Israel Maintains Air Pressure on Egypt to Block Escalation Moves

Israel Air Force jets hit targets in Egypt and in Jordan this morning and returned safely to their bases. A military spokesman said the attacks on Egyptian positions and military installations on the west bank of the Suez Canal lasted ten minutes. In Jordan, the planes struck at guerrilla bases following an attack on an Israeli patrol in the Beisan Valley.

Israeli circles said today that the continuing air strikes against Egyptian positions were aimed at forestalling possible Egyptian attempts to mobilize for all-out war. They said the air attacks made it clear to Cairo that Israel retains superiority in the air and that a confrontation with Israeli forces under those circumstances would be disastrous for Egypt. The Israeli circles dismissed Egyptian counter air raids on the Sinai as of negligible military value. They are on a small scale, involve few aircraft and are intended mainly to boost morale on the home front. Egyptian troops hit by Israeli air raids begin to wonder where Egypt’s air force is and so Egypt is forced to mount token attacks on Israeli positions which so far have been unsuccessful, the Israeli circles said.

Other sources here said today that no Russian-made MIG-23s flown by Egyptians have been seen in the skies far. The plane is Russia’s newest interceptor. The same sources said that the Egyptians have not yet received the new Soviet T-62 tanks but Cairo is on the verge of receiving a Russian-made ground-to-ground missile with a 50 mile range. They said the missiles would have been dangerous had Egypt received them in 1967 and set them up in the Gaza Strip in easy range of Tel Aviv. Under the present circumstance they pose no danger to populated areas of Israel, the sources said.

An army spokesman today denied a Time magazine report that Israel is in possession of a Soviet Sukhov-7 bomber in operative condition and has allowed Western experts to inspect it. The spokesman said there was no Sukhov aircraft in flying condition in Israeli hands and reports to that effect were “completely false.”

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