TEL AVIV (May. 29)
An apparently deranged Jordanian soldier was killed by two Israel Defense Force soldiers early Saturday morning, in a brief gunfight in the Beit She’an Valley, east of Kibbutz Hamadiya.
The IDF soldiers, one of them a Bedouin tracker, were slightly wounded.
An official Jordanian announcement described the intruder as a “mentally disturbed deserter” who abandoned his observation post on the east bank of the Jordan River and crossed into Israel.
Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central region, noted that this was the IDF’s third clash in the past 18 months with intruders from Jordan.
He stressed, however, that the Jordanian authorities have taken active measures to prevent hostile acts.
According to the IDF, the Israeli soldiers were on routine patrol along the border fence near the Jordan River bank.
The tracker, checking the fence in advance of an army command car, heard the noise of a rifle being cocked. He opened fire in the direction of the sound just as the gunman fired on him and on a second IDF soldier running to his aid.
The body of a Jordanian soldier with an M16 rifle was found in nearby bushes.