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Egyptians Seek to Provoke Israelis to New Exchanges; New West Bank Incidents

Israeli forces in the Suez Canal zone refrained from returning small arms and machine gun fire aimed at them by Egyptian forces near Port Tewfik this morning. But a fierce exchange of fire developed last night along the Israel-Jordan demarcation line in the Beisan valley and southeast of Lake Tiberias, a military spokesman reported. There were no casualties. Israeli units were attacked this morning in the Neve Urr and Beisan regions, starting a brief exchange of fire which ended without Israeli casualties.

The Israeli forces on the east bank of the canal were obviously under orders to exercise restraint as Egyptian units were apparently doing their best to provoke them into an escalation. According to a military spokesman, Egyptian soldiers sent bursts of rifle and machine gun fire across the canal three times in a 35-minute period shortly before nine o’clock this morning. The Israelis did not react and the shooting petered out, the spokesman said.

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