TEL AVIV (Apr. 26)
Two Israel Defense Force soldiers were killed and two were wounded in a clash with terrorist infiltrators on the slopes of Mount Hermon early Tuesday morning.
Three terrorists were also killed in the brief but fierce gun fight on rugged terrain, a military spokesman reported.
The soldiers killed were identified as the unit commander, Lt. Col. Shmuel Adiv. of Kfar Saba, and a Bedouin tracker whose name has not yet been released. Adiv was known as a brave officer who always insisted on going ahead with his tracker.
According to the spokesman, a unit of the Givati Brigade spotted the trail of infiltrators on the western slopes of the mountain and gave chase with the aid of trackers and helicopters. Contact was made at about 7 a.m. local time less than 200 yards inside the Israeli border.
The infiltrators opened fire from concealed positions in underbrush. The soldiers returned the fire, killing three terrorists at close range. The terrorists fired a missile and threw hand grenades during the battle.
The commander of the northern region, Maj.Gen. Yossi Peled, said the infiltrators had intended to seize hostages in Israel.
One of the wounded men is reported to be in serious but stable condition. The other man was lightly injured. The clash was the third such encounter in the Mount Hermon area this month.