Israelis Occupy Ishdud at Request of Local Arabs; Iraqis Attack on Central Front

Israeli forces occupied the Arab town of Ishdud, north of Gaza in the Negev region, late yesterday, it was officially announced here today. This morning, for the first time since the Negev fighting ended last Friday, enemy planes appeared over Tel Aviv. A lone Arab plane appeared over Haifa this afternoon, but was driven off by anti-aircraft fire before it could drop any bombs.

The occupation of Ishdud and the area south to Nizanim was made at the request of local Arab residents who appeared before Jewish positions yesterday under a white flag and asked the Israelis to enter, an official spokesman here said. The Egyptian troops assigned to garrison Ishdud, cut off from supplies since the end of the fighting, slipped out of the town during the past few days and retreated toward Majdal, last major base north of Gaza. Occupation of the area freed Kibbutz Nizanim, a Jewish settlement occupied by the Egyptians during the last four months.

Enemy forces, believed to be Iraqis, today attacked Jewish positions in the Ein Shemer sector, opposite the Tulkarm-Jenin leg of the Arab triangle of Tulkarm-Jenin-Nablus. The Arabs succeeded in capturing one important height in the area, but were repulsed by the Israelis in all other actions. The Iraqi attack was supported by several armored vehicles and artillery. U.N. observers in the area witnessed the successive waves of Arab infantry in action as they captured the position.

In the Jezreel Valley Kfar Yehezkel was the target of an all-day shelling by Arab artillery which increased in tempo as night fell. The town of Beisan and two villages in the area were also shelled by the Arabs.

An official announcement revealed that Lebanese and irregular Arab forces tonight captured new positions in the Menara area of northern Palestine. Launching their attacks from positions won in earlier truce breaches, the Arabs overran several new hills. Sniper action continued against traffic on the main road to Metullah and shellfire in the area raked Jewish positions as far south as Rosh Pina.

Jerusalem was fairly quiet during the last 24 hours, with the usual sniping and mortaring. A number of explosions were heard today in the Mt. Zion and Musrara sectors. The Red Cross is making preparations for the exchange of sick and crippled Arab and Jewish prisoners of war.

The remaining over-military age displaced Jews from the island of Cyprus arrived today in the port of Haifa. They were quickly debarked and sent to reception centers.

NEXT STORY