The Israeli Deputy Premier, Yigal Allon, yesterday (12 March) warned Syria that renewed hostilities could jeopardise the possibility of stabilising the situation on the Israeli/Syrian front.
GV Vehicles and troops grouped on road in Golan Heights
Troops discuss tactics (3)
GV & SV Troops sating while tank passes on road (3)
GV UN vehicle passes along road
SV Israeli tanks move into position past wrecked tanks (2 shots)
GV Tank in position and firing (3)
PAN from CU Tank gun firing to LS of shell exploding on distant hill
SV Tanks firing (2)
CU Crew push shell case out of tank port hole
GV Tank fires PAN TO hills in distance
Initials SC/307 SC/332
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Background: The Israeli Deputy Premier, Yigal Allon, yesterday (12 March) warned Syria that renewed hostilities could jeopardise the possibility of stabilising the situation on the Israeli/Syrian front.
The warning followed reports of a Syrian build-up of forces and an intense three-hour artillery battle in the Golan Heights.
Israel blamed the Syrians for starting the battle, which came after two days of quiet on the Golan front. No Israeli casualties were reported and an army spokesman denied a Syrian claim that an israeli helicopter had been shot down during the artillery exchange.
SYNOPSIS: Following reports of a Syrian army build-up, the military situation on the Golan Heights front during the last few days has been tense. Israeli troops have been kept at a continual state of alert.
The Syrians were claimed to have brought up considerable re-inforcements of tanks and artillery in the vicinity of the large pocket of territory the Israelis captured during the October war last year. The extent of the Syrian build-up was unclear. Some observers believed that the Syrians were attempting to mount military pressure to help bring about an Israeli-Syrian disengagement on terms favourable to Damascus. The Syrian President, Hafez Assad, has linked disengagement of the two armies with a demand for total Israeli withdrawal from Arab territory occupied in the nineteen sixty seven war.
Eventually, the tense situation erupted into a bitter artillery battle. For three hours, Israeli tanks exchanged fire with artillery behind the Syrian lines. No Israeli casualties were reported.
The Israelis said the Syrians fired the first shot. They denied a Syrian claim that an Israeli helicopter was shot down during the battle. Yesterday, Israeli Deputy Premier, Yigal Allon, warned Syria that any further hostilities could jeopardise the possibility of stabilising the situation in the region. But Mr. Allon also held out the hope that Israel might be on the threshold of a peace settlement with its Arab neighbours.