Dayan: Syria Took a Heavy Beating but May Not Have Learned a Lesson

Israel officials said that Syria took a severe drubbing in the fighting that broke out Tuesday on the Golan Heights but weren’t certain that Damascus had “learned its lesson.” Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said last night: “If the Syrians correctly assess the results of Israel’s reaction and realize that they, will be severely punished for every hostile act, then they will be forced to abide by the cease-fire.”

However, Dayan predicted that absolute quiet would not come on the Syrian border as it prevails today on the border with Jordan. There has been no activity on the Syrian line since Tuesday.

The Defense Minister, addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations meeting here, described Syria as the most hostile and most extreme of Israel’s Arab neighbors and said that the chances of peace with her were the least bright of all.

Maj. Gen. David Elazar, Israeli Chief of Staff, visited military positions and border settlements yesterday on the Golan Heights where work crews were repairing the damage done by Syrian shelling. The only casualties occurred at Meron Hagolan where one civilian was killed and two were injured. Elazar told the settlers there that “the cease-fire must be maintained on both sides of the line or it will not exist on either side of it.” He said statements issued in Damascus minimizing Syria’s losses in the fighting were “a joke.” Damascus radio has complained bitterly over the failure of their arab brethren to come to Syria’s assistance in the battle.

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