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Inquiry Commission Working Overtime

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A three-man commission appointed by Premier Golda Meir to Inquire into possible security lapses and other aspects of the Sept. 5 Munich tragedy continued to work overtime today to meet the Sept. 25 deadline set by Mrs. Meir for its report. The panel, headed by former Police Chief Pinhas Koppel, took testimony today from sportsmen, various officials and security personnel concerning the events surrounding the murder of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes by Arab terrorists 15 days ago.

Meanwhile, a heated debate ensued in the Knesset this evening over a Gahal opposition motion that the inquiry be turned over to a Knesset committee composed of representatives of all parties. Premier Meir had specifically rejected such a plan. The Knesset defeated the motion by a vote of 46-27, with four abstentions. Mrs. Meir, replying to the debate, said a parliamentary committee would be too unwieldly to conduct a thorough and effective inquiry because most or all of the parties would have to be represented. The Premier hinted that she herself had favored a public or parliamentary inquiry, but the majority of the Cabinet had voted for a government-appointed commission and she accepted this.

Gahal contended that the panel named by Mrs. Meir could not be objective in probing possible lapses or errors on the part of Israel’s security services because its members are all former top level civil servants with personal ties to the very people they are investigating.

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