JERUSALEM (Mar. 2)
Premier Menachem Begin called on the people of Israel today to unite on the road to peace and the prevention of war. He said his government was determined to prevent civil war.
Begin was summing up the bitter, emotional debate on a Tehiya motion of no confidence over the government’s efforts to prevent militants from blocking Israel’s withdrawal from Sinai. The motion was overwhelmingly defeated. (See separate story P.I.)
Begin said that despite the pain involved, he would pursue his policy of honoring the Camp David agreements and the peace treaty with Egypt. He said he was working “in perfect harmony with (Defense Minister) Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Gen. (Rafael) Eitan” in that direction.
Begin devoted much of his speech to rejecting charges by Tehiya and some religious MKs that the army had violated the Sabbath by setting up roadblocks at the approaches to Sinai last Friday evening. He called those who complained of desecration “hypocrites,” declaring it was a “mitzvah” to desecrate the Sabbath on this occasion because the army roadblocks were intended to prevent bloodshed.