The House yesterday approved $50 million in humanitarian aid to Lebanon amid new debate about Israeli military action there.
The special aid measure, which passed 334 to 70, was backed by the Reagan administration even though the bill provides $30 million more than it had requested. The funds will be used primarily for housing and field kitchens for refugees.
For the second day, sharp criticism of Israeli action was heard on Capitol Hill. At the same time, some lawmakers cautioned against singling out the Jewish state for blame.
Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, urged President Reagan to call again for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Lebanon and, if Israel refuses, to move to impose international sanctions against Israel, to freeze all U.S. military supplies and to reassess future military aid.
"We can make no bargain with armed aggressors, friend or foe," Hatfield said in a Senate speech.
Sen. Paul E. Tsongas (D-Mass.), taking a different tack, blamed U.S. policy, saying that "the vacuum caused by lack of a policy is fueling what is going on."
Tsongas, in a news conference, proposed a nine-point program to guide U.S. policy in the area, including disarmament of the Palestine Liberation Organization, PLO recognition of Israel's right to exist and urgent renewal of discussion of autonomy for Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza.
The House, while debating the humanitarian aid to Lebanon, heard an appeal from Rep. Abraham Kazen Jr. (D-Tex.) to avoid singling out Israel for criticism. "There is enough blame to go around on all sides," he said.
"The issue today . . . is what are we going to do to alleviate the situation that now exists," Kazen said.
Nevertheless, Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.) asked for backing for his bill calling for an investigation of whether Israel violated agreements with the United States by using U.S. military equipment in the Lebanon invasion. The equipment was provided with the understanding it could be used only for "defensive purposes," but that requirement has not been precisely defined.
Rep. David E. Bonior (D-Mich.) endorsed such an investigation. While acknowledging Israel's need to protect its borders, Bonior said: "What has happened here has gone way beyond any sense of fairness and any sense of reason."
Israeli Ambassador Moshe Arens, meanwhile, told the National Press Club that there is "no logic, no sense, no point" for Israel ever to negotiate with the PLO even if the PLO recognizes Israel's right to exist.
Arens said documents captured by Israeli forces show a "close, almost organic connection between the PLO and the Soviet Union." He said the caches of Soviet-manufactured arms captured in Lebanon were 10 times greater in quantity than had been estimated by Israeli intelligence.