TEL AVIV (Jul. 17)
Egyptian forces lobbed mortar shells at Red Cross and United Nations personnel today to frustrate for a second time attempts to return the bodies of three Egyptian soldiers killed several weeks ago during a commando raid on Israeli positions on the east bank of the Suez Canal. Israeli forces returned the fire but recovery of the bodies had to be abandoned.
The return was to have taken place two weeks ago at Qantara under Red Cross supervision. But Egyptian gunners fired on the approaches to the town making it impossible. Egypt afterwards accused Israel of “inhuman behavior” for allowing the bodies to “moulder” on the sun-baked shores of the waterway. Israeli officials noted that it was Egypt’s aggressive action that prevented the removal of the dead soldiers. Today’s events bore out the Israeli claim.
An Arab saboteur was killed today in an encounter with Israeli units in the Jordan Valley after his comrades retreated across the river. A military spokesman said that a Russian-made Kalachnikof rifle was found on the body. A hand grenade was thrown on the main road of the Gaza Strip just outside of Gaza today. The road was empty at the time and there was no damage.