Israelis Foil Terrorist Attempts to Disrupt Easter, Passover Observances

Israeli security forces smashed two terrorist gangs which had crossed over from Jordan during the past 48 hours, a military spokesman announced today. One Israeli soldier was killed and another was wounded in the encounters. The Arab marauders suffered five killed and seven wounded and captured. The two bands had apparently planned to create havoc during the Passover celebrations when tourist and pilgrim traffic was heavy on the supposition that Israel’s security forces would be less alert than usual. The first group was discovered Saturday in a cave near a village in the Nablus district on the West Bank. Four of them ware killed and six were wounded when they attempted to resist. The second gang was intercepted about 12 hours later In a clash in which one of them was killed and another wounded. Large quantities of Russian-type submachine guns were found in their possession along with assault guns, high explosives and civilian clothes. One of the captured marauders admitted that he was a member of El Fatah.

An Israeli soldier was wounded Sunday afternoon in the third of a series of fire exchanges between Jordanian and Israeli forces in the Jordan and Beisan Valley regions. A tractor driver was wounded by Jordanian fire on Saturday morning near Tel Urr in the Beisan region, a military spokesman reported. The shooting was started by the Jordanians at about 10:30 am Sunday, local time. Their target was a tractor working in the fields of Neveh Urr. The firing continued until 11:00 am without casualties. A few minutes later the Jordanians opened fire on an Israeli Army patrol nearby. The fire was returned and ended within five minutes. The afternoon incident occurred when an Israel patrol was fired on near Ashdot Yaacov in the Jordan Valley. The Israeli soldiers returned the fire.

The Jordanian irrigation project in the Jordan-Yarmuk Valley was damaged during a seven-hour artillery duel which erupted Thursday after the Jordanians began shelling Kibbutz Gesher and other settlements in the Beisan Valley. A dam impounding water for the irrigation project was damaged by Israeli fire and observers on the Jordan West Bank Friday could see the escaping waters.

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