air battles. "The fighting proved that Syria's Soviet-supplied air force and air defense systems were no real danger to Israel," said one diplomat, who refused use of his name. Diplomatic sources said that unlike the 1973 war in which Soviet anti-aircraft missiles had chewed up Israel's air force, the new U.S.-made F-15 and F-16 warplanes had survived the aerial battles and missiles with few losses. The diplomats confirmed Syrian officials' claims that a brigade of about 3,000 Iranian soldiers had arrived in Syria.
Thousands of Palestinians jammed the narrow streets of Mukhaya Yarmouk, a refugee settlement on the outskirts of Damascus to give a hero's welcome to the bodies of warriors being brought home from the battle fronts in Lebanon. One ambulance, its rear doors wide open, transported three bodies, lying on the floor, splattered with blood and mud, one naked to the waist. Men, women and children of all ages lined the main street of the settlement and jammed overlooking balconies and flat roofs to watch the ambulances move slowly by to a local hospital. Their cheering and clapping was punctuated by the shrill ululations of older women. "We are proud of our men. They died like heroes fighting for our rights and their death is an inspiration to all of us," said Ahmed Abu Jaber, a young, English-speaking Palestinian at the hospital.

Copyright 1982 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

© 2006 ICMIS All rights reserved.  Graphics by InterActive Arts

Send questions and comments to MIAWebmaster

La Stampa
June 12, 1982

Israeli Prisoners in Damascus


Syrian soldiers yesterday displayed a captured Israeli tank and its crew in the streets of Damascus, after the cease-fire came into force in Lebanon. Followed by a procession of honking cars, the tank drove along Beirut Avenue, flying the Syrian and Palestinian flags.It stopped in front of the building housing the Headquarters of the Defense Brigade Commandos, headed by Rifaat Assad, brother of Syrian President Hafez Assad.

Together with the tank, the Syrian soldiers also forced the prisoners to parade, identifying them as the crew of the captured tank.

(Translated from the original Italian)

Time Magazine
June 21, 1982, U.S. Edition

Israel Strikes at The P.L.O.; But the attack may make peace more remote

BYLINE:By Ed Magnuson.
Reported by David Aikman/Jerusalem and William Stewart/Beirut

Excerpted from the following article:

In the Syrian capital of Damascus, families were also burying the soldiers killed in Lebanon. Israeli crewmen of a tank who were captured in Lebanon agreed to put themselves and their war machine on display as Syrians fired guns into the air in a signal of triumph. If the Israelis had not submitted to the parade, said one Western diplomat,"they would never return to Israel. When this mess is all over, they will be exchanged, and they will stay alive. Isn't that the name of this game: to stay alive?"

They all knew it was coming. The only question was when. For months, the attackers had looked forward to the day with a kind of grim relish, and the defenders with a growing sense of defiance. Israel had actually massed its invasion forces four times near its northern border with Lebanon, then each time aborted a strike. But when the Israeli Cabinet finally gave Defense Minister Ariel Sharon the go-ahead for the attack at 11 a.m.on a sunny Sunday morning in Galilee, the impact was stunning, and the portents were both uncertain and ominous.
Suddenly, the explosive Middle East, the cockpit of global tensions, was embroiled once again in a spreading war with no definable limits, with no predictable outcome and with potentially tragic consequences. The attack, undertaken despite the strong opposition of the Reagan Administration, starkly revealed anew how little influence the U.S. has over its ally, Israel. The assualt also raised the specter of a U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the Middle East.
The Israeli onslaught -- in effect a blitz -- was interrupted at week's end by an uneasy cease-fire. By then at least 60,000 troops, led by more than 500 tanks, had swept across the 63-mile-long Lebanese border, then snaked steadily north on tortuous dirtroads. Their goal: to crush the strongholds of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Within 48 hours, many of the P.L.O.'s fixed positions and much of its long-range Soviet-built artillery had been eliminated from southern Lebanon. But the P.L.O. put up fierce resistance and remained an organized military force, confronting the Israelis in Sidon and Tyre while blocking heir advance at Damur. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin flew by helicopter into 800-year-old Beafort Castle, a stone-walled mountaintop fortress from which the P.L.O. had often directed fire at northern Israel.
As the Israelis pushed north, they began first to skirmish and then to fight with Syrian troops that were deployed in northern Lebanon in 1976 as part of the Arab Deterrent Force to separate warring left and right-wing Lebanese factions. The Israelis were determined to end Syria's ability to assist the P.L.O. and attacked Syrian positions after publicy warning Damascus not to get involved in the fighting. A bitter confrontation ensued.
In one of the biggest air battles ever in the Middle East, more than 150 Israeli and Syrain jet fighters clashed in the skies over Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. The Israeli aircraft destroyed all of the SA-6 ground-to-air missiles that Israel had repeatedly threatened to obliterate. Israeli ground forces rolled to within two miles of the vital Damascus-to-Beirut highway, threatening to sever Syria's supply lifeline to its estimated 30,000 troops in the Bekaa Valley and in Beirut.
Then, after its rapid advances, the Israeli drive stalled. Syria rushed some 35,000 reinforcements into Lebanon. P.L.O. guerrillas, operating in and around the coastal towns of Tyre, Sidon and Damur, mounted a stubborn defense. Armed Palestinians and left-wing militia were holed up in thousands of apartments in west Beirut, vowing to resist to the death. Warned P.L.O. Spokesman Bassam Abu Sherif: "They can raid and shell Beirut until they destroy this city, but the Israelis will never enter Beirut. We will fight street to street, house to house, and we will defeat Begin in Beirut." Indeed, theP.L.O. had put up stiffer resistance at many points than the Israelis may have expected,and the closer Israeli columns got to Beirut the bloodier the fighting became. This pressure, plus the success in its major goals and increasing international protests, may have been what led Israel to call for a cease-fire with the Palestinian guerrillas as the week ended.
What had led Israel to defy the U.S., chance the intervention of the Soviet Union and launch an expedition that may make it harder for Jerusalem to work out a lasting political settlement with the Palestinians? The Begin government decided to take the risk because of a deep seated desire to try to eliminate the P.L.O. as a power in neighboring Lebanon.
In 1978, after being repeatedly shelled by P.L.O. artillery and infiltared by P.L.O.commandos, Israel had crossed into southern Lebanon and chased the P.L.O. forces north ofthe Litani River, 18 miles beyond the Israeli border. Despite the presence of some 7,000 U.N. peacekeeping forces (UNIFIL) sent into southern Lebanon in 1978 to help preserve a fragile peace, the P.L.O. was able to set up a stronghold in Tyre, outside UNIFIL's jurisdiction, from which it could shell northern Israel. A year ago, a top Begin aide boasted that one day Israel would so cripple the P.L.O. that its leaders would be comparable to "the White Russians who sat in Paris cafes after the Bolshevik revoultion."
Sharon had long wanted to destroy the P.L.O.'s bases, weapons and supplies. He thought, perhaps wishfully, that the P.L.O. would unite with other Palestinians in Jordan (more than 60% of the country's 2.2 million inhabitants are Palestinian) to overthrow King Hussein and create a Palestinian state less threatening to Israel. The Sharon plan also envisioned uniting the forces of Major Sa'ad Haddad, Israel's Lebanese surrogate who is encamped with his forces in a 600-sq.-mi. buffer zone along the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, with the Christian Phalangists in the north. The combined Christian forces, in Sharon's scheme, would take over the central government and restore what Sharon calls "a free Lebanon." This government would presumably get the Syrians to withdraw.
For months, Sharon had been restrained by the Israeli Cabinet from launching an attack into Lebanon. But then came the incident that provided the pretext for the invasion. Radical anti-P.L.O. Palestinian hitmen gravely wounded Israel's Ambassador to Britian, Shlomo Agrov, in London on Thursday, June 3. The Israeli air force promptly retaliated by bombing P.L.O. strongholds in Beirut, inflicting some 500 casualties. The P.L.O. artillery and rocketeers blasted back, hurling at least 500 rounds of explosives into 23 towns and villages in the Galilee area of northern Israel. Astonishingly, only one person died: an elderly man who had a heart attack.
On Friday night, the Israeli Cabinet met secretly in Begin's office in Jerusalem. Another Cabinet session Saturday night completed the decision. Sharon would have his war. Despite the Israeli massing of troops, weapons and vehicles in staging areas carved into the hills and valleys of northern Galilee, the timing of the attack into Lebanon was a well-kept secret. Lieut. General William Callaghan, commander of UNIFIL, was astonished when he walked into the forward headquarters of the Israeli Northern Command in Zeft on Sunday morning. He had come to discuss a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an end to the P.L.O.-Israeli barrages across the border. But there he found Lieut. General Rafael Eitan, the Israeli Chief of Staff. Eitan had a disconcerting announcement: Israel would invade Lebanon in 28 minutes. Callaghan argued futilely against the decision.
From before noon until after dark, the long columns of Israeli armor and trucks rumbled past Misgav Am, Kefar Giladi, Kefar Yuval and Metullah. There was an epic, almost cinematic, quality to the procession: huge Centurion tanks armored personnel carriers, Jeeps armed with machine guns, halftracks carrying antiaircraft guns, all bedecked with red bunting to make them easy for Israeli warplanes to identify. Behind them came communications vans, supply trucks and ambulances. Finally, giant self-propelled 175-mm artillery pieces, which could destroy targets 23 miles ahead of the advancing caravans, lumbered along the narrow dirt roads, kicking up clouds of choking dust.
The invading forces split into three separate attacking columns. One headed west, then north along the sea toward the P.L.O. strongholds of Rashidiyah and Tyre. The central column rolled toward the P.L.O. vantage point of Beaufort Castle, with the goal of pushing north along the western entrance to the Bekaa Valley and of blocking any attempt by theSyrians to move out of their occupied territory. The third column opened an eastern front, intending to clear the P.L.O. out of the 144-sq-mi. zone in southern Lebanon that the Israelis called "Fatahland" because it is dominated by Al-Fatah, the military arm of the P.L.O.
One potential problem for the invaders was whether UNIFL's troops would try to stop them. Israeli soldiers were under orders not to shoot at the peace keepers. Callaghan had instructed his contingents, according to a U.N. report, "to block advancing forces,take defense measures and stay in their positions until their safety was seriously imperiled." Most of his soldiers apparently had no difficulty deciding that they were immediately "imperiled." The Israelis moving toward Beaufort Castle passed UNIFIL posts fortified only with ironic signs: U.N. ZONE: ARMED PERSONNEL DO NOT ENTER.
Still, UNIFIL managed to delay a few of the Israeli units. A small group of Nepalese troops stubbornly refused to clear Khardala Bridge on the Litani River so that Israeli tanks detouring from the main central advance could pass. Drivers of some 100 Israeli tanks were finally ordered simply to over run the blockade, pushing the Nepalese aside. On the coastal road, another UNIFIL unit set up road blocks. The unit watched helplessly as the Israeli tanks pointed their barrels menacingly at them without firing, then bulldozed ahead.
The bulk of the easternmost column rolled steadily ahead throughly the hilly country, encountering no early P.L.O. resistance. Crossing the Litani River at Akia Bridge, the Israelis moved past a P.L.O. guardhouse abandonded so recently that a coffee pot was still warm.
Ahead of the central column, Israeli jets had been bombing the town of Nabatiyah for several hours. A Skyhawk fighter, hit by a P.L.O. SA-7 missile, burst into an orange ball of flame. The pilot, Captain Aharon Achiaz, parachuted to earth, where he was attacked by a group of villagers. Then he was taken by P.L.O. guerillas and rushed off to Beirut. There he appeared at a press conference, where he smilingly declared: "I have been treated very well. I am not afraid." He was the first Israeli pilot shot down in combat since the 1973 war.
The coastal assault began swiftly as the invading column, including some 100 tanks and an equal number of personnel carriers, closed in on the port of Tyre. At the same time,Israeli landing craft and helicopters surprised the defenders by placing troops and even tanks as far north as the Zahrani River, 30 miles north of the border. P.L.O. guerrillas held their positions as long as they could and then dispersed. Some stayed in Tyre, while others went to refugee camps or into the hills to do battle as small guerilla units.
At home in Israel, civilians set up kiosks along the main roads leading to the border to give travelling soldiers food and drink. But the police soon regretlfully closed down the kiosks: they were causing too many auto accidents. In Jerusalem, radio stations broke regular programming to play pre-1948 Zionist folk songs and stayed on the air round the clock. Residents walked the streets with transistor radios clutched to their ears. On the hour, passengers in buses and shoppers in stores fell silent, listening to the news summaries. Most of the news was good.
On Monday, the clearing operation moved swiftly on the eastern flank. For the first time, however, Israeli forces met Syrian patrols in minor skirmishes. In both Tyre and Sidon, the Israelis dropped leaflets warning residents to avoid the ground and air attacks by assembling on the beaches. International Red Cross workers and U.N. officials in Beirut were hardly equipped to care for the thousands of new refugees.
The Isreali air force resumed bombing runs on P.L.O. enclaves in Beirut. When Syrian jets tried to intercept the Israeli aircraft, they had no success. One of their MiG-23s was shot down. The Palestinian news agency WAFA complained bitterly that "with overwhelming military superiority and unlimited U.S. backing, Israel has the capability to reach almost any territorial objective it desires." The agency blamed "the prevailing Arab impotence and international indifference or complicity" for theIsraelis' "freedom of action."
On Tuesday, the Israeli Knesset took its first vote on Begin's invasion decision. For months the legislators had bickered about how to deal with the P.L.O. But with the military news encouraging and the nation rallying with patriotic fervor, a no-confidence resolution on the war introduced by the three-member Communist faction lost, 94 to 3. Addressing the Knesset, the Prime Minister spoke more slowly than usual and with evident sadness. Begin declared that Israel did not want "one square millimeter of Lebanese territory" and would not harm the Syrian forces unless they attacked Israeli troops. He also vowed that the fighting would stop once Israel had secured a 25-mile buffer zone in southern Lebanon. "
All we want is that our citizens in Galilee shall no longer have to suffocate in bomb shelters day and night and shall be free from the terror of sudden death by Katyushas [Soviet made rockets]," he said. When Begin asserted that "terrorism must be rooted out," one of the Communists yelled, "Your terror should be rooted out." As the session went on, a voice over a Knesset loudspeaker urged anyone wishing to give blood for Israel soldiers fighting in Lebanon to go to a fifth-floor office.
Meanwhile, the central column moving up the interior threatened to dislodge Syrian troops from their control of the Beirut-to-Damascus road. Israel armored columns on the coast fought their way through Sidon and Damur, claiming to have gained control of both P.L.O. dominated towns. They were within ten miles of beleaguered Beirut. But behind them, P.L.O. combatants continued to harass Israeli troops assigned difficult mopping-up operations.
From a distance, Beirut was still startlingly beautiful, although by now the city was truly embattled. There was a rumble of gunfire from Damur, the occasional scream of jets overhead and shouts of militiamen in the streets. But there was also a stillness about the city that comes with the approach of momentous events. The electricity was off in many areas of the city. Some quarters were without water. The telephone system had almost collapsed. Bread was scarce. At the few gas stations still open, drivers anxiously watched the skies as they waited in line.
Slowly, quietly, the Syrians were slipping away. They no longer manned the ubiquitous checkpoints that had monitored the city's life for the past six years. One Syrian official who traveled about town in a black cadillac left in ignominious retreat. Along with him went the young Syrian guards who only a few days before had swaggered in the yard below his apartment. "The Israeli knife is not just for us," said Abu Ziad, a Palestinian commando. "It is for the Syrians too. Let them go. I fight for myself-respect." Young Palestinian guerrillas and their allies took up their positions.Their mounted machine guns and antiaircraft artillery pointed defiantly out over the Mediterranean. They scanned the skies and waited.
The Syrian stronghold in the Bekaa Valley remained the most serious problem for theIsraelis. Their intelligence reports indicated that the Syrians had moved six more SA-6 batteries into the valley during the previous night. TIME Correspondent Roberto Suro came across a Syrian convoy and saw protruding from a canvas cover missile warheads glistening in the soft light of a full moon. A new armored division was also moving up to reinforce one already in position.
On Wednesday at 1:30 a.m., Sharon woke Prime Minister Begin in Jerusalem to warn him of these events. Recalled Sharon later in a TIME interview: "If we would have tolerated that development, the Syrian armored forces would have consisted of 600 tanks protected by an extensive missile umbrella. Their missile batteries fired at our planes. We had no choice other than to approve a military operation to destroy the missile buildup."
That operation exploded with full fury on Wednesday afternoon. The Israelis attacked the Syrian missile sites and tank positions in two massive air strikes, using against Syria's Soviet-built MiGs advanced U.S.-built F-15s and F-16s and A-4 Skyhawks. By Syrian count, more than 90 Israeli aircraft and 60 Syrian jets whirled above the valley in supersonic dogfights. So many planes were crisscrossing the sky that Syrian antiaircraft gunners often had to hold fire out of fear of hitting their own jets. Israel claimed that it had put all of the SA-6 sites out of action and downed 29 Syrian aircraft while losing none of its own jets. Syria claimed that it lost only 16 planes, while knocking out 19 Israeli fighters. When the battle was over, Sharon called it "the turning point" in the invasion.
On that same day, TIME Correspondent David Halevy accompanied Sharon as he boarded a helicopter to fly to Damur, which his troops claimed to have taken but which was far from secure. A big coded map lay across Sharon's knees, and he followed the path of the flight with a stubby finger. As the aircraft approached Damur, the pilots could not spot the headquarters of the commanding Israeli officer. Sharon quickly identified the site for the pilots and then, when they still argued about the location, brusquely ordered them to land.
Sharon had found the right spot. He ignored the Katyusha rockets that were exploding within 300 meters of the headquarters. Dressed in rumpled khaki pants and a windbreakers, he climbed briskly up the steps to the third floor and out onto a flat roof. There he answered his officers' questions about the rest of the operation and snapped out quickorders. "Are we going to enter Beirut?" asked a noncom. "No," repliedSharon flatly. "We must stay away from Beirut." He explained: "I shall avoid at all costs fighting a battle inside the city of Beirut. The elimination of the terrorists' headquarters inside the city should be carried out by the government of Lebanon."
Screaming over Beirut, Israeli jets dropped leaflets calling on the Palestinians and Syrians to leave the city and inidicating which direction to take. In west Beirut, cars with public address systems began patrolling the streets, urging people not to panic and not to pick up the leaflets, which they claimed were contaminated. But, piled high with possessions, vehicles ranging from Volkswagen Beetles to luxurious Mercedes fled the city.
On Friday morning, Israel stepped up its aerial bombardment of Beirut. In the heaviest assault of the entire invasion, Israeli jets sent pillars of smoke rising from targets that extended from south of the Beirut airport into the very heart of the capital's Palestinian-controlled west side. Israeli gunboats offshore and artillery along the coast joined in the assault, which hit many civilian targets.
Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire that went into effect at noon, but attacks against the Palestinian forces and the ferocious pounding of Beirut continued virtually unabated. Many densely populated sectors of the city were hard hit, including Palestinian refugee camps at its south end. Heavy fighting raged in and around Beirut airport. The bombardment went on through the night: illumination flares and the bright flashes of flak exploding in the air turned the night sky into a display of deadly fireworks. Israeli pilots dumped their empty fuel tanks over the city, sending them crashing into cars and roof tops. "We are animals, animals," cried a weeping Lebanese father, whose apartment building collapsed in a heap of rubble. "All we do is kill each other." Then he tenderly picked up a charred bit of flesh and buried it in the ruins.
The forces on all sides began to add up the painful costs of the Israeli blitz and the violent opposition to it. The P.L.O. claimed that its losses were light but that at least 8,000 Palestinian and Lebanese civilians had been either killed or wounded. A Red Cross delegation from Beirut said that as many as 1,500 civilians had died in Sidon alone.Israel conceded that more than 100 of its troops had died and that some 600 had been wounded. Jerusalem also announced the death of Major General Yekutiel Adam. He was the highest-ranking Israeli officer ever killed in battle. Syria provided no count of its losses, but they clearly were heavy. Said a Palestinian spokesman: "I saw their positions in the mountains, and they have been slaughtered."
In the Syrian capital of Damascus, families were also burying the soldiers killed in Lebanon. Israeli crewmen of a tank who were captured in Lebanon agreed to put themselves and their war machine on display as Syrians fired guns into the air in a signal of triumph. If the Israelis had not submitted to the parade, said one Western diplomat,"they would never return to Israel. When this mess is all over, they will be exchanged, and they will stay alive. Isn't that the name of this game: to stay alive?"
At week's end Israel and the P.L.O. agreed to a cease-fire, and for the first time in more than a week the guns fell silent in the Lebanese capital. But an official Israeli foreign ministry statement warned ominously that "if the terrorists continue their attacks, we will feel free to react with all our might." The P.L.O. said it had agreed to the cease-fire in accordance with U.N. resolutions that also call for an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Lebanese sources, meanwhile, reported that the truce had been worked out in intensive telephone discussions involving Saudi Crown Prince Fahd, President Reagan and P.L.O. Chief Yasser Arafat. Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir asserted that the initiative for the agreement had been Israel's. As for a withdrawal, he said,"I cannot imagine there will be a withdrawal before we crystallize the principles of the settlement and we obtain the goals that we set for ourselves."
But Lebanon's agony was far from over. The country was still a tinderbox. Syria had more that doubled the number of its troops in Lebanon since the fight began, and Sharon estimated that the Palestinians could still count on 15,000 to 20,000 combatants. The"peace in Galilee" that Prime Minister Begin had proclaimed as his goal when the shooting started was sill far out of the Israelis' reach -- and may have been moved even farther away by the assault.

Copyright 1982 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved

[ ICMIS Homepage ] [ The Soldiers' Stories ] [ P.O.W. Chronology] [ About ICMIS ]

[ Archive of Press Articles ] [ Laws & Conventions relating to P.O.W's ]     

[Photo Gallery ] [US Congress Legislation] [ How You Can Help ]