Bashir Gemayel, head of the rightwing Falangist forces, which have been fighting Palestinian guerrillas in southern Lebanon, has said the ceasefire just announced there cannot last.
SV: Bashir Gemayel head of the Christian Falangist forces in Lebanon seated on sofa answering reporters questions. (3 shots)
GEMAYEL: "This is the ceasefire number 150, maybe, from the beginning of our problems in Lebanon two years ago, or three years ago. I cannot rely, and I cannot be sure, that the Palestinians are the kind of people who may hold on their signatures on any ceasefire agreement. And now, for three days, or during the last three days, we have had two casualties, two deaths, two killed in the south, four injuries, and I don't know what will be the issue of this ceasefire. But I can tell you that, personally, I am not optimistic that they can hold on."
REPORTER: "Why do you think there was any ceasefire at all, on the part of the Israelis, the announced ceasefire?"
GEMAYEL: "Because of the pressure of the United States."
REPORTER: "Do you think that the United States can continue to exert that pressure to continue the ceasefire?"
GEMAYEL: "I don't know between the United States and Israel. But, as far as we are concerned we are defending our villages, we are defending our lives. The Lebanese population in the south are having a fight for their own survival."
REPORTER: "Is it your observation that the Israeli forces have, in fact, totally withdrawn from the Lebanese side of the border?"
GEMAYEL: "Well, according to our reports, they haven't really interfered directly and the involvement of the Israeli forces was not was not...er...massive. So now they can withdraw. But I don't know if some of their soldiers will remain on the Lebanese territories or not."
REPORTER: "Can there ever be a peace in the south as long as there are Palestinians south of the Litani River?"
GEMAYEL: "There will never be peace in Lebanon as long as you have still Palestinians in Lebanon."
Right wing Falangist forces, backed by Israel, have been fighting Palestinian guerrillas on southern Lebanon for almost a year. Steady fighting petered out on Monday (26 September) after Israel announced a ceasefire and began pulling tanks and troops out of Lebanese territory. Western diplomats and senior Palestinian officials have warned against premature optimism over an early end to the southern war. The United States this week announced a new peace formula which provided for restricted Palestinian participation within the framework of a unified Arab delegation when the Geneva conference on the Middle East is resumed. Bashir Gemayel is the son of Pierre Gemayel, leader of the Lebanese Falangist party.
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Background: Bashir Gemayel, head of the rightwing Falangist forces, which have been fighting Palestinian guerrillas in southern Lebanon, has said the ceasefire just announced there cannot last. Speaking in Beirut, on Thursday (29 September), Mr Gemayel also said that Lebanon would not know peace as long as any Palestinians were living there.
SYNOPSIS: The Falangist leader - interviewed soon after the ceasefire was announced - was asked if he thought it would last: