TEL AVIV (Dec. 21)
An Israeli commando unit crossed the Suez Canal on Thursday night and drove more than 20 miles into Egypt to shell an Egyptian Army camp, one of the largest in the rear of the Suez Canal front line. An Israeli Army Spokesman said all members of the unit returned safely to base.
The raid was the first crossing in three months and was announced as Arab leaders assembled in Rabat, Morocco, for a summit conference, convened to discuss a unified Arab stand against Israel. The commandoes used rockets to shell the Salliah camp. 30 kilometers west of the El Ballah station on the west bank of the Canal. The spokesman said that the commandos apparently were unnoticed during their advance.
Israel jets, artillery and mortars mounted one of the longest and heaviest attacks on targets in Jordan today. Their mission was to knock out positions from which Jordanian. Iraqi and guerrilla artillery have been shelling Israeli settlements in the Beisan Valley and along the shores of Lake Tiberias. The action lasted four hours. All Israeli planes returned safely to their bases, a military spokesman reported. Observers on the Israeli side said columns of smoke were seen rising from scores of enemy positions in the Gilead Hills opposite the cease-fire lines.
Israeli officials said the attack was ordered because of a rising incidence of attacks in the area by Jordanian regulars and Iraqi troops deployed in northern Jordan. In the previous 24 hours there were 13 artillery and rocket attacks aimed at Gesher, Kfar Ruppin, Maoz Chaim and other settlements they said. An Israeli settler was quoted as saying that “work under normal conditions has been impossible for some time.”