JERUSALEM (Dec. 20)
Three convicted Arab murderers who have been sentenced to death will in all likelihood not be hanged in Israel, it was learned today. The reason is an acute shortage of hangmen. No one has applied for the job and the government is not searching very assiduously for an executioner.
The government’s lack of interest in a speedy execution has been traced to the fact that a bill abolishing the death penalty is being drafted in the Ministry of Justice.
Asked to comment on the situation, a government spokesman declared: “I know of no qualified hangman in this country, nor has any person indicated a willingness to learn the trade or go into the business.” When it was pointed out that there is always a possibility of the Ministry of Justice’s bill being rejected in the Knesset, the spokesman said: “I suppose in that case we would have to ask a foreign government to lend us an executioner.”