30 Members of Irgun Sentenced to 15 Years Imprisonment; One Gets Life Term
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30 Members of Irgun Sentenced to 15 Years Imprisonment; One Gets Life Term

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A British military court, which yesterday found 31 members of the Irgun Zvai Leumi guilty of Illegal possession of arms, today sentenced 30 of them to 15 years imprisonment and one, Benjamin Kaplan, 19, to life imprisonment, Kaplan had been convicted of the additional charge of firing on British troops.

The prisoners greeted the verdict by rising and singing Hatikvah. As the three-man court filed out of the chamber, the defendants shouted: “Down with England,” and their friends and relatives in the courtroom booed and shouted. Guards prevented the prisoners from leaving the dock to bid farewell to their families.

Outside the courtroom, a large crowd gathered to greet the sentenced men and one woman. Patrolling troops and armored care did not allow them to congregate in front of the courthouse and they gathered on a hill across the road, from where they waved goodbye to the prisoners. Jewish children shouted “Red Devils,” at the paratroopers in scarlet berets who led the 31 to the trucks which took them to prison.

The “Voice of Israel.” transmitter of the Haganah was driven off the air today by a “jamming” apparatus which the government is reported to have purchased to disrupt the broadcast of underground radios.

The Stern Group today plastered walls in Jerusalem with posters charging that several of their members who were taken to government hospitals after clashes with troops or police are being neglected. One died from lack of adequate care, the posters said.

An indication that the authorities believe that further outbreaks are to be expected was seen in the issuance today of curfew passes to all civilian employees of military offices and workshops in Jerusalem.

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