Mideast Report

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli soldiers have killed five Hezbollah gunmen, including two commanders, in a clash north of the southern Lebanon security zone.

No Israeli troops were hurt in the Sunday-night operation carried out by the elite Golani Brigade, which was said to be among Israel's most complex offensives in Lebanon in years.

Hezbollah confirmed that five of its fighters had been killed by roadside charges reportedly detonated by a robot plane that identified the guerrillas. It also said three Lebanese civilians and two Hezbollah members were wounded. Reports from Lebanon identified two of the dead as Sheik Taissir Badran, commander of Hezbollah forces around Nabatiya, and Hussein Kassir, who directed operations from the Lebanese village of Kfour.

The commander of the Golani Brigade said the Hezbollah fighters killed in the explosions had been involved in two 1995 attacks, in which nine members of the brigade were killed.

Israeli woman dies in Egypt bus crash

CAIRO (JPS) — An Israeli Arab woman died and 14 people were injured, two seriously, when a minibus carrying tourists from the coastal plain cities of Tira and Taiba overturned after colliding with a bus in Egypt Monday.

The accident occurred on the highway linking the Suez Canal city of Ismailiya with Cairo. No one was injured on the other bus.

Most of the tourists on the bus were educators on a 10-day trip. All of the casualties were rushed to a hospital in Ismailiya.

Israeli says Arafat knew of U.S. squad

JERUSALEM (JPS) — Israel's Deputy Education Minister, Moshe Peled, charged this week that Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat knew of the alleged suicide bomb squad arrested in Brooklyn this week.

Peled said he is convinced that Arafat and some of his lieutenants were aware of the alleged plan by two Palestinians and an Egyptian to bomb U.S. and Jewish targets, including New York subways.

"All Palestinian terrorism can be traced back to Arafat, whether in Jerusalem or in New York City," Peled said. "I am asking the Americans to understand that when you add 2 and 2 you get 4."

But Peled maintained that U.S. officials are refusing to acknowledge the links between Islamic agents in the West and their terrorist sponsors in the Middle East.