Begin Intervenes in Clashes Between Zealots and Police

Premier Menachem Begin intervened today to dampen the escalating violence by religious zealots in Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods. He read a statement at the end of the weekly Cabinet session expressing sorrow over the clashes between zealots and police and declared his full confidence in the measures taken by Interior Minister Yosef Burg to end the disturbances.

A woman motorist was injured and required hospitalization after being struck by a rock thrown by a ten-year-old boy while she drove near an Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem yesterday morning. The youngster was detained briefly by police and released.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Moshe Hirsh, a leader of the Neturei Karta sect, was arrested and arraigned Friday for alleged incitement to riot in the Mea Shearim quarter. He was remanded in custody over the weekend, pending a hearing.

Hirsh is the self-styled “foreign minister” of the Neturei Karta, ultra-orthodox Jews who refuse to recognize Israel’s legitimccy on grounds that there can be no Jewish State before the advent of the Messiah. His arrest was in line with the new tough police measures to curb violence by ultra-Orthodox Jews who rioted several nights last week, ostensibly in protest against archaeological diggings allowed by the government in the City of David, just outside the Old City walls.

Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem has called for the deportation of Hirsh who is an American citizen. But Burg has made it clear that such a step will not be seriously considered at the present time.

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