TEL AVIV (May. 3)
Syrian forces on the Israeli-Syrian frontier today reopened fire on Israeli workers engaged in drainage work north of Ein Gev. Although the firing occurred during the morning and late afternoon, no Israeli workers were reported hit. United Nations observers left for the troubled area to get the facts on the spot.
The situation in the Shamalina Valley where the Syrian invasion of yesterday was repulsed by a strong Israeli counterattack was today reported as “slightly eased.” An Israeli Army spokesman today revealed that the bodies of 20 Syrians, most of them regular army men, were found today on Israeli territory west of the boundary in the demilitarized zone. He said that Syrian causalities, both regular army and irregular, appeared to be heavy but there was no way of getting exact information about them. The Syrians appear to have withdrawn behind their own border in this area.
The American military attache in Tel Aviv left today for the scene of the fighting. It was reported that American Ambassador Monnet B. Davis called at the Foreign Ministry to ask for information on the latest developments in the border fighting.
A message from acting truce supervisor Col. Bennet de Ridder to Col. Shaul Ramati, Israeli chief delegate on the Mixed Armistice Commission, today asked that Gen. Yigal Yadin, Israeli Army Chief of Staff, issue orders to the Israeli troops to cease firing. Gen. Yadin replied through Col. Ramati to the effect that the Israel troops were instructed not to fire on the Syrians unless the Arabs opened fire first, but pointed out that Israeli forces west of the demilitarized zone were still under enemy fire. He then asked the U.N. official whether he had ordered the Syrians to cease fire yesterday and again today, particularly since the Syrians were still using artillery and mortars against the Jews.
The evening press reports that U.N. observers from Damascus reached the troubled area this morning and entered the demilitarized zone. These reports add that the U.N. observers urged the Syrians to withdraw one kilometer behind the Israeli-Syrian border.