The 14-point Habib plan for the withdrawal of about 7,100 Palestinian guerrillas and 5,000 Syrian-controlled soldiers from Beirut is expected to begin this weekend with the evacuation by sea of 2,000 to 2,500 guerrillas to Cyprus.
According to a summary of the Habib plan published in the newspaper An Nahar, the evacuation is to be conducted during "daylight hours" to facilitate checking the number of evacuees.
The summary also stipulated that "the Palestinian Liberation Organization leadership will leave Lebanon in public, and its departure will be announced clearly and openly." PLO sources consistently have indicated that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and other leaders would leave secretly and resurface later in another Arab capital. Arafat has been variously reported to be headed for Tunisia or Syria.
According to the summary, PLO combatants would be allowed to leave with their light arms, pistols and rifles, but must turn over their heavy weapons, artillery and tanks to the Lebanese Army.
Phase one is expected to take three to four days, with the evacuees traveling on commercial ships escorted by French or U.S. naval units to guarantee their safety.
According to PLO officials, as their men depart by ship, the international force of 2,000 U.S., French and Italian troops will be assembled at the port of Beirut. From the fifth to the seventh day, this international force, along with about 300 men from the Lebanese Army, will be deployed along the Green Line, the rubble-strewn no man's land separating PLO and Lebanese Moslem militias in West Beirut from the ring of Israeli soldiers and armor in the east and south.
By the seventh day, when the international force is deployed, the balance of the PLO and Syrian defenders are to proceed by Lebanese-supplied trucks and buses to Syria along the Beirut-Damascus road.
Under the plan, Israeli units controlling the road are supposed to be pulled back. But Israeli Army spokesman Yehiel Ben Zvi said today that Israeli forces "will not be pulling back" from the positions they now occupy.