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Military Court Acquits Levinger

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A Ramallah military court has acquitted Rabbi Moshe Levinger, leader of the Kiryat Arba community of charges that he had prevented Israeli soldiers from fulfilling their duties during Arab disturbances in neighboring Hebron last March 13. The charges developed out of an altercation between Levinger and Lt. Giora Streichmann when the latter asked Levinger and a group of Kiryat Arba residents to leave Hebron.

Lt. Col. Gershon Orion, presiding officer of the court, ruled that Levinger and his followers had not caused any provocation and that, as civilians and residents of the area, they were not obliged to obey the orders of a junior officer. He found further that Lt. Streichmann had insulted Levinger. However, the court advised the army that at times of tension such as occurred in Hebron last March, Kiryat Arba residents should not be permitted to enter the neighboring Arab town. Levinger saw his acquittal as proof “once again that settlements on the West Bank are important.”

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