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Israel Criticizes Lebanon's Abrogation of the Israel-Lebanon Agreement

In February, the U.S. sent feelers to Israel requesting that it should refrain from the expression of public objection in case the Israel-Lebanon Agreement is abrogated. Washington argued that a mute Israeli reaction would help the Gemayel regime. Mr. Shamir objected to the request saying that such a policy was erroneous. On March 5, Lebanon, under massive Syrian pressure and threats, abrogated the agreement. In the following statement, Israel called the Lebanese move a capitulation to Syrian dictates which "means a death sentence for Lebanese independence and sovereignty. Israel continued, however to maintain a semi diplomatic mission in Beirut.

The Agreement that was signed on 17 May 1983 between Lebanon and Israel was concluded after free negotiations between the two states. The American Government actively participated in these negotiations, and in the attainment of the Agreement. The Agreement, which was an expression of the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, was approved by an overwhelming majority of the Lebanese Parliament. The purpose of the Agreement was to establish a new era of relationship between Lebanon and Israel, to determine minimal security arrangements and to bring about the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon.

In light of the fact that, in this situation, Lebanon is incapable of fulfilling her international obligations and of preventing south Lebanon once again being turned into a terrorist base, Israel itself will determine the best ways to ensure its security,

In addition, Israel will continue to show friendship to the Lebanese people and especially, to friends with whom she has had close relations for a long time. Israel hopes that Lebanon will succeed in restoring her sovereignty and in liberating herself from Syrian domination. Israel is ready even today to carry out the Agreement of 17 May 1983.

Israeli Foreign Ministry