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Two Israeli Soldiers Wounded by Egyptian Gunfire; Israeli Forces Kill 21 Guerrillas

Israel Air Force jets attacked Egyptian military targets in the central and southern sectors of the Suez Canal zone for 45 minutes today and returned safely to their bases. Two Israeli soldiers were wounded by Egyptian gunfire in the southern section of the canal zone this morning. An Israeli policeman and a local Arab were injured when a hand grenade thrown at a car exploded in a Nablus street this morning. Security forces closed off the area and searched it for the grenade thrower. Israeli forces killed 21 El Fatah guerrillas in an ambush followed by a fierce gun-battle in the Jordan Valley last night. The action took place near Nahal Meholah. A military spokesman said the casualties were the heaviest ever inflicted on a guerrilla force in a single battle. There were no Israeli casualties.

Benjamin Kester of Chicago, an American student enrolled at an Ulpan at Tirat Zvi, suffered slight wounds in an artillery attack on the settlement last night. Mr. Kester did not require hospitalization. The gunners, believed to be Iraqis based in Jordan, fired on Israeli positions in the Beisan Valley again this morning but caused no casualties. A military spokesman describing last night’s battle in the Jordan Valley said an unusually large band of guerrillas was detected crossing the river to Israel-occupied territory. An Israeli patrol opened fire at close range. Many of the guerrillas were felled by the first volley and the rest scattered in an attempt to escape. After a heavy exchange of fire, 21 bodies were found scattered over a wide area. They were wearing El Fatah uniforms. Many hand grenades, explosives, rifles and first aid kits were found near the bodies. The guerrillas were believed on a mission to commit sabotage during Israel’s Independence Day celebrations next week.

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