TEL AVIV (Sep. 30)
Government quarters have taken a very serious view of last night’s shelling by Jordanian forces of two Beisan area settlements. Although the mortar attacks on Maoz Chaim and Tel Katzir caused only minor damage to crops, the attacks were regarded as a violation of a reported agreement by Jordan to refrain from shooting in that area if Israel permitted repairs to be made on the East Ghor irrigation canal. The canal was damaged by Israeli aircraft last month in reprisal for the shelling of Israeli border settlements.
The reported promise by Jordan to observe the cease-fire was said to have been obtained by the U.S. ambassadors in Amman and Tel Aviv who served as intermediaries between Jordan and Israel. The Ghor Canal, Jordan’s largest irrigation project, was financed by the U.S. Questioned about last night’s shelling, a Foreign Ministry spokesman in Jerusalem said that any shots fired across the border violated the cease-fire.
There was no Israeli comment today on claims by an Egyptian commando organization that it had carried out four sabotage forays against Israeli positions in the Sinai desert yesterday. The commandos said they destroyed two observation posts killing or wounding all personnel. They also claimed blowing up a water pipeline 10 miles north of Ismalia and to have destroyed an ammunition depot, a railway line, telephone lines and power cables and planted mines.
Egyptian spokesmen in Cairo continued today to refer to an alleged airborne attack on Israeli positions deep in the Sinai peninsula Sunday. The Egyptians claimed heavy damage and casualties were inflicted on Israeli forces and said the action proved that the Egyptian Army has regained the initiative. Israel said no such attack occurred and described the Egyptian claims as an attempt to boost sagging morale at home. According to an Israeli spokesman, two Egyptian aircraft fired rockets and dropped incendiary bombs near an abandoned railway station and fled. Israeli spokesmen denied a claim by El Fatah today that it had launched a heavy attack against Israeli positions along a 50-mile stretch of the Israel-Jordan cease-fire line. The guerrilla spokesman referred to “fierce battles.” Israeli sources said there were only minor skirmishes.