Israeli leaders' popularity slips, but majority remains

A poll published Wednesday showed a sharp drop in popularity for Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon.

Although both leaders maintained the support of a majority of Israelis, the poll, published in Monitin magazine, said that after the masscre Mr. Sharon's popularity dropped 14 percent, from 78 percent approval of his performance, and Mr. Begin's popularity decreased from 82 to 72 percent.

The Jerusalem Post said tensions between Sharon and the military have not abated despite the decision to go ahead with a probe. Many officers are still ''outraged'' over Mr. Sharon's hint of an Israeli involvement in the 1976 massacre of Palestinians at Tel al-Zaatar, when Labor Party leader Shimon Peres was defense minister, it said.

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