TEL AVIV (Feb. 11)
Israeli tanks, artillery and Air Force jets struck back at saboteur and guerrilla bases in Jordanian territory in separate actions last night and this morning which covered the entire front from the Beisan Valley in the north to the desert region south of the Dead Sea.
Jet supported artillery bombarded guerrilla positions in the remote Arava district of the Negev last night following rocket and mortar attacks on Neot Hakikar and the Dead Sea Potash Works. A military spokesman said the region has become the principle base for saboteurs since winter floods have made the Jordan River impassable.
Tanks and artillery were brought into action this morning following three attacks on Israeli patrols in the Beisan area and southeast of Lake Tiberias. The guerrillas used bazookas, mortars and automatic weapons in attacks in the Ashdod Yaacov area and near the Yarmuk river. Jordanians opened fire this morning on Israeli forces south of the Dead Sea. The fire was returned and the attack was silenced without casualties on the Israeli side. Last night Israelis and Jordanians exchanged fire at the Damiya bridge after an attack on an Israeli patrol by Katyusha rocket-launchers.
Israeli security circles expressed concern over the discovery of a new French-made “Mat” submachine gun in the possession of captured Arab saboteurs last week. The weapon is standard equipment for the French Army and is not supposed to be for sale. Sources here said the Arabs may have obtained the weapon through private channels, but there was a possibility that they were supplied directly by France.