TEL AVIV (Dec. 8)
Israel Air Force jets blasted Egyptian positions in the Suez Canal zone in morning and afternoon raids today. A military spokesman said all aircraft returned safely. An Israeli soldier was killed in a mortar exchange across the canal yesterday. Another was killed today and five of his companions were wounded when a bazooka shell hit an Israeli patrol near the Damiya bridge in the Jordan Valley. An Israeli liaison officer and a French United Nations observer were injured yesterday when their vehicle hit a mine near the Firdan bridge in the northern sector of the Suez Canal.
A military spokesman said that Syrian tanks and artillery fired on a group of Israeli tractors working the fields in the Golan Heights today, damaging two of them but causing no casualties. A spokesman in Damascus claimed that Syrian troops had killed or wounded 10-15 Israeli Army engineers in the Golan Heights. He claimed that four Israeli bull-dozers and an anti-tank gun were destroyed.
An Israeli Army spokesman denied a claim made by Cairo that an Egyptian force of 250 men had successfully raided Israeli positions on the east bank of the Suez Canal yesterday and held one strong-point for 24 hours before the evacuating it. He said there was no raid and no Israeli position was seized. According to the Cairo account, the purported raid took place in the northern sector of the Canal zone and Egyptian troops forced Israeli forces to retreat along a six mile front, destroying a string of Israeli outposts and all of their equipment. Cairo claimed that all members of the mission returned safely. The Israeli spokesman termed the report a “fantasy” intended to bolster morale on the home front.