TEL AVIV (Jan. 3)
Israeli military authorities have sealed off a 20-square-mile area of the northern Gaza Strip and placed it under a 24-hour curfew as a search went on for the terrorists who threw a hand grenade into a motor car yesterday, killing two Israeli children and seriously injuring their mother. The incident occurred on the main Gaza road. The victims were Marc Aroyo, 7, and his sister, Avigall, 4. Their father, Robert Aroyo, a Tel Aviv advertising executive, was unhurt, but is in a state of shock. The death of the two children were the first ones in the new year. The grenade attack is believed to have come from one of the refugee camps that dot the countryside along the Gaza-Tel Aviv highway. The Aroyos were driving home after a weekend motor trip when the grenade exploded in their car. The incident is believed to have been discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting. According to police, Aroyo managed to drive to a nearly police station where a helicopter lifted the victims to the nearest hospital in Beersheba, Mrs. Aroyo was reported in serious condition. Aroyo was born in Malta and his wife came from London where they lived before settling in Israel last year.
An upsurge of terrorist activity was reported along the northern frontier over the weekend. An Israeli soldier was wounded yesterday in a clash with guerrillas. Katyusha shells were fired last night at kiryat Shemona near the Lebanese border. No casualties were reported but several buildings were damaged. Bazooka shells were fired at Israeli positions and patrols in the Golan Heights. Mortar shells were fired at Metullah village and Kibbutz Yiftah. There were no reports of casualties or damage. Israeli military circles attributed the Golan attacks to terrorist gangs based in Syria, operating with the consent of the Syrian Army. According to a military spokesman, the wave of terrorist activity around the Lebanese border was an attempt to retaliate for an Israeli commando strike at a terrorist base at Yaater village inside Lebanon last week. The spokesman said that in earlier “police actions” at least 20 terrorists were killed. Official figures published here today disclosed that 237 Israelis were killed and 782 were wounded as a result of hostilities during 1970. The dead included 181 soldiers and 56 civilians. A total of 8,078 incidents occurred last year on all borders. More than half of them involved clashes with Egyptian forces along the Suez Canal before the cease-fire went into effect last Aug. 7.