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Hebron Jews Apologize for Violations, Make New Demands on Israel Government

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While an expulsion order against three of their number has been deferred pending another Cabinet session, the 80 Orthodox Jews who settled in the West Bank town of Hebron last Passover and refused to leave decided to send a formal apology to Prime Minister Eshkol for disobeying the military governor’s orders, it was learned today. The orders had been for the three men to tear down the kosher food stand they had built, without a permit. When they refused, the kiosk was demolished by soldiers.

The order revoking the residence permits of the three men was supported by the Knesset (Parliament) foreign affairs and security committee. But the settlers, in their letter of apology, were said to be making new demands on the Government, including a call for settlement of more Jews in Hebron, construction of a yeshiva there and a speed-up in the housing allegedly promised them. Hebron, which had been without a Jewish community since the Arab riots in Palestine in 1936, is the site of the Patriarchs’ tombs and is considered holy by Orthodox Jews.

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