TEL AVIV (Oct. 29)
Three commando raids into Egyptian territory well behind the lines, carried out in the last seven days, have given Israel 11 Egyptian prisoners and a strong bargaining point in securing the release of two Israeli pilots held by the Egyptians. Previous negotiations for the release of the two men have proved unavailing. The three raids all followed a pattern. They were small, conducted with great speed and precision, reached their specified objectives well behind the Egyptian lines and were completed without casualties to the attacking forces.
The first raid was carried out against military positions at Ras Abu Darag on the Gulf of Suez on the night of Oct. 22. Three Egyptian soldiers were killed. The second raid, on the night of Oct. 25, hit an Egyptian transport on the Safaga-Keena road which links the Nile Valley and the west coast of the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea. Four vehicles were destroyed in this raid and 11 Egyptians, civilian employes of the Army, were captured. Safaga is actually on the Red Sea, about 100 miles below Sharmel-Sheikh, Israel’s southernmost base. The third commando raid, carried out Monday night, hit another Egyptian Army transport on the coastal road between Ras Zafarana and Ras Rhareb. Three Egyptian soldiers were killed in this clash and an army vehicle destroyed.
Announcement of the three raids was not made until yesterday when it was disclosed that the International Red Cross had been notified of the presence of the civilian prisoners in an Israeli-controlled area. The Israelis declared that the prisoners were being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
Israeli Air Force planes made three attacks on Egyptian positions along the Suez Canal yesterday. The third, 90 minutes long, blasted positions in the central section. All the Israeli aircraft returned safely. Israeli ground forces poured concentrated fire into guerrilla positions on the east bank of the Jordan last night following mortar and bazooka shelling of Israeli positions in the southern Beisan Valley sector. There were no Israeli casualties.
Officials also reported on another clash near Arava south of the Dead Sea in which two Arab saboteurs were killed last night. No casualties were suffered by the Israeli patrol. Three Israeli soldiers were injured this afternoon by Jordanian mortar and small firearms attacks at the Allenby Bridge on the Jordan River. In an unrelated incident, Shlomo Levin, a resident of Bnai Brak, was murdered today in a shop in Gaza by two terrorists who entered the shop and opened fire on him.