Jordan Fires on Israelis in Mt. Hebron Area; 2 Killed, 3 Wounded

Two Israelis were killed and three wounded last night in an attack by Jordanian gun posts on a unit of Israeli soldiers working on a patrol path in the Mount Hebron area.

Israel had notified Jordan on Monday through the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization that work would begin this morning on the path, which is near the Dvir settlement, west of Mount Hebron about 800 feet from the border. The workers, aided by a tractor and a ground leveller, were on the job without being disturbed through most of the day. However, late in the day, the Jordanians suddenly opened fire, first with machine guns then with mortars.

The covering army unit immediately returned the fire using machine guns and mortars. One of the workers was killed and the three injured in the initial round of shooting. The second Israeli fatality was a member of a unit sent in as a reinforcement. United Nations officials arranged a cease fire which was broken by the Jordanians in ten minutes. The Jordanians ignored three additional ceasefire proposals and continued to fire intermittently late into the night.

Mordechai Kidron, head of the Foreign Ministry’s armistice division, conferred with Gen. Odd Bull, chief of the U. N. Truce Supervision Organization. He asked Gen. Bull to take all possible steps to prevent recurrences. Gen. Bull promised an extensive investigation and U.N. truce officers left this morning for the area, accompanied by Israeli officers.

Israel considers the attack by Jordan near Mount Hebron as one of exceptional gravity, and has instructed its diplomats in western capitals to inform those governments of Israel’s concern, it was reported here today. Israeli representatives in Washington, London and Paris received a full report on the incident. Israeli Foreign Ministry officials also conferred with the American and British Ambassadors to whom similar concern was conveyed.

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