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Syrians Resume Shelling; 4 Israeli Soldiers Wounded in Weekend Clashes

March 25, 1974
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Syrian forces resumed shelling Israeli positions in the southern sector of the Yom Kippur War enclave at noon today. There were no casualties and no Israeli return fire. The new shooting ended a period of quiet this morning. Tension remained high following fierce artillery and tank duels Friday and Saturday during which four Israeli soldiers were wounded.

Panic developed in the Druze village of Harfa where a woman was killed in a Syrian barrage that demolished ten mudbrick houses, damaged others and killed livestock. Israeli soldiers sought to calm the 800 inhabitants who asked to be transferred to safer ground. They assembled women and children in a Druze house of worship, the only stone building in the village. Male inhabitants were sent to other shelters. The Syrian attacks started Friday morning and continued intermittently through Saturday night. It was the first time the Syrians fired artillery after dark.

Yesterday’s artillery duels engulfed the entire enclave of Syrian territory captured by Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The shooting extended from Mazraat Bet Jan in the northern sector through Harfa to Tel Shams and Tel Antar in the southern section of the Golan Heights. The Heights were closed to visitors yesterday and the ski runs on Mt. Hermon were also shut down. Gold Heights settlers were permitted to work their fields today but were cautioned to be on the alert for new shelling.

A military spokesman said that Israeli artillery was in action Friday and Saturday against long and short range targets. Israeli tanks were called up to counter Syrian tank fire. At least one Syrian tank was seen bursting into flames. The Syrians brought up more tanks but Israeli gunners kept them at a distance, the spokesman said.

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