TEL AVIV (Mar. 1)
A number of Syrian planes, flying at low altitudes, passed over the Golan Heights this evening and dropped bombs in the area of Houshaniyeh and Neot Hagolan settlements in the Elal region. The action was regarded here as retaliation against Israel’s tank and artillery attack this morning on Arab terrorist concentrations deep inside Syria after three days of Syrian shellings. Syria did not intervene during the Israeli action, but apparently decided it could not let it pass without retaliation. (In Washington, the State Department had no immediate comment.)
An official communique said Israelis suffered no casualties or damage. Antiaircraft fire was returned while planes were sent to repel the Syrian bombers. It was learned that although the Syrian bombers penetrated up to five kilometers (three miles) west of the cease-fire line, no Israeli-Syrian plane contact was made.
Unlike the situation in southern Lebanon where the terrorists exercised complete control, terrorists in southern Syria are under control of the Syrian Army and their actions against Israel are sanctioned by Damascus. Thirteen incidents were initiated by Syrian-based terrorists during the past three days. The settlements of Nahal Golan. Ein Zivan, Ramat Magshimim and Merim Hagolan were the targets of nightly mortar and bazooka attacks. Israeli tanks and artillery opened fire at daybreak today on four villages inside Syria where terrorists were concentrated.
The targets were Mousratiyeh, Gamla. Ibdin and Amouriyeh. The Israeli fire was aimed at houses occupied by terrorists. Air Force jets meanwhile raided terrorist concentrations 10 to 16 miles inside Syria in the area of El Arara where the terrorists have their training camps and supply dumps. All targets were reportedly hit and smoke was seen rising from them. No antiaircraft fire was encountered during this strike.
KIRYAT SHEMONA SHELLED
Earlier today Kiryat Shemona near the Lebanese border was hit by Katyusha rocket shells fired by terrorists in southern Lebanon. Two shells exploded in the residential quarter damaging windows and exterior walls but no casualties were reported. Israeli army units returned the fire. The terrorists fired the Russian-made 130 mm. rockets from positions less than 10 miles inside Lebanon, indicating that some terrorist forces are still active in the “Fatahland” despite four days of Israeli ground and air attacks which ended yesterday.
Israeli sources believe the attack on Kiryat Shemona was intended to be a demonstration that the terrorists were not completely ousted from the region. But Israelis expect the “Fatahland” region will be quiet, at least for a while, as the Lebanese Army has taken control there for the first time in two years. Lebanese forces entered “Fatahland” yesterday as Israeli forces withdrew but demonstrations in support of the terrorists were held in several Lebanese towns.
In Sidon the inhabitants went on strike to protest the lack of Arab support for the terrorists while they were under Israeli attack. Last night Lebanese Premier Saeb Salaam warned his countrymen not to promote dissension between the Lebanese and the Palestinian terrorists. Israel warned meanwhile that it would react quickly and vigorously if the terrorists resumed their activity against Israeli settlements in the border region. Cairo radio announced this morning that the presidents of Libya, Egypt and Syria will meet shortly to discuss Israeli action against terrorists in Lebanon and Syria.