TEL AVIV (Jan. 14)
Terrorists operating from Jordan set fire to an oil storage tank about two miles south of Eilat, Israel’s southernmost port, late last night, in one of the most daring acts of sabotage yet perpetrated, a military spokesman announced today. The terrorists also lobbed mortar shells into the eastern suburbs of Eilat in a diversionary attack to cover the escape of the saboteurs.
A Jordanian mortar attack against Moshav Beth Yossef in the Beisan Valley early this morning drew return fire from Israeli mortars. No casualties or damage were reported in the exchange. Explosives found under a small bridge in the Jenin area of the West Bank, last night, were dismantled without causing damage.
The Eilat incident was the first attack by terrorists against oil facilities in Israel. A military spokesman said the attack occurred at about 10 p.m., local time. The Eilat fire brigade fought the blaze, and had it out by 2 o’clock this morning.
The mortar barrage began about an hour and a half after the attack on the oil tank, but the shells hit open ground and caused no casualties. Footprints of the mortar squad members were found more than 100 yards from the Jordanian border, along with mortar shell fuses.