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June 27, 1982 President Ronald Reagan 1981-1989

The Jerusalem Post reported that in his beleaguered area of Beirut, surrounded by the IDF, Yasser Arafat rejected US proposals to surrender.  The cease-fire continued with Israel holding fast to the vital Beirut-Damascus road.  The Israeli cabinet met in order to consider the next step in Beirut. Israel had also decided to extend its relief activities and humanitarian aid form the Christian enclave in South Lebanon to the entire South Lebanon and the 250,000-odd Palestinians in this area. The official toll of “Operation for the Peace of Galilee” for the preceding three weeks of fighting was 260 dead, including those who fought the Syrians.

There was some concern in Israel that George Shultz, the man nominated in Washington to replace US Secretary of State Alexander Haig, had close links with Saudi Arabia, was for eight years the President of Bechtel, and had already expressed himself publicly, challenging then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan’s pro-Israeli position.  Shultz was close to another Bechtel official in the Reagan administration, Caspar Weinberger, whose position was often in conflict with the more pro-Israel stance taken by Haig.  (Bechtel, a US construction company, had huge interests in Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Arab states).

Source:  Jerusalem Post, “From Our Archives,” June 27, 2007.

Posted in: American Presidents

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