JERUSALEM (Jan. 15)
An Israeli military court today postponed for a month the trial of eleven Israeli members of a border patrol accused of the murder of 47 Arab residents of the border village of Kafir Kussim.
The court’s decision came a few hours after the trial formally began and after lengthy consultations in chambers between five defense attorneys and the three judges of the court, Earlier, each of the eleven pleaded innocent. The charges arose from the shooting October 29 upon a group of villagers who had unwittingly violated a suddenly imposed curfew, The incident, in a village bordering on Jordan-held territory, occurred as Israel launched her drive into the Sinai Peninsula.
The defense attorneys, who include some of the best known criminal lawyers in the country, argued that the trial should be postponed because of the unfavorable atmosphere in connection with the incident. The chief prosecutor, temporary Colonel Colin Gilon agreed to one month’s postponement. Other defense motions included severance of the trial of the two officers from that of the enlisted men.