NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
28th June, 1982 : With Israeli troops at the gates of Beirut, Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister, offered to allow encircled Palestinian guerrillas to leave the city with weapons. This is a dramatic shift in the declared aim of the invasion to destroy the PLO’s leadership and its armed forces. Only two days ago Israel was demanding that all 15 terrorist organisations must hand over their weapons to the Lebanese Army. The invasion began early in June, when, on 6th June, a force of 20,000 men crossed the border and drove northwards into Lebanon. Two days later advance units were in sight of Beirut. In air battles the Israelis claim to have shot down 61 MiGs while Syria says that it knocked down 19 Israeli war-planes. What is certain that Israel is isolated diplomatically.