GOLAN HEIGHTS: ISRAELI BRIGADE "ATTACK" DURING SUMMER EXERCISES.
Date:28 JUNE, 1973 On the Golan Heights, the Israeli brigade are in the middle of a large scale summer exercise involving tanks and half-track armoured vehicles. The exercise, originally scheduled for May was postponed because of the civil strife at the time in the Lebanon. The Israelis said they did not wish to provoke an international incident by mistake. The exercise is taking place very close to the cease-fire line with Syria and the Syrians can hear the heavy firing. The Brigade have been following the tactics of the war of 1967. For the second time the town of Kunitra was "captured" -- but this time there were no casualties. The first time the town was captured was on June 10, 1967. Syrian artillery which had been shelling Israeli border villages from Mt. Hermon to the Sea of Galilee was heavily attacked by Israeli Air Force and infantry units. After fierce fighting the artillery emplacements were overrun and the Israeli forces penetrated deep into the hills. The taking of Kunitra marked the completion of the capture of all the heights overlooking the Israeli border. The Heights are part of the territory that Israel has held since the war. SYNOPSIS: The Golan Heights, taken by Israel during the 1967 war, are being captured again by Israeli force of arms. But this time there were no casualties. For the Israeli Brigade in the Golan Heights are carrying out a large scale summer exercise. The exercise planned for May was postponed because of civil strife in lebanon. The Israeli's said they were afraid the exercise might provoke an international incident by mistake. One of the last actions of the 1967 war was the tasking of the town of Kunitra. It marked the capturing of all the heights overlooking the Israeli border. Last week similar tactics were used again to capture Kunitra with half track troop carriers and tanks. The exercise, involving heavy firing, is taking place near the cease-fire line with Syria. And the Syrians are close enough to hear the shooting. The troops overran the town easily by taking parallel streets as they advanced. But during the war the fighting in the area was bitter. The Israelis attacked with aircraft and infantry and the Syrian emplacements were taken after fierce hand to hand fighting. The Golan Heights are part of the territory Israel has occupied since the war. (Caption:GOLAN HEIGHTS: ISRAELI BRIGADE "ATTACK" DURING SUMMER EXERCISES.)
EGYPT: PRESIDENT SADAT ATTENDS EID EL-FITR PRAYERS
Date:26 OCTOBER, 1973 President Anwar Sadat of Egypt on Friday (26 October)] attended early morning prayers at Cairo's El-Hussein Mosque, on the first day of the Eid el-Fitr festival. Wearing his uniform as Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Forces and accompanied by other national leaders, President Sadat participated in a service that marked the conclusion of the solemn month of Ramadan. The city of Cairo was described as "in somber mood" as the festival began. Most families had relatives in the forces and the news of the Israeli advances during and after the first ceasefire agreement had given rise to concern for their safety. The Eid el-Fitr festival is usually a four-day national holiday in Egypt, but most Government offices had cancelled leave for their workers in light of the situation. Cairo's Zoo and city parks, normally packed to capacity on the holiday, were shut under War Regulations. Shops were closed and the streets were comparatively deserted. Apart from the call to prayers from the minarets, the only distinctive noise over the city was the drone of Soviet transport planes continuing their airlift of supplies. In a message to the nation on the eve of the feast, the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, Dr. Abdel Halim Mahmoud, assured Egyptians that "the day of final victory will come." (Caption:EGYPT: PRESIDENT SADAT ATTENDS EID EL-FITR PRAYERS)
SUEZ CANAL: AS CEASEFIRE APPROACHES ISRAELI UNITS ADVANCE INTO EGYPT.
Date:22 OCT. 1973 Egyptian and Israeli forces on Monday (22 October) were engaged in heavy fighting on both sides of the Suez Canal until the United Nations ceasefire took effect in the late afternoon. The two combatants were apparently striving to gain the best positions by the time the deadline arrived. When both sides resumed hostilities, in violation of the ceasefire, on the following day, this appeared to be a continuation of Monday's clashes. On Monday, Visnews cameraman Martin Fletcher joined an Israeli unit that was crossing to the West (Egyptian) Bank of the Suez Canal to take up a forward observation post. His film shows how they crossed the waterway on a pontoon bridge and ten advanced northwards for up to 20 miles (32 kms) inside Egyptian territory. In the distance, fierce tank and artillery battles were raging with the Israelis on the West Bank shelling Egyptian armour east of the Canal. Fletcher's Personnel Carrier was the target of an air attack by a lone Egyptian Mig. The jet made two strafing passes but was hit by ground fire and was seen crashing and bursting into flames. As the unit advanced towards the town of Ismailiya, which the Israelis were pounding with artillery fire, it passed by groups of Egyptian prisoners of war, left behind as their army retreated. One soldier, who had been hiding out for some days, surrendered to the unit. He had been seriously wounded in the stomach, but the Israelis were taking no chances and blindfolded him for the journey towards the helicopter which would take him to hospital. Near Ismailiya, the unit met up with the forces of Major-General Ariel Sharon in an Egyptian village. Sharon, one of the most renowned Israeli war-heroes, was chatting to an Egyptian farmer who had not realised he was in Israeli-occupied territory. As a token of his goodwill, the farmer offered oranges all round. SYNOPSIS: At the Suez Canal on Monday, with the United Nations ceasefire approaching, Israel and Egypt continued to battle for the best positions at the deadline hour. This Israeli unit was crossing onto the Egyptian West Ban of the waterway on a pontoon bridge. The Israelis had been pouring forces over the Canal for several days and had amassed a strong tank concentration on the Egyptian side. This force shield the rear of the Egyptian armour that had penetrate into Sinai in the first days of the war. Israeli soldiers joining the drive into Egypt could look back across the Canal and watch the Egyptian advance force suffer an artillery pounding as its supply lines were cut. The armoured convoy turned north after reaching the west bank. It had orders to proceed twenty miles into Egypt to observe and correct artillery fire. Its protection and alarm-raiser was a helicopter hovering above. Visnews cameraman Martin Fletcher, who was with the unit, kept on filming as a MiG jet swooped on them. The lone Egyptian fighter made two strafing passes, its bullet hitting all around, before it was drive off by return fire. The firing from Fletcher's personnel carrier had been accurate. There was no sign of the pilot escaping when the jet blew up. The column found mock-ups of missiles meant to deceive israeli planes into wasting their bombs. The real missiles had claimed many aircraft and ware the principal challenge to Israeli air superiority. A large number of Egyptian prisoners were taken. These soldiers were non-combatant clerks. They had been abandoned by their officers, stunned at the speed of the Israeli advance. Opposition increased approaching of the town of Ismailiya. The Egyptians had retreated to a stronghold and were fighting on grimly. The Israelis had turned their artillery on the town and were bombarding heavily. But for the ceasefire, observers said this would have been the biggest battle of the war. Both the Israelis and the Egyptians had been channelling huge troops reinforcements into the Ismailiya area. As the convoy moved up a road near Ismailiya, it was waved down by an Egyptian soldier in a dressing gown, standing at the roadside. He said he had been hiding out for some days and wanted to give himself up. He was badly wounded, with a bullet in his stomach. But the Israelis insisted on blind folding the prisoner as they drove home to a point where he would be flown by helicopter to a hospital. A medical corpsman said his wound gave him little chance of reaching hospital alive. In a village nearby, the unit caught up with Major-General Sharon, one of the top Israeli commanders. Sharon was explaining to a puzzled farmer that the Israelis were in control of the area. (Caption:SUEZ CANAL: AS CEASEFIRE APPROACHES ISRAELI UNITS ADVANCE INTO EGYPT.)
EGYPT: ISRAEL BOMBS TOWNS ON NILE DELTA FIVE HUNDRED REPORTED DEAD.
Date:12 OCTOBER 1973 Five hundred people have been killed according to Egyptian Foreign Minister, Dr. Muhammed El-Zayyat, in Israeli bombing raids on towns and villages on the Nile Delta in Egypt. Dr. Zayyat gave this figure to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday (12 October). The village of Toukh, fifty kilometres from Cairo, showed signs of extensive damage from a bombing raid on Thursday (October 11th). Toukh is on the main highway from Cairo to the port city of Alexandria. A cafe was wrecked and a bus carrying thirty passengers was almost completely destroyed. According to Reuters correspondent, Granville Watt, the damage could have been caused by rockets. Near the cafe there was a large crater. The carcasses of dead animals were strewn at the side of the road. Repair work was already under way when pressmen arrived. People chanted slogans of hope and solidarity in front of journalists. The injured were taken to hospital at Benha, two miles (three kms.) away. A doctor at the hospital said fifteen were dead on arrival. Some of the injured were badly burned children. There had also been numerous casualties among people gathering-in the cotton harvest. The Israeli Foreign Minister Mr. Abba Eban, told the Untied Nations General Assembly on Friday (12th October) that he could not contest Egypt's figure of five hundred dead. He said, however, that Israel had been aiming only at military targets. He added that Syria had been bombarding villages in north Israel with much loss of life. (Caption:EGYPT: ISRAEL BOMBS TOWNS ON NILE DELTA FIVE HUNDRED REPORTED DEAD.)
EGYPT: CAPTURED MEMBERS OF ISRAELI ARMOURED UNIT PUT ON DISPLAY
Date:9TH OCTOBER, 1973 As the Middle East war went into its second week on Saturday (13th October), Israel claimed that Egyptian forces on the Eat Bank of the Suez Canal were strengthening their defensive formations and bringing up more guided missiles. All week Egyptian troops and armour have been pouring across the canal into Sinai, held by Israel since the 1967 war. Egyptians say their attacks have smashed Israel's front line defences, and penetrated up to ten miles (16 kms) from the canal. The Egyptians have claimed four-hundred Israeli tanks, three-thousand Israeli dead, and about a thousand captured -- including forty-three pilots. On Tuesday (9th October), the Egyptians allowed cameramen to film members of an Israeli armoured unit they said were captured in the first Egyptian push across the canal. (Caption:EGYPT: CAPTURED MEMBERS OF ISRAELI ARMOURED UNIT PUT ON DISPLAY)
EGYPT SUEZ CANAL: EGYPTIAN FORCES CROSS CANAL INTO SINAI.
Date:OCTOBER, 1973 Three hours after the ceasefire deadline between Israel and Egypt, a military communique from Tel Aviv said Egyptian forces had violated the truce by firing at several pointed along the front lines. Both Israel and Egypt accepted the United Nations Security Council's ceasefire call on Monday (October 22nd), and ordered their troops to stop fighting at 1700 G.M.T. The ceasefire came on the 17th day of the Middle East war - the fourth in 15 years. Shortly before it was announced, an army spokesman said Israeli troops had expanded their bridgehead on the west Bank of the Suez Canal to a width of 25 miles (40 kms.) and had advanced 18 miles (30 kms.) in some places. The Israeli gains in the West Bank more than offset their losses in the East Bank of the Suez, and are likely to prove a major political bargaining point when negotiations on permanent lines begin. The Egyptian thrust across the Canal over pontoon bridges sparked off the fighting which has cost thousands of lives and has left the Sinai desert littered with the tanks and armoured vehicles of the Egyptian and Israeli armies. SYNOPSIS: As Egypt and Israel announced they would order their troops to observe the ceasefire called for by the United Nations Security Council on Monday, the troops of both sides were still jockeying for the most advantageous positions around the Suez Canal. Three hours after the ceasefire deadline, Israel reported that Egyptian troops had violated the truce. Seventeen days before, the Egyptians had thrown pontoon bridges over the Canal and crossed into the Sinai desert, sparking off the fighting that was to involve Israel on two fronts and to coast the lives of thousands. The Egyptians held their positions on the East Bank of the Canal, but last week Israel too crossed the Canal, gaining a bridge head on the West Bank. Their advance is likely to prove a major political bargaining point when negotiations on permanent lines begin. (Caption:EGYPT SUEZ CANAL: EGYPTIAN FORCES CROSS CANAL INTO SINAI.)
SINAI & EGYPT: EGYPTIAN TROOPS OCCUPY ISRAELI STRONGHOLDS WHILE EGYPTIAN CABINET MEETS IN CAIRO.
Date:14 OCT. 1973 and 15 OCT. 1973 The most ferocious tank battle of the Middle East War was still raging in the central sector of the Sinai front of Thursday (18 October) -- the thirteenth day of the war. The battle had started on Sunday (14 Oct.), and both sides claimed to have inflicted heavy losses in men and equipment on their opponents. On Wednesday, an Egyptian military spokesman said that the israelis were pouring troops into Sinai to make up for heavy losses. Neither side have given exact locations of battle positions, but military commentators consider that the central sector where the heaviest fighting is taking place, stretches from Ismailia on the Suez Canal, to the strategic point of Abu Aweiglla near Israel's Negev Desert. The Egyptian forces appeared to have retained control of the Israeli positions on the East Bank of the Suez Canal which they occupied in the first few days of the war. The positions are littered with destroyed tanks and abandoned armaments, indicating that they were won only after heavy fighting. The well fortified Israeli defences on the East Bank were among the first of the Egyptian successes in the War, and on Sunday (14 October) the Egyptian Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mohamed Abdul Hatem, presided over the first meeting of the Cabinet since the war started. The ministers discussed the situation to date after nine days of fighting. The ministers no doubt met in a mood of confidence. Earlier that day it had been reported that Egyptian troops had accepted the surrender of the last remaining Israeli troops still holding out on the Eastern Bank of the Suez Canal. Thirty seven officers and men had been captured, after being cut off days earlier by the Egyptian advance. (Caption:SINAI & EGYPT: EGYPTIAN TROOPS OCCUPY ISRAELI STRONGHOLDS WHILE EGYPTIAN CABINET MEETS IN CAIRO.)
LEBANON: GOLAN HEIGHTS FIGHTING CONTINUES - SYRIAN JET CRASHES IN LEBANON.
Date:6/7 October, 1973 After almost 36 hours of fighting in the new Arab Israeli war, an Israeli Army spokesman claimed on Sunday night (7 October) that heavy armour and artillery battles had continued throughout the day on the Golan Heights. He admitted that the Syrians had made some gains, but claimed that in most cases they had been forced back. The spokesman said that the Syrians still held a position in the central sector of the area, that had formerly been held by Israeli since the 1967 war. But there too, they were under heavy pressure. From Beirut in Lebanon, Palestinian Commandos claimed that they had occupied Israeli positions next to the Syrian front. As a result, they claimed they were in a position to threaten Israel's northern settlements. The Palestinian News Agency stated that the guerrilla leader, Yasser Arafat was personally directing commando operations against Israeli troops. The Agency quoted a Commando spokesman as saying that the guerrillas were still fighting Israeli troops in the Argoub area of Southern Lebanon, and shelling several areas. However, independent observers reported everything quiet on the Israel/Lebanon border, apart from the distant sound of artillery fire from the Golan Heights. One Lebanon village, was apparently hit by accident by Syrian jet fighters during Saturday (October 6) afternoon. During Sunday afternoon, a Syrian MiG 21 fighter was shot down by Israeli fire, and it fell on the Lebanon side of the border. The Syrian pilot parachuted out and was lightly wounded. SYNOPSIS: Villagers in the Southern tip of Lebanon have been able to look across their border with Israel and watch the battle for the Golan Heights. Heavy armour and artillery battles between Syria and Israeli forces continued throughout Sunday, watched anxiously by United Nation's Observers patrolling the fragile Lebanese cease-fire line. Israel said Syria had made some gains, but had been forced back. On Saturday, shortly after the fighting began, one Lebanese border village was allegedly hit by Syrian jet fighters by accident. Some buildings were damaged, and a few people were slightly injured. The villagers were lucky; it could have been worse. For most of the first thirty-six hours of fighting, independent observers in Lebanon reported the border quiet. But in Beirut, the Palestinian News Agency said that Palestinian commandos had occupied positions close to the Israeli front, and were a ???e to threaten Israel's northern settlements. During Sunday afternoon, a Syrian MiG 21 fighter was shot down by an Israeli jet in an aerial battle over the Golan Heights. The Syrian plane crashed across the border in Lebanon. The pilot managed to bale out, and landed quite near, slightly injured. Some witnesses said the MiG was attacked while pursuing another Israeli plans. Observers say the pilot was immediately transported back to Syria. On Sunday night an Israeli Army spokesman said that the Syrians were still holding a position in the central part of the area. It had previously been held by Israel after the 1967 War. The spokesman said the position was under heavy Israeli pressure. (Caption:LEBANON: GOLAN HEIGHTS FIGHTING CONTINUES - SYRIAN JET CRASHES IN LEBANON.)