TEL AVIV (Mar. 12)
Air warfare erupted anew over Egypt today after a six day lull. Israeli jets blasted targets along the Suez Canal and 16 miles west of the waterway in a series of raids beginning in the morning and lasting through most of the afternoon. Egyptian jets staged several attacks on Israeli positions along the canal and lost a Russian-made Sukhoi-7 bomber to Israeli anti-aircraft gunners. All Israeli planes returned safely to their bases. The body of the Egyptian pilot was found in the wreckage of the Sukhoi. Ground warfare also escalated in the Suez Canal zone and in the Golan Heights. An Israeli soldier, 20 year-old Sgt. Carlos Ben Ezra, of Tel Aviv, was killed by Egyptian mortar fire at Port Tewfik and five of his comrades were wounded. Corp. Carl Auerbach, 30, of Haifa, was killed this morning and seven other Israeli soldiers were wounded in a Syrian ambush in the northern Golan Heights. Six Israeli soldiers were wounded and an Arab guerrilla was killed in an earlier Golan clash today. An Egyptian soldier was killed by an Israeli patrol today after he crossed the Suez Canal in the northern sector. Egyptians fired artillery, mortars and anti-tank guns at Israeli positions in the northern and southern sections of the waterway during the day. The fire was returned.
A military spokesman said today’s aerial targets included a radar station at Abou Souwair and other military installations at Jabel Aubed on the Suez-Cairo road. The raids west of the canal were brief, lasting about ten minutes. Those along the waterway lasted several hours. The Israeli jets took to the air over Egypt for the first time since last Friday. Israeli officials said they had been grounded by bad weather. The Syrian ambush occurred near Birkat Ram about a mile from the Syrian cease-fire line. Syrian forces opened fire on the Israeli patrol from concealed positions. They were supported by Syrian artillery fire from behind the lines. The fighting began at 11 a.m. and ended an hour later when the ambushers retreated into Syria. Damascus radio claimed today that 25 Israeli soldiers were killed or wounded in two clashes with Syrian forces in the Golan Heights.