TEL AVIV (Dec. 28)
An Israeli commando raid that destroyed an Egyptian naval position 115 miles south of the Suez Canal Friday night was hailed today as one of the “cleanest and most daring” operations ever carried out by Israel’s armed forces. The praise was offered by the Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Haim Bar Lev, who greeted the raiding party when it returned to base yesterday with four Egyptian prisoners.
The target was Ras Ghareb, 115 miles south of Port Suez at the canal’s southern entrance, and about ten miles inland from the shores of the Gulf of Suez. The number of Israeli troops involved was not disclosed. But the target was apparently regarded by the Israeli high command as of considerable importance. The raid was the first in which Israeli commandos were supported by the Israeli Air Force. Jets blasted nearby Egyptian positions in sharp diversionary attacks before and during the raid drawing enemy defenses away from the target area.
The commandos achieved almost complete surprise, a military spokesman said today. They were not spotted by Egyptian sentries until they were 30 yards from their goal. A brief gun fight ensued in which there were no Israeli casualties. The four Egyptians captured were reported to have feigned death or wounds. Cairo radio conceded today that the raid took place and said Egyptian forces lost two men killed and four missing.