TEL AVIV (Dec. 18)
Israel Air Force jets reportedly attacked an El Fatah base in Jordanian territory yesterday to silence guns and rockets that had been firing at Israeli troops and civilian settlements in the Beisan Valley. A house which El Fatah marauders used as a forward base when attacking Israeli patrols was destroyed and smoke was seen coming from other enemy positions. There were no Israeli casualties.
Israeli settlers in the area and Amman sources told of the air attack. Israeli defense officials, apparently pursuing a new policy of not reporting air assaults, said nothing. A Jordanian spokesman claimed in Amman that the jet strike was the sixth Israeli air raid on Jordanian soil this month and the “14th incident of violence.”
An Israeli spokesman said there was persistent bazooka and automatic weapon fire today on Israeli patrols east of Kfar Ruppin where settlers were forced to take shelter. Jordanians attacked Israeli forces near the Allenby and Mandassa Bridges last night using small arms and mortars. The fire was returned and there were no casualties on the Israeli side. Four mines were discovered in the Beisan Valley today and were dismantled by sappers. Jordan radio claimed that Israeli forces opened fire with mortars and machine guns near the Allenby Bridge in an encounter yesterday that escalated into an artillery duel. Jordan claimed to have knocked out an Israeli observation post.
Two Israeli women were injured when explosives detonated under a car in the Gaza market place today and three other civilians were hurt when their car struck a mine in the Jordan Valley, a military spokesman reported. Two Gaza residents were also hurt in the explosion there. An explosion last night did slight damage to a small bridge near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. The Jordan Valley incident was reported by a military spokesman who said a civilian car hit an anti-vehicle mine about 20 miles north of the Damiya Bridge.