JERUSALEM (Jul. 12)
Two Egyptian torpedo boats attacked an Israel patrol cruising last night off the Sinai coast and both were destroyed the Israeli army spokesman reported today. Both of the attacking torpedo boats apparently exploded and Israeli boats cruising the area reported they could find no survivors. Eight Israeli sailors were injured in the clash, most of them slightly.
The patrol consisted of the destroyer Elath and two Israeli torpedo boats. It was cruising along the Sinai shore some 25 miles east of Port Said when the Egyptian vessels approached and opened fire. One of the Egyptian vessels was claimed by the Israeli torpedo boats and the other by the destroyer.
The spokesman said that the attackers saw only the Israeli torpedo boats and were not aware that the destroyer was part of the patrol. Navy commander Shlomo Erel was in constant contact with the unit and reported this morning to headquarters on the battle. One of the Egyptian boats was so close to Elath when it blew up that it caused some damage to the ship and the injuries to some of the Israeli sailors.