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Jewish Underground Members Sentenced

The Jerusalem District Court this week sentenced to prison terms ranging from 36 months and 40 months two members of the Jewish terrorist underground for their participation in the underground’s attempted acts of violence against West Bank Arabs and Moslem holy sites. Menachem Neuberger of the West Bank settlement of Susiya in the Hebron region, was sentenced by the court today to 22 months in prison and 18 months suspended sentence. In a separate action, the court yesterday freed Zeev Friedman after sentencing him to 11 months in jail.

Friedman, 31 and a former mayor of Kiryat Arba, the orthodox Jewish settlement adjacent to Hebron, was also given 25 months suspended sentence. Since he already served in detention almost 13 months, he was freed immediately. The judges reportedly showed leniency in their verdict since Friedman suffers from a severe illness.

Friedman was convicted of having plotted to kill Ahmed Hamzi Natshe, leader of the Palestine National Guidance Committee in Bethlehem, of having possessed and transported guns and sabotage material, and of having participated in a terror group. A former security coordinator in Kiryat Arba, he is also a reserve officer in the armored corps.

Neuberger, meanwhile, the 29-year-old son-in-law of Tehiya Knesset member Eliezer Waldman, was convicted of gathering information for the attack on Natshe, as well as having plotted to attack the Temple Mount. He has been detained for 13 months. It is expected he will be out of jail in two months if here ceives the customary cut of one-third of the prison term due to good behavior.

In passing sentence, the court said that despite the gravity with which it regarded Neuberger’s acts, his were less serious than those of the other alleged members of the Jewish underground. The court noted that the conspiracy was not his own initiative, but that he responded to someone else’s initiative. Character witnesses described Neuberger as an excellent soldier and a person of good reputation.

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