TEL AVIV (Dec. 15)
Israel’s war against the terrorists escalated over the week-end. An Israeli patrol wiped out a four-man terrorist gang in a fierce gun battle south of Kibbutz Manera near the Lebanese border yesterday morning in which one Israeli border policeman was killed and a police sergeant was slightly wounded. Israeli long-range artillery continued to blast terrorist bases in southern Lebanon. Safad in Upper Galilee was hit by several Katyusha rockets late Friday night but suffered no casualties or damage. Terrorist cells responsible for a series of bombings and attempted sabotage were uncovered in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday’s clash occurred shortly after an Israeli border patrol found a section of a barbed wire security fence cut away, indicating that infiltrators had entered Israeli territory from Lebanon. While tracking down the gang, the patrol was ambushed. Mair Dayan, 20, of Tiberias, was killed in the first volley of fire. Funeral services were held today in Haifa.
The patrol opened fire on the terrorists’ position behind a bush and killed four Arabs aged 20-25. They were dressed in civilian clothes but were wearing commando-type shoes and military wind breakers. Near the bodies were Kalachnikof assault rifles, grenades, commando knives and a two-day food supply. The terrorists carried El Fatah leaflets demanding the destruction of Israel.
The Katyusha attack on Safad Friday night was followed by a 90-minute Israeli artillery barrage aimed at Nabatiyeh township some 20 kilometers inside the Lebanese border, which is ringed by refugee camps, terrorist bases and the headquarters of several terrorist organizations. Reports from Beirut later confirmed that Israeli 175 mm. shells scored direct hits on several blocks of buildings in Nabatiyeh, destroying some buildings and severely damaging others.
EL FATAH CELL DISCOVERED IN GAZA STRIP
Security forces announced today the discovery of an El Fatah cell in the Gaza Strip commanded by Judge Khaled el Qadra of Khan Yunis, who was recently appointed by Israeli authorities to serve as resident district judge in the Gaza Strip. The judge and his associates from Gaza, Raffah and Khan Yunis were arrested and documents were seized, including lists of recruits and instructions for the execution of terrorist acts. The gang, which numbered about 25, is believed responsible for a series of terrorist acts dating back to last February when explosives were planted on a bus in Rishon LeZion.
Security authorities announced Friday that eight members of a terrorist cell in Jerusalem have been arrested. Three of them are suspected of having participated directly in terrorist acts which they reconstructed for police. These included placing explosives in an East Jerusalem bank last July; planting a bomb in the Jerusalem district court building on Saladin Street in East Jerusalem; and planting explosives in a residential building and a supermarket in the Ramot Eshkol section of Jerusalem last month.