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Security Forces Arrest 29 Guerrillas, Break 2 Gangs, During Shavuot Holiday

While Israelis were happily celebrating Shavuot, Israeli security forces were kept busy on the occupied West Bank and in Israel. Twenty-nine Arab guerrillas were captured in the Samaria (northern) district as two sabotage gangs were broken, a military spokesman said. They disclosed the names of sympathizers who were arrested.

The first group of about 10 saboteurs was intercepted Wednesday near Nahal Argaman in the Jordan Valley. One saboteur was killed in a clash with an Israeli unit. Another was wounded and a third escaped and joined other members of the gang hiding in caves. After the area was surrounded, the saboteurs were ordered to surrender. Six gave themselves up and two who resisted were killed. Four infiltrators were sighted Thursday and a combined force of Army and border police killed two and captured two. Both groups belonged to the newly-formed Syrian-sponsored Saiqa guerrilla movement. A large quantity of Kalachnikoff assault rifles, hand grenades, machine guns, ammunition, explosives and anti-vehicle and anti-personnel mines were found in possession of the gangs.

A bazooka shell was fired this morning at an Israeli patrol in the Beisan Valley near Kfar Ruppin, and an Israeli vehicle was damaged Sunday night after hitting a mine near Maoz Chaim in the valley. There were no casualties in either incident. An Israeli tractor driver was injured today when Jordanian forces opened fire on the tractor and a pick-up truck in the fields of Ashdot Yaacov in the Beisan Valley. Fire was returned. Jordanian forces also shelled Israeli forces north of the Dead Sea but inflicted no casualties, a military spokesman said.

In another development, Abdel el Rahman el Latifi, a 65-year-old Jerusalem Arab who stabbed a soldier outside the Damascus gate last year, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years’ imprisonment by the district court here. There was no apparent reason for the act, but the court rejected the defense plea of insanity.

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