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15 Israelis Wounded in Clashes over Bombing of Soviet Legation

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Fifteen persons received first aid treatment this evening as a result of several clashes between members of the Israel-Soviet Friendship League and various groups of Tel Aviv citizens who turned out to heckle the Communists and pro-Communists demonstrating in sympathy with the Soviet Union, whose legation here was bombed Monday night.

Some 400 persons, including Communists and pro-Communists, Arabs and Jews, and a number of recent immigrants gathered in Mograbi Square, the main square of Tel Aviv, to hear Communist leader Shmuel Mikunis, Mapam leader Mordecai Bentov and “Left Faction” leader Moshe Sneh address them. All three speakers blamed the Israel Government for “helping to create an atmosphere favorable to bomb throwing by its anti-Communist campaign.”

Hecklers on the outskirts of the demonstration began to chant: “Where is Oren?” (Mordecai Oren, an Israeli citizen and Mapam leader, is under arrest in Prague on charges of anti-state activities.) The first set of clashes broke out between demonstrators and the hecklers who made further speeches impossible.

The demonstrators formed a line and marched toward the Soviet legation. But members of the heckling crowd soon began stoning the marchers. A number of marchers, including Dr. Sneh and Mr. Bentov were injured, and they were forced to break and run to escape further barrages.

A short time later they reassembled and marched to the legation where a delegation–composed of Dr. Sneh, Mr. Mikunis, Mr. Bentov and Jacob Chazan, another Mapam leader–were received by Soviet Minister Pavel Yershov. They told the Minister that the Israeli nation would never forget what the Soviet Union had done for the Jews, saving them from the Nazis.

During the delegation’s visit, a group of Communists outside sang Communist songs. Hecklers shouted: “Mufti Collaborators” and “Where is Oren?”

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