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Israel Surreme Court Hears Suit for Damages Against Government over Irgun Vessel

The Israel Supreme Court, sitting as an Admiralty Court, yesterday began hearing the $140,000 damage suit of the American shipping company Zur against the Israel Government.

The company, owner of the vessel Ben Hecht which was intercepted by the British Navy in March, 1947, with 600 illegal immigrants abcard, claims that the vessel should have been returned to it by the Israel Government when it took over the administration of the country and the vessel which had been confiscated by the Palestine Mandate Government. The vessel was purchased with funds raised by a pro-Irgun group in the United States.

The preliminary statement by the government attorneys said that the government was not responsible for the return of the vessel to its former owners because the government did not succeed the British Administration. The case is continuing.