Heavy Israeli Casualties Reported in Fighting Along Golan Heights, Suez Canal Zone

A guerrilla rocket attack on Kiryat Shemona in Upper Galilee early this morning killed one civilian and wounded another, bringing Israel’s death toll since Friday to 11 soldiers and two civilians killed in fighting that ranged from the Golan Heights to the Suez Canal zone. The longest battle took place on the Golan Heights. Syrian artillery attacks on Israeli settlements Wednesday touched off three days of ground and aerial warfare described by observers as the heaviest in the area since the June, 1967 Six-Day War. Israel claimed five Syrian jets downed, 30 Syrian tanks and six Syrian positions destroyed and 38 Syrians captured. Israel conceded the loss of ten soldiers killed and 27 wounded and one jet shot down over Syrian territory. At one point Israeli jets bombed military targets only six miles from Damascus. Israel Air Force jets attacked military targets in the Suez Canal zone intermittently throughout the day yesterday. This morning Israeli jets smashed guerrilla bases in the Jordan Valley and on the slopes of Mt. Hermon in Lebanon following a series of Katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli settlements. Israeli and Egyptian forces exchanged artillery fire across the Suez Canal yesterday. An Egyptian MIG was shot down Friday in an attack on Israeli positions. An Israeli officer, Lt. Yeshayahu Weismann, 25, of Ramat Gan, was fatally wounded. A civilian tractor driver, Szneor Brouk, of Bnai Brak was killed by Egyptian gunfire in the canal zone Friday night.

Israel’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Haim Bar Lev, said in a radio broadcast yesterday that Israel’s counter attack in the Golan Heights was intended to teach the Syrians “a lesson they will not soon forget.” He said the Syrian aggression there was undertaken at Cairo’s behest to relieve Israeli pressure on the Suez Canal front. But, he said, the fighting in the north had no effect on Israeli Army and Air Force activities along the canal. Israel admittedly paid a heavy price in the Golan Heights. Four of the dead were medics rushing to a United Nations observers outpost following reports, later proved erroneous, that UN personnel were hurt. A Syrian tank scored a direct hit on the medical crew’s vehicle killing its occupants. The Israeli dead, all killed on Friday were Capt. Yohanan Zohar, 29, of Upper Nazareth; Capt. Odded Shelidor. 29. of Haifa; Lt. Ran Paz, a medical doctor, 38, of Carmiel; First Sgt. Mordechai Elazar, 33, of Kiryat Motzkin; Sgt. Yossef Burkowski, 37, of Migdal Haemek; Corp. Abraham Wahab, 22, of Holon; Pvts. Ephraim Tehuva, 18, of Hatzev; Ron Guttman, 20, of Nathanya; Tzvi Haris, 19, of Givatayim; Aryeh Machlouf Sassoun, 20, of Zichron Yaacov. The latest civilian casualty was Yehuda Kadosh, 33, of Kiryat Shemona, who was killed by a salvo of Katyusha rocket fire while riding a motor scooter shortly after midnight. Marcelle Fortal, 22, was slightly injured. A second salvo at 6:30 a.m. local time caused no casualties. Two Israeli border policemen were injured this morning when guerrillas from Lebanon fired bazookas at an Israeli patrol. Bazooka shells and Katyusha rockets were fired at Beisan Valley settlements today but caused no casualties.

An Israeli armored tank column returned to Israeli territory in the Golan Heights Friday after 48 hours of blazing clashes in which six Syrian positions and 20 tanks were destroyed, 30 Syrians taken prisoner and four Syrian MIGs shot down in two aerial clashes. Syria claimed it had “wiped out enemy garrisons” at three Israeli positions in the northern sector. One Israeli jet was hit and abandoned and its pilot parachuted into Syrian territory. A late afternoon Syrian attack on Israeli positions Friday near Kuneitra was repulsed. A Syrian armored troop carrier was set afire in the battle. Artillery exchanges across the Golan Heights continued through the day, with heavy Syrian casualties and four dead and 27 wounded Israelis, officials reported, Israeli jets attacked for the second day on Friday the same three major Syrian army camps at Katana, Kiwa and Sidjan, one near Damascus. Cpl. David Touvsu, 20, of Bat Yam was killed in the fighting Thursday. Sgt. Itzhak Grossman, 34, was killed Wednesday night. An Italian airliner with 104 passengers and crew members was hit by rocket fire during Israeli Syrian clashes Friday on its way from Teheran to Rome. The Alitalia DC-8 made an emergency landing at Beirut with two engines dead and fuel spurting from a 40-inch hole in one wing. There were no injuries. Capt. Girgio Pizzo, of Padua, said the plane had been hit over Damascus, but that he did not know the source of the fire.

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