JERUSALEM (Jun. 9)
Israeli police have uncovered a new terrorist organization which has been plotting the overthrow of the government, Attorney General Haim Cohen announced here at an extraordinary press conference at midnight. It is understood that the terrorists were planning a series of assassinations in Israel and abroad of persons connected with the German reparations agreement and that the murders were scheduled to begin at midnight.
Mr. Cohen revealed that the Cabinet had met in emergency session yesterday and had decided to publish a special issue of the Official Gazette in which the underground organization would be listed as a terrorist group and its members made subject to criminal action. The top penalty for membership in such an organization is a 20-year prison sentence. The name of the group was withheld for the time being.
The Attorney General reported that the police, in checking on the activities of the ultra-religious and super-nationalist group, had uncovered two arms caches– one in Jerusalem and one in Tel Aviv. He named 17 members of the group who had been detained in the course of the investigation.
Most of them, he continued, were members of the British Kanalm, the organization held responsible for last year’s bombing of the Knesset building, and said that they were being held for such crimes as the attempted bombing of the Education Ministry, the blowing up of book shops selling Russian literature and other crimes of violence. Mr. Cohen declared that the police believe that the members of the group financed their operations by hold ups and similar crimes.
He said that the authorities were certain that the organization was not connected with either foreign or domestic organizations of any kind. He also reported that the police were on the track of other members of the underground group, adding that they believe that they already have some portion of the directing “central committee” under lock and key.
Meanwhile, preliminary hearings began today in Magistrate’s Court here for three members of the “nameless” terrorist organization. The three, David Blau, Mordechai Freund and Dov Parshan, are charged with attempting to bomb the Ministry of Education and with belonging to a terrorist organization. Today’s proceedings were restricted to the bombing attempt and the Attorney General will decide within a few days whether to bring the defendants before a military court on the latter charge.