Three Israeli Soldiers Killed and 7 Wounded Since Thursday; 8 Arab Guerrillas Killed
Menu JTA Search

Three Israeli Soldiers Killed and 7 Wounded Since Thursday; 8 Arab Guerrillas Killed

Download PDF for this date

Three Israeli soldiers have been killed and seven wounded in clashes along the Jordanian demarcation line and in the Suez Canal sector since Thursday, a military spokesman reported. Eight Arab saboteurs were killed in four separate clashes Friday and Saturday as guerrillas attempted to infiltrate from Jordan.

Almost non-stop artillery duels raged across the Suez Canal from sundown Friday until late Saturday afternoon. Shooting was sporadic Sunday. No Israeli casualties were reported in the latest clashes but two soldiers were killed and three were wounded by Egyptian shell fire Thursday. The third Israeli fatality occurred in a battle with infiltrators near Umm Shurt in the Jordan Valley north of the Allenby Bridge, Friday. Jordanian and Israeli troops battled with tank guns, mortars and machine guns north of the Dead Sea Saturday.

The action followed an Israeli commando raid into Jordan Friday. The Israelis blew up 12 buildings at a guerrilla base at Wadi Yabes, 15 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. A military spokesman said all of the commandos returned safely to their bases. Israeli sappers demolished Thursday 10 houses belonging to identified members of sabotage rings in Nablus and nearby villages. One house was spared because it was feared its destruction might have damaged nearby structures.

An Israeli spokesman said the Suez Canal shelling was again started by Egyptians who concentrated on an area north of Qantara and south of Port Said at the Mediterranean entrance to the canal. He said Israeli return fire silenced Egyptian guns on the outskirts of Port Said and hit the only road linking Port Said with the mainland. The Egyptian port, which has provided an anchorage for Soviet warships, is separated from the mainland by a marshy lagoon.

Harassing fire from Egyptian gunners delayed evacuation of United Nations personnel from their battered observation post near Qantara to a new post 90 miles inland today, Israel said. Three attempts to effect the move were prevented by Egyptian fire despite a promise by the Egyptians that they would respect the UN insignia. On the fourth attempt, UN employes managed to load their trucks. The observation post near Qantara has come under almost constant fire from snipers, mortars and artillery in the past few weeks. The building is a shambles and the UN asked for a transfer to a new site which was allotted to them by Israeli authorities. The civilian population of east Qantara was evacuated several months ago to El Arish in the northern Sinai.

Reports from Beirut monitored here over the weekend indicated that Lebanese authorities were trying to reach a truce with Syrian-backed guerrillas through the mediation efforts of Hassan al-Kholy, a personal envoy of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Mr. al-Kholy conferred Friday with Yassir Arafat, the El Fatah leader who is chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. Afterwards the Egyptian met with Lebanese President Charles Helou. Government officials in Beirut said two Lebanese soldiers and two Arab guerrillas were killed in a clash in Kabr Knikha, a village six miles from the Israeli border. Members of the al-Saiqa (Thunderbolt) and El Fatah guerrillas were arrested, Lebanese newspapers reported. Lebanon, fearing Israeli reprisal, has sought to stop guerrilla military action against Israel from her territory.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund