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Brig. Shaltiel Declines to Discuss Charges on Loss of ‘old City’

Brigadier David Shaltiel declined today to enter into debate with Dov Joseph, on the latter’s charges that mistakes by Brig. Shaltiel–the commander of besieged Jerusalem during Israel’s War of Independence–led to the loss to the Arabs of the Jewish quarter of the Old City. Dr. Joseph, who was the wartime Governor of Jerusalem, made the charges in a book of memoirs published last week.

Asked for comments, Brig. Shaltiel, who now heads the Foreign Ministry’s department combatting the Arab boycott of Israel, said that he had respect for Dr. Joseph during the war and still had respect for him. He pointed out that Dr. Joseph never mentioned his charges to him personally neither during the War of Independence nor since.

Declaring that he had not yet read Dr. Joseph’s book but had read only excerpts published in the press, Brig. Shaltiel implicitly ridiculed the contention that Dr. Joseph was unaware of how desperate was the situation of the defenders of Old City’s Jewish quarter.

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