JERUSALEM (May. 19)
An increase in activity by Arab commando forces along the Jordan River has been accompanied by a visibly increased degree of cooperation between regular Jordanian forces and Arab terrorists Israeli military sources said today. This cooperation has not only been tactical but also operational, as was evidenced in an attack on a fortified Israeli position Saturday morning when Jordanian Army artillery provided a “softening-up” barrage for the guerrillas prior to their attack, and later covering fire for their retreat. In some cases, Jordanian units went into action but the guerrillas failed to follow up.
Israeli Air Force jets went into action this afternoon attacking the Jordanian positions from which mortar and tank fire continued to be directed against Israeli patrols in the area of the Allenby and Abdullah bridges. The shelling which started in the morning was intensified and continued until about 7 P.M. There were no Israeli casualties. A Jordanian communique charged that the Israeli planes had attacked the villages of Karameh and Kureimah, killing one civilian and wounding five others.
An increase in hostile activity along the Jordanian cease-fire line and in the number of attempts at deep penetration into Israel coincided with the May 15 anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel. From April 19 to May 19, military sources reported, there were 28 terrorist attempts to cross into Israel. Sixty-five saboteurs were killed in these attempts.
Jordanian forces opened fire against Israeli patrols Sunday night and again this morning in the area just north of the Dead Sea, below the Allenby Bridge. There were no Israeli casualties. Kallia, at the northern tip of the Dead Sea, was the target of shelling last night.
Israeli patrols combing the Arava area, south of the Dead Sea, where a guerrilla band was routed Sunday, found that the guerrillas had set up two 82 mm. mortars with which to shell the settlement of Hatzeva. The guerrillas got two rounds off before an Israeli patrol put them to flight, but the shells caused no damage and no casualties. A supply of mortar shells, a bazooka and bazooka shells and a quantity of mines were also found abandoned by the guerrillas.