Middle East: View from the Guns

As the Israelis attacked West Beirut on Wednesday, TIME Jerusalem Bureau Chief David Aikman watched from the seventh-floor balcony of the Hotel Alexandre in East Beirut and then visited Israeli positions in various sections of the city. His report:

At around 2 a.m. Wednesday, loudspeakers on Israeli vehicles boomed warnings to Palestine Liberation Organization soldiers only a few hundred meters away: "This is the big thing. The planes will come in about 90 minutes." By dawn the artillery exchanges had become so fierce that it was dangerous for us to stay in so exposed...

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