EILAT, Israel (Jan. 16)
The first incident in recent years between Israel and Saudi Arabia occurred last night when a Saudi gunboat in the Red Sea attempted to board an Israeli fishing vessel bound for this port at a point 26 miles from here.
As the gunpoint approached the Israeli ship, “Lamerhav,” one of the Saudi sailors fired rifle shots at the fishing vessel but no one on board was hit. The Saudi gunboat fled, however, when the skipper of the Israeli boat fired two pistol shots at it, one of the bullets penetrating a glass window on the gunboat’s bridge.
An Israeli patrol boat was dispatched to aid the fishing craft but the latter was already nearing Eilat and both boats entered the port during the night. The crew members of the Israeli fishing boat are all Ethiopians except for the skipper and the engineer, who are Israelis.