TEL AVIV (Jun. 18)
Waves of Israeli jets carried out massive bombing and strafing attacks against Jordanian artillery and military positions in the southern section of the Jordan Valley today. The attacks, which lasted more than five hours, followed an earlier aerial sortie against Arab guerrilla positions in northern Jordan opposite the Beisan Valley. The Israeli planes were unopposed by Jordanian aircraft or anti-aircraft fire and all returned safely to their bases, a military spokesman said.
Israeli pilots reported direct hits in the target areas which included an artillery position near Umm Tutz pass and other positions in the southern area from which Jordanian and Iraqi artillery have been shelling Israeli territory for the past few days. An Amman Radio broadcast said the Israeli planes hit Karameh village, which is an Arab guerrilla base, and also the areas around the Abdullah and Allenby Bridges. Several types of planes were reported to have participated in the attack. A spokesman said the attack was not prompted by yesterday’s shelling of Kallia beach on the north shore of the Dead Sea in which an American tourist and an Israeli was killed and four others were wounded. He said it was the result of “endless” attacks by Arab artillery.
This morning’s air strike was aimed at guerrillas who opened fire on an Israeli infantry patrol in the Beisan Valley, near Tirat Zvi. A half track coming to the aid of the patrol was attacked with bazooka shells. Israeli units returned the fire, pinning down the attackers until the planes arrived.
An Israeli soldier was killed and three others were wounded yesterday in an Egyptian mortar and artillery attack along the Suez Canal, a military spokesman reported. He said the Egyptians opened fire along the central and southern sections of the waterway and briefly in the northern section. Another Israeli soldier died today of wounds he suffered in an Egyptian shelling on June 10.
The Army announced today that five Syrian soldiers were taken prisoner Sunday by an Israeli patrol which intercepted them in the Golan Heights near the scene of recent attacks and mining incidents. The Syrians surrendered after a brief clash in which one of them was wounded. They were believed to be saboteurs but interrogation disclosed that the group consisted of a Syrian Army intelligence unit and its escort, the communique said.