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Syrian Forces Fire on Israelis Extricating Comrades from Vehicle That Hit Mine

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Syrian forces facing the southern Golan Heights opened fire last night on Israeli troops trying to extricate three Israeli soldiers who were killed when their vehicle struck a mine. Israeli units returned the fire. An investigation disclosed that the mine was an old one, planted in the area during the June, 1967 Six-Day War, a military spokesman reported today. No casualties were reported in the exchange with the Syrians. Wamach Army patrol was attacked by bazooka shells in the northern Beisan Valley early today. The fire came from the Jordanian side of the border and was returned by the patrol and other Israeli units in an exchange that lasted an hour. A 10-minute exchange of fire was started by Jordanians near Umm Tutz Pass south of the Beisan Valley this morning. There were no casualties in either clash.

A military spokesman disclosed today that two Egyptian fishing boats were intercepted in Israeli territorial waters near Sinai on Aug. 29 and were escorted to a nearby port. The 16 fishermen aboard the boats have been detained pending an investigation of the incident.

Fifty convicted Arab terrorists in Nablus jail have staged a hunger strike in protest against conditions in the prison, which is typical of Jordanian penal institutions. The strikers are demanding equal treatment with their fellow prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails where conditions, they learned, are far better. The Israeli Commissioner for prisons had ordered several jails in former Jordanian territory shut down because they were “not fit for livestock” but pointed out that not all prisoners can be accommodated to their liking. The commissioner’s office said that efforts were being made to improve prison conditions in the occupied territories and that all prisoners were treated in accordance with international law.

West Bank Arabs visiting Jordan are frequently kidnapped by terrorists and forced to undergo commando training after which they are sent back to Israeli territory with “assignments” to carry-out. This information has been relayed to Israeli authorities by residents of Nablus who visited Jordan. They said the kidnapped West Bankers were taken to El Fatah training centers where they were instructed in sabotage and the use of firearms and explosives. El Fatah resorts to kidnapping because it has failed to recruit Arabs in the Israel-occupied territories, the informants said.

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