Terrorist Infiltrators from Syria Killed in Clash on Golan Heights

An army spokesman announced that Israeli forces killed two armed terrorist infiltrators from Syria and captured five others in a clash on the central Golan Heights at 1:30 p.m. local time today. There were no Israeli casualties. The incident is believed to be the first known armed infiltration across the Israeli-Syrian disengagement lines with the full support and guidance of the Syrian military authorities.

An official report was made to United Nations headquarters and to U.S. authorities. Israeli circles have not yet determined whether the infiltration was an isolated incident or the beginning of a new phase of hostile activity by Syria on the Golan line.

The infiltrators were carrying Kalachnikof rifles, revolvers, explosive charges, timing devices and a Syrian-made map. Documents in their possession indicated that they were on a sabotage mission against Israeli targets in the Golan Heights for which they were trained at Suweida, a village in southern Syria. They were apparently instructed by military personnel at the Syrian General Headquarters on how to infiltrate the Israeli lines.

TERRORIST GROUP APPREHENDED

Jerusalem police, meanwhile, have rounded up a terrorist group believed responsible for the explosion of a booby-trapped car which injured eight people outside the Eyal Hotel in downtown Jerusalem early Monday morning. According to reliable sources, the suspects include two East Jerusalem Arabs, one of them a woman, and five Arabs from Irtas village near Bethlehem aged 20-30, who reportedly joined a Fatah cell and prepared the booby-trapped car with explosives in their possession. A curfew was imposed on Irtas last night and police remained on guard in the village following a series of arrests.

According to the sources, one member of the gang was among 15 suspects detained for questioning after the explosion Monday, 13 of whom were subsequently released. But the gang was apparently traced through an East Jerusalem woman who telephoned police after the explosion to report that her car was stolen. The explosives were planted in a French Peugot-504.

Police reasoned that the car must have been in the possession of the terrorists for a considerable time although its theft was reported only after the explosion occurred. Police also found a torn Israeli passport at the scene of the blast which belonged to a former resident of Nazareth now living in East Jerusalem. He turned out to be the son-in-law of the woman who reported the theft and both were taken into custody yesterday. Interrogation of the suspects led to Irtas where large quantities of explosives, detonators, timing devices and Kalachnikof rifle ammunition were found.

NINE ARRESTED IN GAZA

Security forces meanwhile have arrested nine persons in Gaza suspected of membership in a terrorist cell organized to perpetrate acts of sabotage against the newly elected Gaza City Council headed by the recently reinstated Mayor, Rashid al-Shawa who the terrorists regard as a collaborator with Israel. All of the detainees were described as members of one clan. They include a secretary at the Red Cross office in Gaza. The suspects are all relatives of Gaza lawyer Ibrahim Abu Sita, a past candidate for the mayoral office. They had weapons and explosives in their possession.

Defense Minister Shimon Peres disclosed yesterday that eight attempts were made to infiltrate Israel’s northern borders in the past few weeks, all of them thwarted by Israeli forces. Peres was addressing soldiers and civilians at Kibbutz Hanita near the Lebanese border.

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