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Israeli Communists Exploit Clash Between Arab Deputy and Police

An incident involving a Communist Arab member of Parliament and the Israel military police threatened today to have stormy political consequences as the Communists sought to exploit the affair.

The incident developed when Tewfik Toubi, Communist Arab member of the Knesset, attempted to enter a military restricted area without a permit in order to visit the village of Kfar Kassem. According to the police, his motive was to seek to utilize memorial services there on the first anniversary of the slaying of 49 Arabs in the village to create trouble.

According to the Communist faction’s complaint to the Knesset presidium, the military police at the Kfar Kassem roadblock, assaulted Toubi “without any provocation,” in grave violation of his parliamentary immunity. The military police said that they stopped Toubi, who did not have a permit to enter the restricted zone and that he left his car and tried to run into the village. A policeman chased him, caught him and, in the scuffle, both fell, Toubi’s short was torn.

According to the policeman, Toubi then shouted, “We will yet abolish this state of yours.”

The Kfar Kassem disaster, one year ago today, on the eve of the Sinai operation, remains a source of bitterness and tension despite Premier Ben Gurion’s expressions of regret and the compensation paid to the families of the victims. The fact that the military tribunal has not completed court martial hearings in the case has increased the bitterness of the region, which the Communists are trying to exploit.

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