April Understanding meeting postponed amid French - Israeli escalation
Lebanon-Israel-France, Politics, 6/29/1999
Israel has announced the indefinite postponement of the meeting of the April Understanding Monitoring Committee that had been scheduled to be held today. The already-postponed meeting was due to discuss some 14 Lebanese complaints and 21 Israeli complaints.
Meanwhile, efforts made by specialized administrations in collaboration with the Lebanese army resulted in temporary solutions for several bridges destroyed by last week's Israeli aggressions and a partial maintenance for the availability of electricity.
However, a French-Israeli escalation has loomed under the French current term of the rotating presidency of the April Understanding Monitoring Committee. A well-informed French source said on Monday that France "refuses to get into controversy with the government of administrating Israeli matters," in reference to outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, which has criticized the French position concerning the recent air strikes against Lebanon which it described as biased.
Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon refused to receive the French envoy currently making a tour of the Middle East at the directive of French President Jacques Chirac.
On the other hand, a statement was circulated in Sidon on Monday undersigned by "The Holy Shrines Liberation Army" which criticized the US ambassador to Lebanon, David Satterfield, and called for killing him after the statement accused Satterfield of "defending his masters, the Jews, and accusing the one who defends his land as being the aggressor."
The statement reminded the US of killings of US marines in Lebanon . "And if the Almighty God will," it added, "We will repeat to the American people and regime the sufferings of that massacre."
This is however, the first time a statement has been released in the name of this organization. Lebanese official sources told the London-based al-Hayat daily there is no such organization as the Holy Shrines Liberation Army.
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