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Israeli Commandos Raid Fatahland: 2 Israeli Soldier Killed, 1 Wounded; Terrorists Suffer Heavy Casua

January 12, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Two Israeli soldiers were killed and one wounded last night in raids on terrorist strongholds inside Lebanon. The two dead soldiers were identified as Corp. Yoram Shiloni, 19, of Jerusalem, and Pvt. Raphael Dotan, 19, of Sdeh Eliyahu, a settlement in the Jezreel Valley. Military funerals were held today for the two soldiers. There were no estimates today of the number of terrorists killed in last night’s action but accounts indicated that the terrorists had suffered heavy casualties.

The raids were the first into Lebanon in many months and were in response to the recent resurgence of terrorist activity along Israel’s northern border. (In New York, the Lebanese delegation to the United Nations had not requested by late afternoon any UN action over the raids.) Beirut radio carried a factual account of the action and reported that a Lebanese man and woman were killed, adding that the number of casualties among the Palestinians was not known. Israeli observers noted that the Lebanese statements drew a clear distinction between Lebanese and Palestinians but did not rule out the possibility that Lebanon might decide to make political use of the incursion at a future time.

The targets of the raids were Kufr Hamman, north of Mt. Hermon and Bint A Djabel, about five miles from the Israeli frontier. Both villages are located in a section of southern Lebanon known as Fatahland because it is controlled by the fedayeen and the Beirut government exercises virtually no authority in the region. The raids were the first Israeli commando actions across the borders since Gen. David Elazar took over as chief of staff on Jan. 1.


According to military sources, the raids were carried out by crack units. Accounts of the action indicated that they had to overcome difficult terrain and encountered stiff resistance from the terrorists. The first Israeli casualty occurred at Bint A Djabel where the commandos were met with heavy fire from houses earmarked for demolition.

Several terrorists were reported killed in the exchange of fire, one was killed jumping from a rooftop and another when he tried to escape through the front door. The houses were blown up killing an undetermined number of terrorists inside. The attack on Bint A Djabel was preceded by a two-hour artillery barrage.

The raiding party at Kufr Hamman encountered terrorist mortar fire which was silenced by Israeli artillery. They reached the village after a long march through mountainous terrain in the Mt. Hermon region. The Israeli soldier killed and the other wounded at Kufr Hamman were hit by terrorist fire from buildings that were later demolished. Guerrillas were reported today to be fleeing the region in the aftermath of last night’s raids.

Government sources said today that there had been nine instances of attacks on Israel from Lebanese territory since Dec. 20, 1971. On that date Soviet-made Katyusha rocket launchers were used to shell Nahariya, a coastal town near the Lebanese frontier, Subsequently there were eight instances of mortar attacks on Israeli territory, the most recent being on Safad in the Galilean hills. The attacks were attributed to terrorists who either fired from Lebanon or infiltrated across the border and set up their weapons on Israeli soil. No Israeli casualties resulted from any of the attacks.

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