TEL AVIV (Feb. 2)
An Israeli jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft fire over the Golan Heights today, about ten miles east of the cease-fire line. The pilot was seen bailing out over Syrian territory. A military spokesman said the plane was hit while patrolling the cease-fire line following a four hour battle between Israeli and Syrian tanks and artillery in the Golan Heights this morning.
Israel Air Force jets attacked Egyptian military targets in the Nile Valley and the Nile delta today. Egyptian jets attacked Israeli positions north of Kantara in the Suez Canal zone twice today. According to a military spokesman the attacks were “hit-and-run” forays which caused no casualties or damage. He said the Egyptian aircraft dropped their bombs haphazardly and fled.
The battle in the Golan Heights, the fourth in as many days, was described as the heaviest since the June, 1967 Six-Day War. But Israeli forces suffered no casualties. Jets summoned to attack Syrian tank and artillery concentrations scored direct hits and returned safely to their bases, a military spokesman reported. He denied Syrian claims to have downed an Israeli jet during the battle. According to Israeli sources, the Syrians may be beating up their front with Israel at the request of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in order to ease the pressure on Egypt. Israelis also noted that Syria has completed the rehabilitation of its Army which was badly mauled in the 1967 war and now wants to test it. For the past three days. Syrian forces have opened fire on Israeli patrols near Rafid in the southern Golan Heights. The shooting generally started with mortars and later tanks and artillery were put into action.
Israel Air Force targets in Egypt today included the Baltim military camp in the Nile Delta, over 100 miles west of Port Said and another military camp near Asyutt in the Nile Valley. All planes returned safely. Yasser Arafat, the El Fatah leader, claimed in Amman today that the “successes” of his guerrilla forces have created serious military and political divisions among Israeli leaders. Arafat did not specify the nature of the “successes” nor did he say what the alleged divisions among the Israelis were.