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Tense Situation on Golan Heights

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A tense situation developed on the Golan Heights over the weekend where a double alert was being maintained against the possibilities of a new flare-up of terrorist activities and a re-opening of hostilities by Syria. Israeli authorities believe the likelihood of violence has increased as a result of the Arab summit conference now taking place in Rabat, Morocco.

The Syrians were seen deploying their forces for renewed warfare that might be triggered by decisions taken at Rabat. Syrian troops are known to have entered the United Nations buffer zone where they have established three military observation posts in violation of the separation of forces agreement which bars the troops of both sides from the UN zone.

Israeli forces, by coincidence, were engaged in large-scale military exercises on the Golan Heights and the adjacent regions of Galilee. Security forces continued to search today for possible terrorist infiltrators in western and central Galilee. Israeli artillery fired on terrorist strongholds in southern Lebanon during the night. The target areas were lighted by flares dropped by Israeli Air Force planes.

The possibility of terrorist strikes during the Rabat conference prompted unusual precautionary measures in northern Israel. Schools were kept closed yesterday but were reopened today. The authorities cancelled a soccer game at Nahariya Saturday to avoid a concentration of large crowds. Farmers stayed away from their fields yesterday. They returned to their crops this morning, but with armed guards. Roadblocks have been established on roads in the north where all passing vehicles are stopped and checked. Tourists are being requested by police to do their sight-seeing in other regions.

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