Question of Palestine home
27 December 1985
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Letter dated 26 December 1985 from the Acting Permanent Representative of Israel
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
Document A/40/986-S/17669 dated 5 December 1985 is yet another attempt by the Government of Lebanon to divert international attention from its inability to enforce law and order in Lebanon. It appears that the fate of the country - which is controlled by Syria - is of no concern to the Lebanese Government and, curiously, it is only when southern Lebanon is involved that a sudden concern is voiced by Beirut. While the Government of Lebanon has no control over its own capital, it continues by Syrian diktat to blame Israel for every outbreak of internal violence throughout all of Lebanon.
Contrary to the allegations contained in document A/40/986-S/17669, Israel's act1vity along the Lebanese-Israeli border is carried out entirely in self-defence. Israel's only aim is to guarantee the safety and welfare of its citizens living in northern Israel. The Government of Israel will continue to fulfil this primary obligations to its people by defending them from any spillover of violence into Israel.
Furthermore, the information contained in document A/40/986-S/17669 is entirely misleading. It conveniently fails to mention that during the period from June 1985 to the present 790 attacks and attempted attacks have been carried out by terrorist elements in Lebanon against targets in southern Lebanon and Israel.
Of these 190 attacks, 15 have involved suicide missions where booby-trapped cars and animals laden with explosives have been sent toward Israel's border with Lebanon for the purpose of killing as many civilians an possible. Two notable examples follow:
1. On 19 July 1985 a booby-trapped car exploded in the Hasbaya district of southern Lebanon killing 19 Lebanese civilians.
2. On 3 November 1985 in an apparent suicide mission, two horses and a mule laden with explosives were led toward the Israeli-Lebanese border. Fortunately the explosives were uncovered and there were no casualties.
Since June 1985, 280 rockets have been launched from Lebanon toward Israel. Two notable examples follow:
1 On 4 September 1985 rockets launched from Lebanon landed in the Shomra area of northern Israel near Kibbutz Gesher Aziv.
2. On 24 July 1985 and again on 24 September 1985 rockets launched from Lebanon landed near Kiryat Shemona.
In addition, during the same period, 495 acts of infiltration, incursion and sabotage were carried out by terrorist elements in Lebanon. Two notable examples follow:
1. On 17 October 1985 terrorists attacked a radio station on the Israeli-Lebanese border. A large part of the station was destroyed.
2. On 22 November 1985 three terrorists were captured on their way to Israel to carry out acts of sabotage in Israel.
Not surprisingly, in some quarters these car bombings, rocket attacks (on civilian settlements), kidnappings and similar terrorist outrages have been labelled "Lebanese resistance activities". In fact, however, they are unadulterated acts of terrorism planned, organized and implemented by various groups belonging to the PLO and its offshoots, the Syrian National Socialists, various Communist groupings, Lebanese Baathists and extreme Shiite groupings who are linked to those engaged in recent outrages of international terrorism. Apprehended terrorists have admitted that most of these activities were and are inspired by the Syrian Mukhabarat (intelligence services). Under these circumstances, Israel has no alternative but to defend the lives and property of the inhabitants of its northern area..
Incidentally, one day's violence in the streets of Beirut or Tripoli accounts for a considerably higher number of casualties than the total number of casualties resulting from all incidents in the border area since June 1985.
Unlike the civilians who live in Beirut or Tripoli, the people of southern Lebanon live under normal conditions, free from the endless cycle of violence that is destroying the rest of Lebanon. It is only through Israel's actions that the killing and kidnapping of civilians, so common in the rest of Lebanon, has come to a virtual stop in the border area.
The Government of Israel once again emphasizes that its own activity, as well as the activity of local forces in the border area, are acts of self-defence. Israel's only aim regarding Lebanon is to guarantee peace and security to its citizens living in northern Israel.
The Government of Israel has consistently attempted to achieve this goal through mutual arrangements with the authorities in Beirut. Negotiations were conducted twice, one of which produced an agreement. Subsequently, this agreement was unilaterally abrogated by the Lebanese at Syria's behest.
More recently, in November 1985 another attempt was made to renew contacts between Israel and Lebanon through a special emissary of the Secretary-General of the United Nations. While Israel responded favourably, Lebanon, which initially had shown interest, retracted again under Syrian pressure.
The Government of Israel continues to express its willingness and desire to negotiate with any Lebanese element that can guarantee a suitable security arrangement for the northern area of Israel.
I have the honour to request that this letter be circulated as an official document of the General Assembly, under the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East", and of the Security Council.
) Johanan BEIN
Acting Permanent Representative
of Israel to the United Nations