Backed by "Strategic Cooperation" with U.S.;
ISRAEL THREATENS LEBANON, SYRIA, P.L.O. WITH ALL OUT WAR
Israel is threatening another open war against Lebanon, the PLO and Syria. Encouraged by the strategic backing they got from the U.S. for their aggression on the Syrian Golan Heights, the Israeli militarists hold that another act of violence may pay off and remove some of the political and economic deadlocks they and the United States are facing in the region.
Pilloried for breaking all rules of international law and political behaviour, the Israeli leadership reacts by ever expanding its policy of military blows and aggression. Following their annexation of the occupied Golan, the Israelis have concentrated about two divisions on the Syrian and Lebanese borders. While absurdly blaming Syria and the PLO for the increase in tension, the Israeli leaders let no day pass without leaking invasion plans and uttering blunt threats.
Israeli Troops in south Lebanon
On January 9, the Israeli Chief of Staff General Eytan said that "Syria had embarked on the road for a new war". He again brought up the presence of anti-aircraft missiles stationed in Lebanon to protect the Syrian-Arab peacekeeping forces there from Israeli air strikes, and recklessly declared that Israel would not "tolerate the permanent presence of these missiles." He also openly evoked the possibility of another all-out Middle East war ("I hope it will be the last one; it is possible that the entire eastern front of Israel explodes..." Yediot Aharonot, January 8, 1982).
On January 15, the Jerusalem Post, referring to reports "leaked" from the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv and brought up by the Washington Middle East Survey, gave an outline of Israeli plans for ten "surprise operations". According to U.S. ambassador to Israel Samuel Lewis, the Israeli "options" for further military strikes included air attacks on Libyan and Pakistani nuclear installations; but according to the Jerusalem Post the "most probable" attack was reportedly a large-scale invasion of southern Lebanon, air strikes against Syrian missile positions and attacks on Palestinian centres.
And while the UN Security Council and the international community were still debating the dangerous consequences of Israeli aggression on the Golan, Israeli T.V. on January 15 demonstratively broadcast a detailed scenario for the next Israeli military adventure, commented on again by Eytan.
According to the Israeli strategist it could be "provoked" in the following way: A booby-trapped car would mysteriously explode in Acca, on the northern Mediterranean coast of occupied Palestine, with several Israelis killed or wounded, among them children. Prime Minister Begin, attending the funeral, would then publicly vow, that "terrorism had to be extinguished in the region". "Defense" Minister Ariel Sharon would declare to American Jewish leaders that southern Lebanon had become a centre of "international terrorism". A few days later, Israeli tanks and planes would attack Palestinian centres in Lebanon, and also engage Syrian peacekeeping forces there, thus widening the conflict to overall war.
The Beirut daily as-Safir quoting "Arab diplomatic sources", on January 14 published details of the Israeli plans for wide-scale aggression against Lebanon, the Syrian forces, the PLO, and the Lebanese National Movement. An operation, code-named "Liva" and expected to be launched within the coming two months, would include:
- Israeli bombardment of Syrian positions in the Beqaa in eastern Lebanon;
- Shelling of positions of the Joint Palestinian-Lebanese forces;
- An attempt to impose a sea blockade on Tyre and Sidon in southern Lebanon and on Tripoli in the north;
- A tank attack on the Beqaa-Aishiyeh-Jezzine area and the southern coastal road.
According to the sources, Israel intended also to use new weapons such as the U.S. "Lance" missiles. As-Safir said that the political aims of the new Israeli aggression were clear: crushing the Palestinian Resistance and the Lebanese Nationalist Forces, weakening Syria, imposing on the Arabs the so-called "autonomy" plan for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and paving the way for the eventual additional annexation of these territories. As a whole, the violent aggression would expand U.S.-Israeli strategic designs on the entire region.
General Eytan: Putting the Israeli-U.S.
On January 20, the United Nations peace-keeping units in Lebanon (UNIFIL) declared that the Israeli Army "conducted 'large-scale' tank and infantry training exercises in southern Lebanon for two days, firing thousands of rounds of live ammunition" (International Herald Tribune, January 21, 1982). The report added that UNIFIL was preparing a complaint about the manoeuvres, which took place in the southern Lebanese border zone already occupied by Israel.
Israel's brutal threats and sabre-rattling are accompanied by a continuous flow of U.S. officials touring the Middle East, from Haig and Habib to Linowitz and Percy. The war threats are a direct outcome of the recent U.S.-Israeli "strategic cooperation" agreement. They show the true face of the American 'peace" proclaimed some years ago at Camp David. The United States, while arming and financing Israeli aggression and expansion, tries to tell the Palestinians, the Syrians and all the Arabs, that they would have to surrender "peacefully" to U.S. military, economic and political hegemony over the area, otherwise the Israeli war machine would take off.
The Israeli militarist policy of blackmail and superior blitz strikes against its Arab neighbours reminds one of the strategies of aggression and blackmail used by Hitler in the late 1930s to crush and dismantle his "weak" neighbours, in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland: either to surrender "peacefully" to his diktat, or to face unprecedented devastation from his superior and "invincible" war machine. The historic results for the world and also Jewish people are known.
Palestine - PLO information bulletin has been archived online as a project of New Jersey Solidarity - Activists for the Liberation of Palestine.
Originally published by The Palestine Liberation Organisation Unified Information as a bi-monthly information bulletin with copy permission granted via the notice "Partial or total reproduction is freely permitted by 'Palestine Bulletin'"
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