Israeli Col. Eli Geva, one of the most brilliant officers of his generation, was dismissed from the Army. He had asked to be relieved of his frontline command because he opposed an all-out attack on Beirut.
Colonel Geva rocked Israel this week when word of his request for a transfer was leaked. It set off an anguished debate in the Knesset (parliament) and in the top echelons of the armed forces, and it's discussed in virtually every home. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin personally tried to persuade the colonel to change his mind.
Wednesday Mr. Begin described their meeting to the Knesset. For 45 minutes, he said, Geva explained to him why he opposed sending the Army into west Beirut, where Israel is besieging 5,000 Palestinian fighters. He quoted Geva as saying that when he peered down into Beirut through binoculars he saw children and said their conversation continued like this:
Begin: ''Did you receive an order to kill children?''
Begin: ''Then what are you complaining about?''
At the United Nations, a French-Egyptian resolution calling for the disengagement of Israeli and Palestinian forces in Beirut and laying the basis for an overall Middle East settlement was introduced in the Security Council July 29. The initiative aims at linking an end to the immediate crisis in Lebanon with a Middle East settlement that would, in effect, affirm both Israel's right to existence and security and the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and statehood.