TEL AVIV (Mar. 5)
An Israeli soldier was wounded by an Egyptian sniper today along the Suez Canal about 30 miles north of Port Tewfik, a military spokesman announced. He was the eighth Israeli soldier to be hit by a sniper’s bullet along the canal in recent weeks.
The growing incidence of sniping on the waterway drew a warning to Egypt yesterday from Maj. Gen. Chaim Bar-Lev, Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces. Speaking at a press luncheon, Gen. Bar- Lev said Cairo was mistaken if it thought that Israel would react only to artillery barrages but not to other forms of cease-fire violations such as sniping. He said if the Egyptians did not soon decide to discontinue sniping, “we will have to help them reach such a decision.”
Only yesterday United Nations Secretary-General U Thant expressed alarm that sniping along the Suez Canal cease-fire line could escalate into serious fighting between Israel and Egyptian forces. Mr. Thant’s warning was in response to a report by the chief of the UN’s cease-fire observation corps, Lt. Gen. Odd Bull of Norway. Gen. Bull warned of the seriousness of the sniping and said that in most cases it was initiated by the Egyptians.