TEL AVIV (Sep. 7)
The Israeli Air Force has carried out nearly 1,000 sorties over Egyptian territory since July 20, Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Haim Bar Lev disclosed in an article published today in Bamahane, the Israeli armed forces weekly. He said the aerial action apparently convinced the Egyptians that they are not prepared for large scale attack and had the effect of limiting Egyptian military activity along the Suez Canal front.
Gen. Bar Lev’s article, a review of the military situation at the end of the Hebrew calendar year, stated that Israel’s armed forces have been strengthened on land, sea and in the air. He said published reports had only hinted at the extent of this strengthening, adding that certain information cannot be published. He confirmed plans for a reserve call-up in the coming year and said more settlements would be established in the occupied territories.
Israeli Air Force jet raided guerrilla positions in southern Lebanon Friday, following up an Israeli infantry assault on Halta village which the guerrillas had used as a base. It was the second Israeli ground attack on Lebanon in three years. Five guerrillas were reported killed. A large quantity of arms and ammunition was discovered in buildings occupied by the guerrillas.
Two Israeli soldiers were wounded by Egyptian mortar fire in the Suez Canal zone today. Israeli police arrested 21 Arabs but released all but five after an explosive charge detonated Friday night on a stone wall outside the Israel Broadcasting Services building. A bomb went off in the same area immediately afterwards.
The Israeli ground and air attacks on Lebanon were in retaliation for a rocket attack from Lebanese soil last week on the Israeli border village of Kiryat Shemona. A nine-year-old Israeli boy and a 26-year-old man were killed. Five other civilians were wounded. The Israeli troops entered Halta at midnight and ordered all residents into the village square. Arab guerrillas billeted there resisted and in the ensuing fight five were killed and four Israeli soldiers were wounded. One guerrilla reportedly tried to escape by holding two children as a shield. Israeli troops held fire but later found the guerrilla and killed him.