Israel Describes Egyptian Report of Successful Canal Zone Commando Raid As ‘fantasy’

An Israeli military spokesman described as “fantasy” today an Egyptian report of a commando raid across the Suez Canal which allegedly took a heavy toll of Israeli lives and caused severe damages to military positions. The spokesman said the Egyptians fired several rounds of mortar shells into the Kabrit area but “we know nothing of a raid, damages or losses.”

The Cairo report said commando units armed with rockets attacked Israeli infantry, tank and mortar positions on the east bank of the Canal near Kabrit, 25 miles north of Port Suez. The report said the commandos planted mines and destroyed two Israeli armored vehicles killing all of their occupants. The Egyptian spokesman claimed that explosions and fires caused by the attack’ were seen from the Egyptian side and that the Israelis suffered “heavy losses in tanks, other arms and personnel.” He said there were no Egyptian casualties.

Israeli jets yesterday attacked a guerrilla camp near Salt, 20 miles inside Jordanian territory. A military spokesman said the assault lasted “a few minutes” and that all planes returned safely to base. In a related development, a committee has been set up to investigate the crash of a light airplane in the southern Sinai desert yesterday in which three Israeli Army officers and two privates were killed.

A Ramallah military tribunal imposed a life sentence at hard labor yesterday on Ahmoud Attaya Annan, a member of a sabotage gang captured in a battle with Israeli forces near Jericho last December. An Israeli colonel was killed in the clash. Annan was the sixth member of the gang to receive the maximum sentence.

Eight Israeli Arabs living in Tel Aviv were jailed today after police found an automatic rifle under a mattress in their apartment. A court ordered them held, pending further investigation, on suspicion of illegal possession of firearms and attempted establishment of a hostile underground cell. They are the first Arabs to be arrested in Tel Aviv on suspicion of membership in a hostile organization. Tel Aviv, once known as the world’s only all-Jewish city, now has several thousand Arab residents and many more working in it.

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