Increased Narcotics Use in Israel Hard to Control, Drug Symposium Told

The use of narcotics in Israel has increased over the past three years and has proved difficult to control, a symposium of the Hebrew University’s Law Faculty was advised by Assistant Commander Y. Carthy of the Investigations Branch of Police Headquarters. Mr. Carthy noted that Israel was located on a “drug route” between Jordan and Egypt, and that increased drug traffic in Israel was attributable to more sophisticated smuggling methods, a paucity of complaints to the police, inappropriate penalties, and the traffickers’ quest for profits.

S. Landau, an assistant at the Institute of Criminology, told the symposium that in the aftermath of the Six-Day War, the police had 1,055 files on narcotics offenses in 1968, compared with 492 in 1966. The greatest increase, he said, was among Jews of Western origin, although they are fewer than the number of Oriental Jews. Many of those suspected of trafficking are tourists, Mr. Landau said. He also reported that Jerusalem had become a drug center while Beersheba had lost importance in that connection; that the number of offenders under the age of 20 rose considerably during 1966 and 1968, and they received stricter sentences than others, and that more and more of those being arrested have no criminal records. Mr. Landau said that 90 percent of the cases involved the use of hashish. Dr. D. Bein, a lecturer in criminal law attached to the Hebrew University Law Faculty, said a distinction should be made between drug pushers and drug users. The latter, he said, should not be subjected to incarceration. Should they not prove curable of their addiction, they should be granted drugs under medical supervision to prevent their exploitation by pushers, he said.

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