TEL AVIV (Jan. 11)
Two Soviet-built Egyptian Sukhoy-7 fighter-bombers were blasted out of the air by U.S.-made Hawk ground-to-air missiles over the Gulf of Suez yesterday. The “kill” was reported by Israeli ground crews who said the Egyptian jets blew up in a shower of debris and their pilots were killed.
The planes had attempted a low level attack on an Israeli base near Ras Sudar on the east shore of the Gulf of Suez, south of the Suez Canal. They made one bombing run in which an Israeli soldier sustained slight wounds but no damage was done. A military spokesman said the latest action brought the total number of enemy planes shot down since the June, 1967 Six-Day War to 81. He said that of that number, 64 were Egyptian and 17 were Syrian. (Egypt’s version of the incident claimed the destruction of an Israeli Hawk missile site by its bombers.)
Israeli forces killed 12 Arab saboteurs and captured four in a series of clashes in the Arava region and the Jordan Valley over the week-end. Israeli security forces seized a massive arms cache in the Sinai desert near Ellat yesterday, the largest found to date. It contained some 300 bazooka shells, 19 bazookas, a machine gun, 200 Russian-made hand grenades and a vast quantity of light arms ammunition, all apparently destined for terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The Arab village of Jish, in northern Israel, was attacked by Arab guerrillas from across the Lebanese border Friday night. Two buildings were blown up but none of the occupants was hurt. Jish is inhabited by Maronite Christians. The village elders who called the act revolting decided to employ guards and called for volunteer watchmen among the villagers. Wish was the first Arab village attacked by saboteurs.