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Israeli Jets Damage Jordanian Canal Again in Reprisal Raids

Israeli Air Force planes struck today for a second time at Jordan’s Ghor irrigation canal in an attack on military objectives in response to an upsurge of Jordanian shooting across the cease-fire line and guerrilla raids against civilian settlements and army units in the Beisan and Jordan Valley sectors.

Officials indicated that the canal was again damaged in the one-hour raid. All Israeli planes returned safely to base. After the first air raid on the canal last June 23, Beisan Valley settlements had almost two weeks of calm without a single attack on any settlement. Premier Golda Meir said at the time that if the quiet was continued by Jordan, Israel would not interfere with repair work on the canal, a pledge Israel kept.

However, officials said, soon after repairs were completed, the Jordanians renewed their attacks, which reached a peak in the past 24 hours with five assaults on settlements and Israeli army units. The officials emphasized that the two-week period of tranquility demonstrated that Jordanian officials could control both their army and Jordanian-based saboteurs if they wished to.