JERUSALEM (Sep. 28)
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declared today during a tour of East Jerusalem that several of the Arab terrorist organizations which have organized sabotage acts in Israel had been broken up and he promised help to all residents of Judea and Samaria in the occupied west bank who were willing to cooperate with Israeli authorities. More than 60 El Fatah terrorists have been captured during the past 24 hours.
Pledging that Israel would guard its peace and security against the marauders, the Premier said he warned the would-be marauders some weeks ago. He added that events of the last few days, when several terrorists were wounded or killed in a major manhunt, should have been taken seriously.
Earlier in the day, Israeli officials reported that most members of an El Fatah group operating in central Israel had been tracked down and arrested and that security forces were now hunting for the remnant of the group believed to be hiding in Tulkarem east of Natanya on the coastal plain. The group was believed to have been responsible for the blasting of a glucose factory in a Hadera and the home of a moshav settler in the area which brought fatal injuries last Monday to his three-year-old son.
The officials indicated that more than 30 of the El Fatah men had been arrested and that large quantities of weapons had been found in the gang’s hideout in a hilly area north of Tulkarem.
SECOND GANG IS CAPTURED IN JENIN AREA
Another group of 30 El Fatah men was caught today in the Jenin area at the northern tip of Samaria in the occupied west bank. They were found in a hideout and in possession of weapons. Some of them admitted taking part in sabotage training courses in Syria after the Six-Day June war.
A group of village elders of Tulkarem met today to express their dissociation from the El Fatah sabotage acts. The elders declared that the El Fatah men were not local inhabitants but infiltrators from outside the area. They urged the Israeli military authorities not to take any punitive action against local Arabs who, they said, had no connection with the sabotage activities.
Army units, border police and helicopter-borne paratroopers took part in the hunt for the El Fatah unit in the Tulkarem area which began after a wave of sabotage incidents highlighted by the blasts at the Hadera area collectives. The actual hunt started when a border police unit combing some dunes areas suddenly came under fire from three or four men who apparently served as lookouts for the terrorists.
One border police sergeant was killed and another wounded in the clash that followed. Several of the terrorists were wounded or killed and a large number seized. In one incident, a Fatah terrorist was arrested after being disarmed in a hand-to-hand struggle with a border policeman.