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Nathan Continues Fast in 42nd Day

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Abie Nathan, in the 42nd day of his fast for peace, agreed to enter a hospital today for a medical check up but insists that he will not take food until he has a firm commitment from the government to abolish the military government on the West Bank and end all Jewish settlement there as a gesture for peace.

Nathan has gotten no commitment from the government. But he has been besieged by appeals to end his fast and has received more publicity here than at any time since he piloted his own plane to Egypt twice in the 1960s as a self-appointed one-man peace mission to President Gamal Abdel Nasser. His hunger strike has so aroused the public that it will be the subject of discussion in the Knesset tomorrow. Nathan plans to attend. In fact, although confined to a wheelchair because of weakness from lack of food, he has managed to show up in Jerusalem several times in recent weeks and to appear in busy areas of Tel Aviv.

Nathan last week rejected a personal appeal from Premier Menachem Begin to end his fast. He said Begin’s letter was his “death sentence” because it did not meet his conditions for peace. Today, ensconced in his room at the luxurious Dan Hotel on the Tel Aviv sea front, Nathan sifted through hundreds of messages from well wishers supporting his aims but urging him to give up his fast. He also had telephone calls from friends and Cabinet ministers, among them Defense Minister Ezer Weizman and Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon. He said he would enter the hospital for an examination but refused to remain there so that doctors could monitor his condition.

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