Israel today stepped up its warnings to Syria over cease-fire violations in eastern Lebanon and, in response to reports that the Reagan administration is preparing a major new Middle East peace initiative, declared that it will have no part of any proposals that differ from the Camp David peace accords.
The renewed warnings to Syria were issued by various officials, including Cabinet Secretary Dan Meridor, who said after today's regular Cabinet meeting that U.S. officials have been told of Israel's growing impatience with cease-fire violations, particularly in the Syrian-controlled areas of eastern Lebanon.
"Israel wants all of these violations of the cease-fire to stop immediately," Meridor said. "Israel views these as serious violations, but Israel is doing its best to enable the process of evacuating the [Palestinian] terrorists [from Beirut] to proceed. We have made it very clear to the Americans, and I suppose they have transmitted it on, that those violations on whatever front should cease immediately."
There are increasing reports of Israeli and Syrian troop activity in the Bekaa region. Details on A12.
Meridor did not elaborate, but another official warned that "if the cease-fire violations continue, we will have to react."
"We have made it clear that we have other options and that if the other options have to be used they will be used," one official said.
Israeli officials have said repeatedly that they will hold Syria responsible for PLO activity emanating from behind Syrian lines, with today's warning from both a Cabinet official and other government spokesmen being the strongest to date.
Military officials announced late today that five Israeli soldiers were wounded this afternoon in an ambush north of the Lebanese city of Tyre. They also announced that an Israeli soldier died today of wounds received in a skirmish yesterday in the Bekaa Valley of eastern Lebanon and that three Palestine Liberation Organization guerrillas were killed last night trying to infiltrate Israeli lines in the Bekaa.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued after today's Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Menachem Begin said that following the PLO evacuation from Beirut, "The government of Israel will initiate action for the establishment of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East in accordance with the Camp David accords."
But, Begin added, "There will be no negotiations on any proposals whatsoever which deviate from the framework for peace established at Camp David."
There was no elaboration on the statement of a forthcoming Israeli initiative. The issuance of the statement today appeared to reflect the apprehension in the Begin government that in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon, Israel will come under increasing pressure from the United States to compromise on the issue of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In recent days, President Reagan and Secretary of State George P. Shultz have stressed that no lasting peace is possible in the Middle East without a solution to the problem of the Palestinians, 1.3 million of whom live in the occupied territories under Israeli rule. While the administration has reiterated its support for the Camp David formula, the fear persists here that the pressures for an overall settlement generated by the bloodshed in Lebanon will lead the United States to suggest solutions less acceptable to Israel than the proposal for an interim, five-year period of "autonomy" for the West Bank and Gaza as set forth in the 1978 Camp David agreement.
In his statement today, Begin appeared to be warning the Reagan administration that it will be wasting time if it proposes anything that goes beyond the Camp David formula.
Egyptian officials have said that Egypt, which along with Israel and the United States was a party to the Camp David agreement, will not participate in the long-stalled autonomy talks until Israeli forces withdraw from Lebanon.
For its part, the Begin government appears to be in no hurry to resume the autonomy talks, using the intervening time to expand Jewish settlements in the territories and to encourage those elements within the Palestinian population that appear most willing to accept the limited form of autonomy that Israel is offering.
The announcements by the military of today's casualties were part of the almost daily string of charges of cease-fire violations by Palestinian forces in the Beirut area or, more frequently, around the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley.
Israeli officials also charged today that the Syrians in recent days had accelerated the gradual buildup of their forces both within Syria along its border with Lebanon and in the Bekaa Valley of eastern Lebanon. Syria has approximately 30,000 troops in the Bekaa Valley, and Israel has vowed not to withdraw its troops from southern Lebanon until the Syrian forces leave the eastern sector.
The continued tension over the clashes between Israeli soldiers and PLO forces outside of Beirut clouded the general Israeli satisfaction with the evacuation of the Palestinian guerrillas from the Lebanese capital.
The temporary Israeli blockade of Beirut's port today to protest the guerrillas' loading of jeeps and a number of rocket-propelled grenade launchers on a ship taking them to Tunisia was a further indication that tensions are not far from the surface.
The main complaint voiced here about yesterday's departure of the first group of PLO fighters from Beirut was a charge that the Lebanese Army had failed to verify and register the names of the guerrillas as they left.
Officials said they considered this a violation of the evacuation plan as crafted by U.S. special envoy Philip C. Habib and made their complaint known to Habib and the Lebanese government.
They said Israel issued no threats to Habib or the Lebanese but expected that in the future "the agreement will be followed."
One of the items that Israel insisted on before it accepted the evacuation plan was that it contain a detailed list of the guerrillas in West Beirut and their destinations that could be used to verify that all of the PLO fighters had left the city.
The Israelis argue that without such a check the PLO could arrange to leave behind in West Beirut a sizable cadre of its armed guerrillas.