Ariel Sharon - Lebanon Situation - September 1982

Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon - Getting the green light from The Knesset.

September 8, 1982 – Optimism In The MiIddle East, Pessimism In Lebanon, Finger-Crossing In Bern.

Ariel Sharon - Lebanon Situation - September 1982
Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon – Getting the green light from The Knesset.
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September 8, 1982 – CBS World News Roundup + Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

September 8, 1982 – Busy news day for the Middle East. Beginning with word that the Arab heads of State, meeting in Fez Morocco, had unanimously agreed on a new peace plan for the region, based on Saudi Arabian and Tunisian suggestions. The United Emirates News Agency, reporting from Fez, said the plan incorporated President Reagan’s proposals for the Palestinian question. Although the reports were not yet official at news time, they still generated enough enthusiasm to offer quiet encouragement that things were heading in a positive direction in the Middle East.

Maybe not so much with the issue of Lebanon, as the Israeli Parliament debated on and finally approved Israel’s war in Lebanon. Later on in the day, it was slated to take up President Reagan’s Peace initiative, which Prime Minister Begin and the majority of the Israeli cabinet had already rejected. Defense Minister Arie Sharon dominated the debate on the war in Lebanon by dismissing evidence of widespread destruction in Beirut by insisting that Israeli bombing had destroyed only 40 or 50 buildings there. He also went on to say that if Lebanon didn’t sign a peace treaty with Israel, Israel would insist upon a security zone running 28 miles north of its Lebanese border. Opposition were criticizing Sharon for going too far, well beyond the original goal. Begin scoffed, saying it was the only thing that was bringing genuine peace to Northern Israel.

And this was the third day of occupation of the Polish Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. The crisis was far from over, but authorities understandably were breathing a little easier this day. Through ten separate telephone conversations with the gunmen, the government’s special taskforce had won the release of five more hostages overnight. The last three women remaining in the buiding were freed, along with a male employee with heart trouble and a student who had been in the Embassy on business. That left five hostages along with the Polish Military attaché, whose discovery was made only the day before, hiding. A government spokesman insisted that no concessions had been granted for the hostage release, but gave no indication that any conditions were required.

And that’s a small slice of what went on, this Septebmer 8, 1982 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup and hourly newscast for 9 and 10 am.

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