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Stormy Debate Opens in Israel Parliament over Arrest of Religious Underground Members

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A stormy debate on the arrest and detention of more than a score of ultra-Orthodox members of the underground Brit Kanaim which was smashed last week as it prepared to bomb the Lnosset, got under way today as the major opposition parties in the Parliament demanded the repeal of the emergency defense laws under which the arrested underground members are being held in detention camps. The first demand for repeal of the legislation was voiced by Rabbi Mordecai Nurock, Religious Bloc deputy.

He was answered by Acting Premier Moshe Sharett who said that the government had applied the emergency laws “fully conscious of the gravity of its acts, and also fully conscious of the external and internal difficulties facing Israel. We were faced by a serious conspiracy against the state,” he continued, “therefore we were compelled to use all the laws within our power.” He vigorously denied a charge by Rabbi Nurock that any of the detained men had been “tortured” by the police, asserting that the police used force “with bitterness and abhorrence.”

Mapam deputy Hans Rubin, who followed the Acting Premier, seconded the motion to repeal the emergency defense laws, although ha stressed that the left-wing Socialists will “vigorously fight against Religious domination” of the state. Right-wing Herut leader Menahem Beigin, who followed Rubin, bitterly attacked Mr. Sharett, charging that he “committed an act of terror by arresting people without any proof of their guile. You opened a detention camp in Israel,” he accused the Premier, “you had no right to detain people in such a manner.”

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