The Israeli Defence Minister, Shimon Peres, said on Sunday (18 July) that Israel would make no moves regarding Lebanon as long as Israeli security was not threatened.
SV PAN & SV Tent medical centre (3 shots)
SV Peres talking through interpreter
GV & SCU Peres speaking to Lebanese across border (2 shots)
SV Lebanese holding barbed wire and speaking through fence (2 shots)
SV Peres at fence talking to Lebanese
MV Israeli patrol vehicle at roadside
SCU Peres speaking
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Background: The Israeli Defence Minister, Shimon Peres, said on Sunday (18 July) that Israel would make no moves regarding Lebanon as long as Israeli security was not threatened.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Peres was speaking during a tour of the Lebanese border where Israel has centres to treat people crossing to escape the civil war.
The Defence Minister said the war was not an Israeli responsibility and his country did not mix in Lebanon's internal affairs. During his tour of the border region, Mr. Peres compared Lebanon to Cyprus and said he believed Syria wanted to annex the strategic Bekaa Valley region.
The number of Lebanese seeking medical treatment in Israel now average about 150 a day. They are seen by Israeli army doctors. The Lebanese say there has been a nearly total breakdown in civilian medical services since Lebanon's doctors were drafted by the various warring factions This contact between the Lebanese and Israelis at Metulla has continued now for several months.
The Israeli Defence Ministry says the relief operation is justified on humanitarian grounds. Cases which can't be treated at the field clinic are referred to hospitals deeper inside Israel.
Israel's military attitude to the civil war has been subdued. Reuters interprets Mr. Peres' recent statements on the situation as a hint that Israel may not object to Lebanon being partitioned. Several months ago, Israel was strongly against Lebanon being divided. At that time, left-wing Moslems and Palestinian forces seemed likely to control a large area. Now, the Syrian and Christian forces are apparently in a much stronger position