Beirut — The Syrian Army opened fire on an Israeli bulldozer and armored personnel carrier in the no man's land separating the armies in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. No casualties were reported.
Although there have been many Lebanese reports of Israeli-Syrian clashes in Lebanon, it was the first time since last June's cease-fire that Israel acknowledged one. An Israeli spokesman played down the incident near Kfar Amik, saying Israeli forces did not fire back. According to Syrian radio, the shots were fired after the Israelis advanced 500 yard toward Syrian positions and started to push up fortifications. The incident, which came amid reports of a military buildup by both armies in the Bekaa, underscored the growing tension between Israel and Syria.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State George Shultz was in Cairo, trying to negotiate an Israeli troop withdrawal from Israel and reactivate President Reagan's Mideast peace plan. The initiative has been stalled ever since Jordan's King Hussein refused to enter peace talks without the backing of the Palestine Liberation Organization. But PLO chairman Yasser Arafat provided a glimmer of hope Tuesday, saying he won backing from the moderate Fatah movement, the PLO's backbone, to resume talks with Jordan. Palestinian sources said this was the main result of a brief meeting in Tunis of the Fatah Central Committee.