Attempt to Assassinate Premier Ben Gurion and Other Israel Cabinet Members Foiled

An attempt to assassinate Premier David Ben Gurion and other members of the Israel Cabinet was foiled today when guards in the Knesset overpowered a young Jew who aimed a loaded Sten gun at the Ministers of the Jewish state after jumping to the Speaker’s platform from the visitors’ gallery.

The Knesset was holding its last session prior to its adjournment for a period extending through the High Holy Days. The would-be assassin, Avraham Tzafati, who is believed to be a religious fanatic, was standing for some time in the visitors’ gallery overlooking the Speaker’s platform. Suddenly he jumped from the gallery to a position before the Knesset chairman’s seat and aimed his lethal weapon at the Israel Ministers who were seated on the platform. He was swiftly seized and overpowered before he could open fire.

Tzafati, who shouted, “Kill Ben Gurion,” as he was taken out of the Knesset building, carried a book of plans for the erection of the Third Temple in Jerusalem. When he was conducted past the Israel Premier, Tzafati screamed: “We fought for you, why don’t you build the Temple?”

The Knesset adjourned shortly after the excitement over the disturbance subsided and an inquiry into the attack was immediately launched. Tzafati is believed to be of unsound mind. He was reported to have claimed after his arrest that he “did not mean to kill anybody” but planned instead to take his own life.

Before adjournment of the session, Herut deputies demanded that the Israel parliament initiate a full-scale debate on the Jerusalem issue in view of the imminent arrival of a United Nations representative for Jerusalem. The demand was opposed by Zalman Aharonovitz, chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee, who revealed that his group had already discussed the arrival of the U.N. representative with members of the Foreign Ministry. He pointed out that the last U.N. resolution on Jerusalem empowered the U.N. Conciliation Commission to appoint such a representative which it had now decided to do.

The Jerusalem municipality yesterday adopted unanimously a resolution reiterating opposition to the internationalization of the city. The resolution stated that “in view of the present efforts to reintroduce plans for the internationalization of Jerusalem the municipality once more declares in the name of the inhabitants that it will accept only full Israel sovereignty. Jerusalemites fought and shed their blood for the city when it was abandoned by all the world and they will continue to defend it so that it will remain the capital of Israel.”

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