JERUSALEM (Aug. 27)
An Israeli helicopter pilot spotted 16 Russian and Egyptian-made rocket launchers in a depression in the mountainous terrain between Bethlehem and Jerusalem yesterday. The weapons were aimed at Jerusalem with the obvious intention of shelling the city. But their electric firing devices malfunctioned. They were dismantled by Israeli sappers who sere sent to the launching site.
The discovery was made in the course of a search for the Katyusha launchers which hurled at least four rockets into the southern suburbs of Jerusalem yesterday. Two of the rockets landed near a hospital and two exploded on an empty lot near the 400-room Ganei Yehuda hotel but caused no casualties or damage.
The spot where the rocket launchers were arrayed in a neat row is known as Beth Sehour. Arabs from neighboring villages were being questioned today and several arrests have been made. Israeli authorities said it would have been impossible for guerrillas to have set up the rockets unobserved in what is a fairly densely populated region. The rocket battery consisted of 130 mm. Katyushas, a launcher of Russian design that is a favorite of Arab guerrillas, and smaller 80 mm. launchers of Egyptian make.