TEL AVIV (Dec. 21)
One Israeli soldier on the West Bank was killed, and another was wounded last night when their patrol was attacked from behind by four Arab terrorists who later managed to escape to the East Bank of the Jordan under covering fire from Jordanian forces. A military spokesman said that the attack, which occurred north of the Damiya Bridge, appeared to have been carefully planned. It was carried out with hand grenades and small arms fire, the first volleys of which caused the Israeli casualties.
In the Beisan Valley, last night, explosives planted by saboteurs damaged a pilon carrying high tension wires, plunging the whole region into darkness. Electrical workers repaired the damage.
A military spokesman announced yesterday that several houses were blown up by army sappers in a small West Bank village, after it was determined that the dwellings were used to shelter terrorists and as a store for arms.
An army spokesman said tonight that the arrest of 56 terrorists in the West Bank region last week has apparently disrupted plans for new, large-scale sabotage against Israel by Ahmed Shukeiri, head of the so-called Palestine Liberation organization. The mass arrests, which broke up a number of terrorist cells, took place in the Jenin-Nablus area, where the majority of the arrests were made. Twenty terrorists were captured in the Ramallah-Jerusalem area. Among them was a band that clashed with Israeli forces in the vicinity of Lydda Airport last week, leaving behind two dead and three wounded. There were no Israeli casualties.