Israel may have to settle for less than it hoped for
The draft agreement with Lebanon on withdrawal of Israeli troops, worked out with the aid of US Secretary of State George Shultz, is a far cry from what Israel had once hoped it would achieve in its ''Operation Peace for Galilee.''
At the Israeli Cabinet scheduled to meet May 6 several Cabinet ministers are likely to oppose aspects of the security arrangement worked out for protection of Israel's northern border.
Former Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, architect of Israel's war in Lebanon, has already served notice that he won't support any agreement which he believes will permit the return of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) fighters to south Lebanon and renewed shelling of Israel's northern towns. Mr. Sharon is furious at Israel's concessions on the status of Israel's ally Maj. Saad Haddad, the Lebanese militia leader whom Israel had wanted to command the Lebanese Army forces in south Lebanon.
Other cabinet ministers are also likely to complain that the 50 or so Israeli soldiers who reportedly will be permitted on joint patrol with Lebanese soldiers are far from what Mr. Sharon had in mind when he originally called for several Israeli observation posts, each with a few hundred men.
In addition, detailed provisions on mutual Israeli-Lebanon relations which Israel had hoped would lead to a peace treaty have now been put off until six months after withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. James Dorsey reports from Beirut:
Lebanese officials close to the negotiations on the withdrawal of all foreign forces insist that the draft agreement now being reviewed by the Israeli Cabinet constitutes Lebanon's final position.
''We are still concerned but no longer involved,'' said a Lebanese source close to President Amin Gemayel. ''It all depends now on whether Shultz can sell the agreement in Jerusalem and Damascus.''
According to both the left-wing Lebanese newspaper As-Safir and sources familiar with the negotiations, the draft agreement worked out in talks between Mr. Shultz and Mr. Gemayel called for:
* An Israeli withdrawal of all its troops from Lebanon within a period not exceeding eight weeks. It is understood but not mentioned in the agreement that Syria and the PLO will simultaneously withdraw their forces from Lebanon.
* The establishment of joint Lebanese-Israeli supervisory teams to ascertain that Israel is not threatened from south Lebanon. The teams, controlled by a tripartite Lebanese-Israeli-US commission, will consist of no more than 50 Israeli officers. Israel's military presence in south Lebanon will be restricted to these joint teams operating in Lebanese Army vehicles.
* The commander of the Israeli-backed militia in south Lebanon, Maj. Saad Haddad, will be named deputy commander of the Lebanese Army contingent in south Lebanon. But executive power will be in the hands of the Lebanese commander of the unit.
* The establishment of a security zone in south Lebanon in which the joint supervisory teams will operate. This zone, to be patrolled by an estimated 8,000 Lebanese troops, will be divided into a sector immediately along the Israeli-Lebanese border and an 18-kilometer deep sector from which non-Lebanese nationals will be barred unless authorized by Lebanon.
* An end to the Lebanon-Israel state of war.
* The establishment of an Israeli liaison office, preferably in south Lebanon.
* The deployment of United Nations troops in south Lebanon around the city of Sidon to protect Palestinian refugee camps.
* The deployment of the US contingent of the multinational forces along the coastal highway connecting Beirut with the security zone in south Lebanon. The Italian contingent will control the highway stretching from Beirut northward to the port of Tripoli. And the French contingent will patrol the highway between Beirut and the Lebanese-Syrian border.
* The restriction of trade and travel between Israel and Lebanon to humanitarian and emergency cases. Trade relations will be determined following a six-month interim period.