TEL AVIV (Mar. 12)
Syrian gunners opened fire yesterday on three tractors working in the demilitarized zone between Ein Gev and Tel Katzir in the Lake Tiberias area in the first border incident since the latest coup in Syria.
The shooting against the tractors, which were preparing fields for summer crops, lasted about 10 minutes. Then when the tractor drivers were preparing to leave the area, the Syrians again started shooting. The firing was not returned and the tractors were finally removed from the danger area. It was the first gunfire in the sector for almost six months.
Israel entered a complaint with the Mixed Armistice Commission but United Nations observers did not conduct an investigation because “this was not requested by Israel.” Israeli sources indicated a belief that the only reason for the attack might have been a desire of Syrian commanders to let their troops “have some fun” or a possible desire of Syria’s new regime to have a record of having made an attack on Israel to benefit its standing with other Arab countries.