An Israeli Army patrol crossed the border into Jordan today in pursuit of a Palestinian guerrilla squad and killed two of its members, military authorities said.
It was the first time Palestinian terrorists have tried to cross the Jordanian border into Israel in nearly a year.
Army officials said that four Palestinian terrorists attempted to cross the border near the Neot Hakikar kibbutz in the Arava region of the Negev Desert, about 10 miles south of Sodom below the Dead Sea.
The patrol pursued the attackers into Jordan, where two of the guerrillas were reportedly killed. Two others apparently were hit by Israeli gunfire, the Army said.
Army officials refused to say how far into Jordan the Israeli patrol penetrated or how many Israeli soldiers were involved. There were no Israeli casualties.
The guerrillas carried Soviet-made Kalashnikov assault rifles, hand grenades, binoculars and medical equipment, the Army said.
Today's infiltration gave rise to fears that the Palestine Liberation Organization is planning a series of terrorist attacks to retaliate for Monday's car bombings in the West Bank. In those attacks, Nablus Mayor Bassam Shaka lost both legs and Ramallah Mayor Karim Khalaf lost a foot. A third bomb intended for El Biera Mayor Inrahim Tawil blew up in the face of an Israel soldier and blinded him.
Israeli sources had said they expected PLO chief Yasser Arafat to authorize more cross-border raids to satisfy the rank-and-file of the Fatah, the military arm of the PLO.