TEL AVIV (Oct. 14)
An army spokesman confirmed today that five Palestinians who landed on the Tel Aviv beach in a motorboat on Rosh Hashanah were members of El Fatah on a mission to organize terrorist cells and sabotage in the Gaza Strip and in the El Arish area.
The five will face a military court martial. It was also disclosed that interrogation of the suspects led to the arrests of 55 Arabs in the Gaza Strip during the past two weeks, all of them members of terrorist cells linked to El Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The five Palestinians claimed they came from Egypt in order to avoid recruitment by the PLO to fight in Lebanon. An investigation revealed that they had in fact boarded a Turkish vessel at Tyre, Lebanon, which served as a “mother ship” carrying arms and explosives. The motorboat was launched some miles offshore from Tel Aviv. The presence of Israeli patrol boats caused the terrorists to jettison their explosives and weapons and to give themselves up with a concocted story, the spokesman said.