TEL AVIV (Mar. 20)
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan narrowly escaped with his life today after having been buried in a cave in an archaeological site near Holon, south of Tel Aviv. Gen. Dayan, one of whose hobbies is archaeology, was digging near the site of a new road when the accident occurred. He was totally covered except for one hand which he thrust up above his head. A wagon driver and his son, who witnessed the accident, went to his aid and with the assistance of road workers, dug him out.
Gen. Dayan was rushed to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Tel Aviv where he was treated for superficial head injuries and extensive body bruises. He did not lose consciousness and talked with the doctors treating him. A bulletin issued at the hospital tonight said he was feeling better and sleeping. A communique from the Prime Minister’s Office said that the defense minister would have to remain in the hospital for several days.
According to informed sources in Jerusalem, Gen. Dayan suffered some injury to his spine and may have to remain in a cast for some time but it could not be established whether this would completely immobilize him.
Under Israeli law, the Prime Minister automatically assumes the duties of any cabinet minister who is temporarily disabled unless there is a Cabinet decision to the contrary. If Gen. Dayan is not able to discharge his duties and the post is not given to another minister, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol will serve as acting Defense Minister.