Two-pronged pressure on PLO
Israeli gunboats and planes continued to attack west Beirut for the seventh straight day Wednesday as US envoy Philip Habib sought an unequivocal commitment from the Palestine Liberation Organization to pull out its 6,000 guerrillas from the besieged city within 48 hours.
Israeli television and radio reported July 27 that Mr. Habib was working toward a phased evacuation of the guerrillas from Lebanon. Under the proposal, the guerrillas would first withdraw to Tripoli in northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley to the east before leaving finally for Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. A chief sticking point to the plan was continued PLO insistence that Israeli forces must first withdraw from around Beirut to southern Lebanon, the reports said.
In Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was quoted Wednesday as saying he would consider providing a haven in Egypt for some 3,000 Palestinian guerrillas if the United States was firmly committed to finding a homeland for the Palestinians.
Wednesday's bombardment of Beirut followed a series of air raids July 27, described by residents as the heaviest so far, in which 350 people were reported killed or wounded.