TEL AVIV (Dec. 27)
Fighting along the Suez Canal front has intensified in the week since the Geneva peace conference opened and is much more serious than official communiques have indicated, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency learned today. It was reported today that the Egyptians fired at least 1000 shells Tuesday at Israeli positions on the west bank of the Suez Canal. The fire was returned.
The Egyptians are using mortars and artillery and have also thrown tanks into action. Israeli gunners hit one Egyptian tank and set it afire Tuesday. Four days ago, two other Egyptian tanks were destroyed. An Israeli soldier was injured during the past 24 hours when his vehicle hit a mine south of Nefisha village in the Ismailia area. Fire exchanges were reported south of Abu Swiar, west of Fayid, in the Kantara area and near the Kilometer 101 checkpoint on the Suez Cairo road.
Chief of Staff Gen. David Elazar, who visited the west side of the canal today warned that any stalemate in the current disengagement talks in Geneva could lead to a renewal of general warfare on the Egyptian front. He saw no chance of a disengagement agreement being reached at least until the middle of Jan. or the beginning of Feb.
ISRAELI SNIPERS ON CANAL BANK
Meanwhile the Israeli Army magazine Bamachaneh reported today that Israeli snipers have been deployed on the west bank of the canal to counter the activities of Egyptian snipers. According to the magazine, Egyptian snipers have been operating since the cease-fire went into effect and hit many Israeli soldiers. The number was not disclosed. Bamachaneh said that while any Israeli soldier is a target for Egyptian snipers, the Israeli snipers will shoot only at enemy snipers.