TEL AVIV (Nov. 3)
Israeli jets battled and drove off two Egyptian MIG 21 jets today in a brief clash in the skies north of Kantara on the Suez Canal. According to a military spokesman, the Egyptian aircraft attempted to violate Israel-held air space over Sinai. One Egyptian aircraft was reported emitting clouds of black smoke as it broke off and fled. The battle was the second clash between Israeli and Egyptian jets over Sinai in little more than a week.
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan reported to the Cabinet today on the recent escalation of the fighting by Egypt along the Suez front and the retaliatory Israeli commando foray deep into egyptian territory. Earlier, Gen. Dayan and Chief of Staff Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev visited Eilat. Israel’s southernmost town and deep-sea port which was hit by a rocket attack Saturday night. Three civilians were slightly injured by the rockets which were fired by Katyusha 130 mm. rocket launchers, a Czechoslovakian made weapon used increasingly in recent weeks by Arab terrorists. The attach was the first time Eliat has come under fire. A military spokesman said the rockets were launched with the knowledge and probable connivance of Jordanian authorities. The neighboring Jordanian port of Aquaba was blacked out a few moments after the first rockets exploded in Eilat and ships in Aquaba harbor extinguished their lights.
A border policeman was seriously injured and two others suffered slight injuries when their vehicle hit a mine near El Hamma on the Yarmuk River Saturday night. On Friday, two Israeli soldiers were wounded fatally and two others suffered slight wounds in a Jordanian artillery attack on Hamadiyeh village in the Beisan area. Israeli forces returned the fire with heavy mortars and artillery and Brig. Elazar David, commander of the northern sector, reported that the Jordanians had suffered severely from the return fire. The artillery barrage preceded an attack with Katyusha rocket launchers on the town of Beisan, where a synagogue and several other buildings were damaged. No casualties were reported. An Israeli border police patrol was attacked with bazooka and automatic weapon fire near Neve Urr yesterday and another patrol was hit near Gesher. The fire was returned in both cases and no Israeli casualties were reported. On Friday night, an Israeli patrol intercepted a gang of saboteurs in the southern Golan Heights and apparently injured one of them in an exchange of fire. The gang left behind bazooka shells, mines and ammunition, and tracks indicating that they and dragged one of their number to safety.