TEL AVIV (Dec. 1)
A military spokesman announced tonight that an Israeli patrol boat sank an Egyptian reconnaissance boat off the eastern shores of the Gulf of Suez last Friday night in the first shooting encounter between Israeli and Egyptian forces since the cease-fire went into effect last Aug. 7. The announcement said the four Egyptian crewmen aboard the sunken craft were drowned. The bodies of three were recovered and yielded documents identifying the men as members of the Egyptian intelligence service. The announcement also said that “signs” were found indicating that the Egyptian boat was used for both military reconnaissance and hashish smuggling. According to the Israeli account, the Egyptian boat refused to stop after it was challenged by the Israeli boat and warning shots were fired. The announcement did not say what means were used to sink it or why disclosure of the incident was delayed for more than three days.