TEL AVIV (Jun. 2)
Israel Air Force jets, in four separate attacks, continued to pound Egyptian positions in the Suez Canal zone today. An hour-long attack began at 8 a.m. local time. Another attack began at 10 a.m. and lasted until noon. There were additional strikes at 1:30 p.m. and at 4 p.m. each lasting 100 minutes. A military spokesman said all Israeli aircraft returned safely to their bases. The continuous Israeli bombing, averaging 100 sorties a day, has apparently taken a heavy toll of Egyptian casualties. Egypt’s War Minister, Gen. Mohammed Fawzi. claimed yesterday that the Israeli air attacks were “ineffectual.” But he informed the Egyptian National Assembly’s foreign affairs and defense committees that Egyptian troops along the canal have been “reduced to a minimum” to protect them from Israeli bombing while they train for the “war of liberation.” Gen. Fawzi also claimed success for Egyptian commando raiders who, he said, now operate for several days at a time behind Israeli lines. But he said Egyptian forces still needed preparation for “a decisive battle” to drive Israeli forces out of the occupied territories.
Israel’s almost nonstop strikes during the past three days have been concentrated against the northern section of the Egyptian line along the Suez Canal, reaching to just south of Port Said. Three thousand bombs have been dropped on Egyptian positions, strongholds and communication lines during the period. The three-day barrages were the longest since the Six-Day War. Two Israeli soldiers–Corp. Zeev Milo of Lydda and Corp. Jacob Konstock of Hadera–were killed Monday night when their army vehicle hit a land mine in the canal area. Six other Israelis were injured. Syria reported it had killed 15 Israeli soldiers in three attacks last night in the Golan Heights. Israel in turn listed six Syrians dead and no Israeli casualties. An Israeli Army survey disclosed today that Arab guerrilla organizations admit the deaths of 1621 of their men since the June, 1967 Six-Day War. In addition, there are 2500 guerrillas and saboteurs in Israeli jails. Because of the heavy losses, the guerrillas now prefer to fire at Israel from their sanctuaries behind the Jordanian and Lebanese borders and are less inclined to carry out attacks or commit sabotage in Israel territory, the Army survey said.