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in the Israel-Lebanon sector
The Chief of Staff of UNTSO has submitted the following report on developments in the Israel-Lebanon sector during September 1977: 1/
1. Ground activity, mainly artillery shooting reports, continued at a high level during the reporting period and occurred along the entire armistice demarcation line. The heaviest and most intense activity occurred as a result of the flare-up in fighting in the vicinity of the village of El Khiam (AMR 2075-3035). 2/ This fighting commenced on 16 September 1977. It ended on 26 September as a result of an agreement by all concerned to a general cease-fire in southern Lebanon. The events from l6 to 23 September were the subject of two special reports (S/ll663/Add.43 and Add.44). Air activity was at approximately the same level as last month and no naval violations were observed.
2. Israel forces personnel continued to occupy six positions on the Lebanese side of the armistice demarcation line near border pillars 6 (AMR 1680-2770), 11 (AMR 1799-2788), 14 (AMR 1838-2734), 18 (AMR 1880-2740), 19 (AMR 1907-2749) and 33 (AMR 2004-2904).
3. There were 66 cases of firing across the ADL or across the line between Lebanese territory and Israel-occupied Syrian territory. There were three crossing violations, These were reported as follows:
(a) OP Lab (AMR l643-2772), south of the village of Labouna, reported mortar fire by unidentified forces on 22 September.
(b) OP Hin (AMR 1770-2790), east of the village of Marouahine, reported artillery fire on 20, 22 (three reports) and 25 (two reports) September, automatic weapons fire on 12 and 30 September, and mortar fire on 8 (two reports) and 25 September, all by Israel forces. Additionally, the OP reported mortar fire by unidentified forces on 22 September (two reports).
(c) OP Ras (AMR 1920-2785), south-east of the village of Maroun Er Ras, reported artillery fire on 12 and 21 September and mortar fire on 20 and 21 September, all by Israel forces. Additionally, the OP reported artillery fire by unidentified forces on 21 September.
(d) OP Mar (AMR 1998-2921), south-east of the village of Markaba, reported artillery fire on 12, 16 (three reports), 18 (four reports), 23 (four reports), 24 (nine reports) and 25 (two reports) September, automatic weapons fire on 5 September, and mortar fire on 1 and 2 September, all by Israel forces.
(e) OP Khiam (AMR 2071-3025), south- of the village of El Khiam, reported artillery fire on 1, 16, 17, 18 (two reports), 19, 20 (two reports), 21, 22 (two reports) and 23 (two reports) September, all by Israel forces. Additionally, the OP reported crossing violations by unidentified forces on 18 (two reports) and 22 September from Lebanon into Israel through the "good fence". United Nations military observers were unable to identify these forces positively owing to the large observation distances involved (see S/ll663/Add.44, para. 2).
4. There were 16 overflights reported during the period. Overflights by Israel forces jet aircraft were reported on 1, 5, 6, 8, 12, l6, l8, 19, 20, 24, 28, 29 and 30 September (one each day), and on 26 September (three overflights).
5. Throughout the fighting in the vicinity of El Khiam, UNTSO daily attempted to arrange a cease-fire between the de facto forces involved in order to relieve and resupply OP Khiam (S/ll663/Add.43, para. 4, and S/ll663/Add.44, para. ID). These attempts failed on account of the Lebanese Christian de facto forces' refusal to co-operate in the negotiation process, or to allow passage of the four attempted reliefs after agreements had supposedly been reached. Additionally, OP Khiam was extensively damaged by direct hits or impacts close to the OP from artillery, tank and mortar fire. The relief of OP Khiam was completed on 28 September, after the military observers had spent 19 days in the OP or in the shelter, including 9 days under heavy weapons fire.
1/ UNTSO observers are stationed in the Israel-Lebanon sector on the Lebanese side of the armistice demarcation line, in accordance with the consensus approved by the members of the Security Council on 19 April 1972, to observe the cease-fire between Israel and Lebanon called for by the Security Council. The present report of the Chief of Staff of UNTSO concerns developments observed and reported by UNTSO observers in this context.
2/ AMR - approximate map reference.