TEL AVIV (Jul. 28)
Israeli jets today attacked Egyptian positions on the west bank of the Suez Canal for the sixth time since July 20 and all returned safely to base, a military spokesman said. On Israel’s eastern front, its jets attacked Jordanian targets yesterday, the second such assault in four days, without sustaining any losses, the spokesman said.
The 45-minute bombing and strafing run against the Egyptians came on the heels of a Cairo Radio claim that Israel was moving a large number of planes into the occupied Sinai.
Meanwhile, Egyptians are taking advantage of nightfall to rebuild their destroyed and damaged positions. Israeli troops strung out in the Bar-Lev line of fortifications at the Canal report the sound of heavy equipment being used under cover of darkness. In a related development. Premier Golda Meir said yesterday after a Cabinet meeting that “any escalation in the Canal area has been caused purely through Egyptian initiative” and that “all military operations recently undertaken by Israel along the Canal were solely the outcome of consideration for an effective response to Egyptian aggression.”
Amman Radio asserted that yesterday’s attack in Jordan was directed at Irbid and that three soldiers, including a major, were killed, in addition to 12 who were wounded. In other military action, an Israeli solder was killed and two wounded in an Arab commando ambush on the occupied Golan Heights. Two commandos were killed and several others were believed wounded.
Two Israeli soldiers who were wounded in Egyptian attacks on Sinai positions died yesterday. One was injured last Friday by Egyptian shelling at Port Tewfik; the other was injured in an air raid yesterday. A military spokesman said that Egyptian planes swept over the coastal strip near Port Fuad yesterday in an attack that lasted five minutes. Seven soldiers were wounded. Israeli positions were struck by rockets before Israeli interceptors could reach the area and before anti-aircraft fire could be used effectively.