JERUSALEM (Jan. 26)
An Israeli soldier was killed this afternoon in a sudden flare of rifle and automatic fire from Jordanian positions opposite the Mandelbaum Gate here. The Israeli soldier was apparently hit in the first burst.
The exchange of fire was so heavy that it was impossible to recover the body for an hour until the United Nations truce staff intervened with the Jordanians and obtained a cease-fire. The shooting occurred in no-man’s land, some 200 yards from the gate.
An investigation was begun immediately by UN truce headquarters. Unlike the Israel-Syrian border, the area around the Mandalbaum Gate, which is used by diplomats, pilgrims and important visitors moving between Israel and Jordan, is the quietest of any part of the Israeli-Arab border.
When the Israeli soldier was hit, two of his comrades attempted to reach him and pull him out of range but were prevented from doing so by Jordanian fire, Israeli troops then launched a smoke bomb to screen the next attempt to reach the wounded man. Eventually, two soldiers reached him and applied bandages to a bad chest wound. When they attempted to carry him back, Jordanian fire again pinned them down. Shortly thereafter UN officers, carrying white flags, intervened and helped remove the soldier. But he had died.