The Israeli soldiers manning the front-line outpost of Mazrat Beit Jann, on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon deep inside Syrlan territory, on Wednesday (6 February) enjoyed a brief lull after days of heavy shelling from Syrian artillery.
The Israeli soldiers manning the front-line outpost of Mazrat Beit Jann, on the southern slopes of Mount Hermon deep inside Syrlan territory, on Wednesday (6 February) enjoyed a brief lull after days of heavy shelling from Syrian artillery. Despite the rapid disengagement of Israeli and Egyptian forces on the Sinai Front, there is still little sign of an ending to the three months of intermittent fighting around Mount Hermon and the rest of the Golan Heights that have continued since the end of the October War.
Although Israeli Premier Golda Meir stated recently (30 January) that Israel would like to reach an agreement with Syria, and that Israel had no intention of holding on to land captured during the October War, she said her government cold not agree to talks beginning until Syria handed over lists of the Israeli prisoners, she held, and allowed Red Cross workers to visit them.
The Syrian attitude is also intransigent. There cannot be talks, they say, until Israel has withdrawn from all occupied Syrian territory to her pre-1967 frontier beneath the Golan Heights. They also insist that the Palestine people should be given a credible guarantee of "their rights".
Some observers feel that, despite the two countries' public utterances, an interim settlement, like the one signed by Israel and Egypt, is in sight. Following his peace-seeking visit to Damascus on January 20th, Dr. Penry Kissinger spoke cautiously of 'constructive ideas' put forward by Syrian president Assad. On the same day as the Israeli defenders of Mazrat Bait Jann were filmed, President Tito of Yugoslavia also visited President Assad in Damascus. His mission, it is understood was to help find a way through the deadlock.