Army Reports Clashes with Arab Infiltrators in Jordan Valley

Continued acts of sabotage by armed Arab infiltrees marred the New Year holidays in some parts of Israel and kept the nation on the alert despite the festive mood.

An Army spokesman revealed that two attempts at sabotage were foiled near the religious kibbutz of Tirat Zvi in the Jordan Valley on the eve of Rosh Hashana. The first occurred when an Army patrol encountered and opened fire on two armed men south of Tirat Zvi. The would-be saboteurs fled across the Jordan River which is the international boundary and lies just three miles from the kibbutz. Two land mines laid by the saboteurs were found on a dirt road in the vicinity and were dismantled.

Later, the Army spokesman said, the watchman at Tirat Zvi challenged several men he saw silhouetted near the settlement’s buildings and opened fire on them when they failed to respond. The infiltrees returned the fire and fled eastward to cross the Jordan River, leaving behind shells that were found to be of Soviet make and of the type used by the Syrians. The Arabs also discarded five explosive charges, each weighing three pounds. Two freshly-laid land mines were discovered in the vicinity and dismantled. Blood stains were discovered leading toward the Jordan indicating that at least one saboteur was wounded in the exchange of fire. No Israeli casualties were reported in either encounter.

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