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Four Israelis Wounded During Egyptian Shelling Across Canal

Four Israeli soldiers were wounded last night during a renewal of Egyptian artillery shelling across the Suez Canal from Qantara northwards. The fire was returned.

A number of mortar shells were fired last night from Jordanian territory against the Neot Hakikar settlement at the southern tip of the Dead Sea but officials said no casualties or damage resulted. In another incident, an Israeli farm vehicle was damaged and its operator injured when the machine detonated a mine east of the Gesher settlement while Jordanian mortar and automatic fire was aimed at Israeli forces in the Ashdod Yaacov area in the northern Beisan Valley. The fire was returned and no casualties were reported.

The Egyptian military command said yesterday that Israeli troops had tried to cross the Suez in rubber boats but had been repulsed. It said their aim was infiltration of Egyptian positions south of Port Said at the northern end of the waterway. One boat, Egypt said, was sunk, and two others retreated. Police Minister Eliahu Sasson told Israelis yesterday that Egyptian attacks across the canal were the harbinger of a “crossing to establish a bridgehead.”

The El Fatah Arab guerrilla organization has claimed responsibility for the killing of Hassan Habran, a Nablus resident, earlier this week, officials reported today. They said that handwritten notices had been found pasted on walls of Nablus declaring that the victim, a former police sergeant, had been “a collaborator” with “the enemy” and that a similar fate awaited “anyone else who does as he does.” Police announced the arrest of 20 suspects in the slaying. Habran was shot dead at close range. He survived an earlier attempt on his life more than a year ago, when he was wounded in a leg.

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