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Israeli Counter-measures Force Terrorists to Shift to Syrian, Jordan Bases

Israeli security sources reported today, following a study of the operational methods of the El Fatah guerrilla organization, that the effectiveness of Israeli army and police actions against the terrorists had led to an Arab decision to operate the guerrilla activities from bases in Syria and Jordan.

Until recently, it was noted, El Fatah and Palestinian Liberation Front saboteurs were smuggled into Israeli-held Arab territories where they established bases for raids and other sabotage actions. Now the sources said, the guerrillas are operating from Jordanian and Syrian bases. The sources cited as an example of the shift in strategy the raid Sunday night on Kibbutz Hamadiyeh in the Beisan Valley, in which El Fatah men killed a soldier home on leave and blasted one building, then fled back across the Jordan River.

Israeli officials reported that interrogation of an El Fatah raider captured in trackdowns last week had revealed that a group of El Fatah saboteurs had planned to blow up the offices of the Israeli military governor in Nablus, a center of anti-Israel agitation. One of the captured terrorists confessed he had been assigned to that objective but that it had been delayed because of an argument among members of the group over payments.

ARAB MAYORS OF FIVE TOWNS TELL PEOPLE NOT TO AID TERRORISTS

The mayors of five major towns in Israel-occupied Samaria in the west bank — led by Mayor Hamdi Canan of Nablus — published a joint appeal today to all Arab residents to refuse cooperation with the El Fatah and other guerrilla groups. The mayors of Tulkarem, Jenin, Salfit and Tubas were the other signers.

The appeal declared that attacks on Israelis and disobedience to their authority would not lead to achievement of “national and political aims” but rather to severe damage to the guerrillas and to the public in general. The mayors said “we suggest to all inhabitants they should dissociate themselves from all factors who disturb order and security. We must be patient and endure things quietly.”

The five mayors also decided that the current strike of teachers and parents against schools in the west bank should be “reappraised” by a committee which includes the former Jordanian chief inspector of schools and former Jordanian members of Parliament. The committee was set up to reexamine textbooks for west bank schools approved by Israel. Israeli authorities have declared repeatedly that the textbooks have been left unchanged except for deletion of incitement against Jews, Zionists and Israel, which is a standard feature of all Arab textbooks. The Defense Ministry has declined to consider action on the school strike, contending that the only sufferers of the school strike are the pupils and their parents.

Meanwhile several villages in the Nablus district were again placed under curfew, and searches carried out for the terrorists who attacked a border police patrol yesterday in which one policeman was wounded.

Two residents of Nablus were arrested on suspicion of taking part in incitement of the Arabs to civil disobedience, it was disclosed today. They are a Nablus town councillor and a member of the Jordanian military police. The pair were suspected of having organized a recent one-way strike in Nablus in obedience to a call from the Jordanian Radio. Other Nablus notables have been indicating orally and in writing their opposition to such incitement and their willingness to cooperate with Israeli authorities in maintenance of law and order.

Six more elementary schools in East Jerusalem opened today, the Israeli Education Ministry reported. This brings the number of Arab schools in East Jerusalem now operating to 22 and attendance to more than 80 percent of normal. Classes are being conducted without disturbances, the Ministry added.

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