TEL AVIV (Dec. 27)
Three heavily armed terrorists were killed Sunday night by an Israel Defense Force patrol in southern Lebanon, less than 500 yards from Kibbutz Manara on the Israeli border.
Three other terrorists were drowned Saturday while attempting to infiltrate Israel by sea.
The IDF said a paratroop patrol spotted would-be infiltrators from just outside the southern Lebanon security zone and opened fire, killing three of them without sustaining casualties.
The IDF said there may have been other members of the gang who got away.
A search of the area uncovered Kalachnikov assault rifles, anti-tank grenade launchers, ammunition and leaflets demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for hostages the infiltrators planned to take.
Security sources in southern Lebanon believe the attempted attack on Kibbutz Manara was an effort by Arab rejectionists to scuttle the peace offensive of Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat.
Some sources believe Syria was behind the operation.
Abu Nidal’s anti-Arafat Fatah Revolutionary Council put out a communique in Lebanon claiming its men were on a suicide mission to Manara.
It claimed they “stormed a military barracks in the Zionist settlement” and killed “several Israeli soldiers.”
Reports of the drowning of three terrorists Saturday came from Lebanon. Their rubber dinghy, loaded with weapons, collapsed or capsized in heavy seas off the Lebanese coast at Jiyeh, 25 miles south of Beirut.
The bodies of three men are missing. A fourth survived and returned to his base in West Beirut, the report said. It said the dinghy belonged to the Damascus-based Popular Struggle Front led by Samir Gosheh.