TEL AVIV (Jan. 8)
Four Israeli soldiers were wounded today in a three-hour exchange of artillery and tank-fire on the Syrian front. The incident occurred south of Mazraat Beth Jan where Syrian forces opened an artillery barrage and later brought up tank guns. Israeli forces returned the fire. The shooting began at 3 p.m. local time and continued intermittently until about 6 p.m., well after sundown.
Egyptian forces fired mortar shells at Israeli positions east of El Balah today and the fire was returned. Other shooting incidents on the Egyptian front were reported west of Fayid, in the Adabiyeh area and in the Ismailia region. All involved small arms fire and no casualties were reported. Israeli forces countered a heavy Egyptian artillery barrage yesterday with a barrage of their own east of El Ballah island. According to an Israeli military spokesman, direct hits were scored and the Egyptians suffered numerous casualties.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces are continuing their blockade of an Egyptian-Algerian pocket east of the Bitter Lake. The pocket was created when Israeli forces broke through to the west bank of the Suez Canal during the second week of the Yom Kippur War. The Egyptians have attempted to resupply the encircled units by water. An Israeli military spokesman said that two attempts were successful but two others failed after Israeli gunners fired on boats ferrying supplies across the Bitter Lake.