TEL AVIV (Jan. 1)
Israel Air Force jets attacked Egyptian military positions in the northern and southern sections of the Suez Canal zone today and were also active over Jordan last night and twice today. A military spokesman said a morning attack in the canal zone was aimed at artillery batteries and anti-aircraft gun emplacements near Port Suez in the south and lasted for an hour and 20 minutes. A later attack hit artillery positions and other military objectives in the northern canal zone. All planes returned safely.
The air attacks on Jordan followed a night of heavy artillery and mortar duels across the Beisan and Jordan valleys. The first attacks at night and this morning hit guerrilla positions overlooking the Beisan Valley and also struck for the third time at Jordan’s Ghor irrigation canal. The later attack blasted guerrilla positions opposite Nahal Tzofar in the Araba region near the Dead Sea.
Fighting flared along the Lebanese border last night as Arab guerrillas fired Katyusha rockets at Israeli settlements causing damage but no casualties. A band of saboteurs infiltrated Israeli territory from Lebanon and kidnapped 50 year-old Reuben Rosenwasser who was on guard duty at Metullah. Israel has asked the International Red Cross to take immediate steps to secure his release. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said today Israel viewed the kidnapping with “utmost gravity.” He visited Metullah and spoke to the family of the kidnap victim. Mr. Rosenwasser was seized after midnight and the guerrillas were seen fleeing with him but other Israeli guards refrained from shooting out of fear of hitting the Israeli watchman. Gen. Dayan, who was accompanied by Chief of Staff Gen. Haim Bar Lev and Air Force Commander Gen. Motti Hod, said there had been a significant deterioration along the Lebanese border recently and that he expected it to get worse.
A military spokesman said the rocket attacks from Lebanon were unusually severe. One rocket exploded in a flat in Kiryat Shemona where five persons were sleeping but no one was hurt although the apartment was badly damaged. Damage was done to other houses and windows were smashed in the township. The attack sent settlers to bomb shelters for over an hour.
A settler from Kibbutz Baram escaped unhurt when his car was attacked with bazooka fire on a road near the Lebanese border. But two Israeli soldiers and a 16 year-old boy were wounded during last night’s Jordanian mortar attacks on Beisan Valley settlements. Shells hit a cowshed at Ashdod Yaacov killing four cows. Other livestock was destroyed in attacks on Maoz Chaim and Tel Katzir by Jordanian gunners and Iraqi artillery stationed in Jordan. Israeli forces returned the fire in the direction of the Jordanian villages of Irbid and Umm Kiss. Israel Air Force jets attacked the artillery positions silencing them.
One Arab was killed and two others were wounded when a small Russian-made hand grenade exploded in East Jerusalem today. The victim was a resident of Silwan village outside of Jerusalem. A local Arab was killed and another was injured when a hand grenade was thrown at a police vehicle in Hebron today. The grenade missed the vehicle and exploded at a vegetable stand. Israeli police cordoned off the area and arrested all the vendors in the vicinity for questioning. The terrorist was reported to have stood among them for some time before throwing the grenade.