Paper Says Israel Used Ship-based Helicopters in Raid on Egyptian Nile Bridges

The Daily Telegraph reported in a copyrighted story from Paris today that Israel used helicopters, jeeps and three small naval craft to carry out its surprise commando raid into Egypt last Thursday.

According to the report, a small Israeli naval vessel left Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba, ostensibly for routine patrol duties. But she carried a helicopter on deck under a camouflage tarpaulin and six parachutists in her hold, all unseen by observers in the neighboring Jordanian port of Aqaba. The vessel proceeded down the Gulf of Aqaba, rounded the Sinai peninsula and sailed close to the west shores of the Red Sea to test Egyptian radar, the Telegraph’s story said. There was no response from Egyptian shore batteries or aircraft and the first ship was joined Thursday evening by two others from Sharm el Sheikh, also carrying helicopters. The latter took off under cover of darkness and flew at low altitudes to avoid radar detection. Each helicopter carried a jeep and four commandos. One went to the Quena Bridge and another to the Naj Hammadi power station where watchmen were overpowered and plastic explosives and fuses laid. The jeeps then returned to the helicopters and the commandos were safely carried home after cutting down telephone lines in the Nile Valley, the story said.

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