TEL AVIV (Aug. 9)
Work was begun here today on preparations for the forthcoming elections to the Israeli Constituent Assembly. the elections will be held in the late autumn, if fighting does not resume.
The committee recently elected by the State Council to prepare for the voting held its first meeting today at which it mapped out plans for the setting up of voting machinery. At its next sender, the committee will consider a draft of the election statute.
(Konrad Bercovici, vice-chairman of the American League for a Free Palestine who returned by air from Jerusalem, today told a press conference in New York that the present Provisional Government of Israel “is preparing steps to perpetuate itself even, if necessary, by suspending the scheduled elections next month.” He denied that the Irgun is making preparation for tattle in Jerusalem and said that minors about such preparations are “being circulated in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a violent attack against anyone who might beat the present Israeli Government in a free election,”)
COURT STARTS HEARINGS ON IMPRISONMENT OF BERGSON AND OTHER IRGUNISTS
Enough evidence to “charts the defendants with high treason” was alleged in court today against- Peter Bergson and Jacob Meridor by Zvi Ayalon, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, at the hearing in a habeas corpu3 proceeding brought by defense counsel Max Selignan and Max Kritzusan in behalf of the detained men and three other members of Irgun Zvai Leumi.
Ayalon added that Bergson, chairman of the American Hebrew Committee of National Liberation, and Meridor, deputy Irgun chief, would be released as soon as public security permitted, when the army was assured of the Israeli hinterland. The five Irgun members were arrested in connection with the a?tempt cf the Irgun ship Altalena to land an arms cargo off Tel Aviv during the first United Nations truce.
The decision that the arrest warrant should be issued came from David Ben Gurion as Minister of Defense Ayalon said, and the warrant was issued by the Army chief of staff, Jacob Dori. He added that evidence against Bergaon showed that he had prepared an armed resistance against the Israeli Army.