268. Research Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1

PA 79–10305

[Omitted here is a map.]

Israel’s Goals in Southern Lebanon [handling restriction not declassified]

Key Judgments

The Begin government’s new search-and-destroy policy against the Palestinians in Lebanon over time is likely to lead to an expansion of Israeli control over all of southern Lebanon up to the Litani River.

To this end, the Israelis probably will try to bolster the effectiveness of their southern Lebanese surrogates, the Maronite Christian militias commanded by Major Saad Haddad.

Some Israeli military figures probably hope that the new Israeli policy, combined with the provocations of Haddad’s forces, will lead to the withdrawal of UN troops from the south and clear the way for expanded operations against the Palestinians.

In the event of a terrorist “spectacular” within Israel, the Israelis are not likely to be deterred by the presence of UN troops from aggressively seeking out the Palestinians, including sending Israeli troops into UN-patrolled areas.

Once installed at the Litani, the Israelis probably would refuse to withdraw or to permit a meaningful restoration of Lebanese Government authority in the near term.

Israel is not likely to be dissuaded from pursuing a more aggressive policy in Lebanon by considering its effect on the autonomy negotiations. Egypt would hesitate to take action in opposing Israeli moves that might seriously jeopardize the negotiations or the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai.

[handling restriction not declassified]

[Omitted here is the body of the research paper.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency, Office of Near East and South Asia Analysis, Directorate of Intelligence, Job 06T00412R: Intelligence Publication Files, Box 1, Folder 65, PA 79–10305 Israel’s Goals in Southern Lebanon. Secret; [handling restriction not declassified]. The research for the report was completed on June 29. The report was coordinated with the Office of Strategic Research, the Directorate of Operations, and the NIO/NESA.