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Two Palestine Jews Jailed for Possessing Arms, Although Opposed to Terrorists

Two Palestine Jews were sentenced to seven years imprisonment yesterday for illegal possession of arms, although evidence brought out at their trial indicated that they were members of a self-defense organization opposed to the terrorist groups.

The two, David Salomon, 25, and David Epstein, 24, were found guilty by a military court of possessing five revolvers, 16 hand grenades and 251 bullets. When arrested, both men had revolvers on their persons, but denied ownership of the additional arms, which were discovered by police. They said that they needed the guns to protect their settlement, a Hashomer Hazsir colony near Beth Dejan, from armed bands.

A member of the Jewish Agency’s defense department, testifying in their behalf. revealed that since their arrest police have agreed that the colony required protection and have allotted eight rifles to it. Eliahu Golomb, Histadruth lender, pointed out to the court that the defendants had surrendered voluntarily although they had been freed from police custody by residents of the settlement. The court recommended that they be given “special treatment.” The sentences are subject to approval by the General Officer Commanding in Palestine.

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