Lebanon refused to sign a working paper for talks with Israel that are due to start today (Dec. 28), Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin was quoted as saying Monday.
According to members of the Knesset (parliament) Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Begin said the paper would nonetheless serve as the basis of the talks in Lebanon on an Israeli pullout. Lebanon reportedly had agreed to the working paper, but would not sign it. Israel insists the talks must deal with normalization of relations, security arrangements in the border area, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces, in that order.
Israeli and Lebanese troops threw a security cordon around the hotel where the talks are to be held. Not far away, in Sidon, unknown gunmen attacked the Israeli civil affairs building with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles. The Israeli Army said one of its soldiers had been injured.