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Massive Fortifications Being Constructed on Golan Heights

Israel is spending over IL 200 million on the construction of what some term a “little Maginot line” on the Golan Heights, making that region the most heavily fortified of all Israel’s frontiers. Military correspondents on a conducted tour of the Heights yesterday were shown a network of anti-tank trenches and massively fortified positions being built by private contractors engaged by the Defense Ministry. The intention, they were told, is to complete the defense complex before the rainy season sets in next month.

The correspondents also visited settlements on the Golan Heights which, it was disclosed, have been supplied with anti-tank guns, recoilless cannons, heavy machine guns and mortars for the settlers to defend themselves against attack.

Maj. Gen. Raphael Eytan, commander of the Northern Front, warned at Kiryat Shemona last night that the Syrians were preparing for a new war on a long-term basis. But he assumed that for the time being Damascus would agree to the continued presence of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), the mandate of which expires Oct. 24.-Israeli officers described the new fortifications on the Golan Heights as better and stronger than those that withstood the Syrian assault in Oct. 1973.