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Calm Marks National Elections in Israel; Arab Voters Doubled in Jerusalem

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Complete calm and orderliness marked the national elections here today. The returns are not expected to be known before midnight, but by noon well over 60 percent of all registered voters had cast their ballots.

At least 15,000 non-Jews–including monks and nuns–participated in the elections. The polling began in an almost festive atmosphere with all citizens of Israel observing the day as a legal holiday. Many voters, especially the newcomers from Yemen and other Moslem countries, cast a ballot for the first time in their lives.

Members of the Neturei Karta, extremist Jewish Orthodox group which does not recognize the Jewish state because it was not established with the arrival of the Messiah, formed small jeering groups at the polling places in the Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem, but the appearance of police was sufficient to disperse them.

Arab participation in today’s voting was very large. In the Arab-populated Abu Gush quarter, in the northern part of Jerusalem, twice as many Arabs went to the polls today as did in the elections for the Israel Parliament in 1949. It is believed that most of them voted for the list of the Nazareth Arab Democratic Party, which is affiliated with the pro-Government Israel Labor Party.

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