Five Israeli Youngsters Save Their Village from El Fatah Shelling

Five Israeli children aged ten to 12, foiled an El Fatah attempt yesterday to shell the new immigrant township of Beisan, a military spokesman reported here today. The youngsters, who were off on an expedition to find pigeon nests, came upon eight bazooka shells and a self-firing timing mechanism concealed in a wood near the town. They summoned police and Army engineers who dismantled the mechanism only ten minutes before it was set to fire the shells. The youngsters also found El Fatah pamphlets in Arabic and Hebrew nearby. The five were heroes today, having saved their township from damage and possible casualties. Their satisfaction was increased by a premature announcement by El Fatah that they had shelled Beisan and damaged several buildings.

Gun duels and a mining incident in which two Israeli soldiers were slightly injured shattered the calm in the Beisan and Jordan Valley regions last night and this morning. A military spokesman reported that one El Fatah man was wounded and captured in a clash with an Israeli border patrol near Ashdod Yaacov last night. The rest of the gang escaped under heavy covering fire from Jordanian artillery on the east bank of the river. Israeli units returned the fire and no casualties were reported. A cache of El Fatah weapons was found nearby. They included a Kalatchnikoff assault gun. Samovel machine guns and a Karl Gustaff submachine gun, the military spokesman said.

Jordanian guns opened up again this morning in the Gesher region near the confluence of the Jordan and Yarmuk rivers and drew Israeli return fire. Artillery duels erupted sporadically during the night, one exchange lasting for an hour, the military spokesman said. The Israeli soldiers were injured when their command car hit a road mine in the Jordan Valley.

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