TEL AVIV (May. 5)
Two civilians, officials of the Dead Sea potash works, and an Israeli soldier were killed when their Jeep hit a mine near the potash plant yesterday morning. Two other civilians and a soldier were Injured in an earlier mining incident near the same spot. They were the only Israeli casualties of the post-Independence Day weekend during which Israeli forces killed 17 Arab marauders in three clashes in the Negev, the Jordan and Beisan valleys. A military spokesman reported renewed Jordanian small arms and artillery fire aimed at three Beisan Valley settlements and at Israeli forces near the Allenby Bridge today, the scene also of some desultory shooting by Jordanians yesterday. In each case the fire was returned and there were no casualties reported.
The civilian dead were identified as Dr. Yehoyachin Keinatt, 43, deputy general director of the potash works and Benjamin Birann, 38, an engineer who was director of manpower and administration. The soldier was cadet David Braberyahu, 23. They were killed when their Jeep and an Army command car raced to the aid of another Jeep which had just struck a mine, injuring its civilian and military occupants. The mines had been laid by terrorists on a road near the potash evaporation ponds. Late last night an Israeli patrol near the southern tip of the Dead Sea encountered a gang which is believed to have planted the mines.
News of the battles in which 17 Arab guerrillas were killed was withheld so as not to spoil Independence Day celebrations Thursday and Friday. Twelve heavily armed guerrillas were killed by an Israeli patrol near Neot Hakikar on the Jordan border south of the Dead Sea Thursday night. Soviet-made machine guns and hand grenades were found on the bodies. Four raiders were killed in a clash in the Jordan Valley and a fifth south of the Sea of Galilee.