Knesset Committee Investigates Vote Fraud in Religious Locales

The Knesset House Committee decided Sunday to investigate charges of election fraud in several districts last Nov. 1.

If the allegations, made by the Tehiya party, are verified, the committee will not hesitate to order new elections in those districts.

The areas in question are located in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Ramat Gan. The charges implicate ultra-Orthodox parties.

Committee chairman Haim Corfu of Likud told reporters that it was alleged that votes were cast with the identity cards of persons deceased, and that the identity cards of persons abroad on election day were misused.

Tehiya, a right-wing party, barely missed winning a fourth seat in the Knesset. It blames its failure on irregularities by Degel Hatorah, a new religious party which entered the Knesset with barely enough votes for two seats.

If new elections are ordered, Tehiya hopes to gain at least one seat at the expense of Degel.

Four ultra-Orthodox residents of Bnei Brak, a religious township north of Tel Aviv, were sentenced to prison terms last month for voting more than once last Nov. I with exchanged I.D. cards.

The accused belong to the Agudat Yisrael party, which accused Degel Hatorah of “informing.”

Meanwhile, Tel Aviv police announced Sunday the arrest of 10 young men, religious zealots, on suspicion of setting off explosives, or attempting to blow up news kiosks which do not carry ultra-Orthodox newspapers.

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