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Israeli Soldier Killed, Four Soldiers and One Civilian Injured in Suez Canal Fighting

Israel has suffered her first fatality in Suez Canal action in two weeks. Sgt. David Softer. 21, of Kibbutz Dafna, was killed in fire exchanges today. Four other soldiers and one civilian were reported injured. Israeli Jets continued their intermittent attacks on Egyptian canal targets, including infantry positions and anti-aircraft gun emplacements. Israeli spokesmen denied an Egyptian claim that a Skyhawk jet had been “hit,” insisting all planes returned safely. The Beisan Valley settlements of Maoz Haim, Yardena and Kfar Ruppin were attacked last night by mortar fire from Jordanian territory. Israeli artillery returned the fire. There were no casualties. Chief of Staff Haim Bar Lev and the heads of various branches of General Headquarters visited the Gaza Strip today, touring the town of Gaza and refugee camps. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan piloted a Phantom Jet for an hour today, receiving instructions on emergency procedures and landing safely. Gen. Mordechai Hod, the Air Force Commander, piloted another Phantom alongside. Reports from Amman said the Palestinian guerrillas have again accused the Hussein government of falling to carry out its part of their July 7 agreement providing, among other things, for guerrilla freedom-of-action. Concurrently, the EI Fatah newspaper indicated that the friction between the Army and the guerrillas is increasing. In the form of “shooting Incidents” in Amman.

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