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Ze’evi Causes Uproar by Claiming Killers of Soldiers Were Arrested

The Knesset was thrown into confusion Wednesday when a member asserted that the killers of three Israel Defense Force recruits at a training camp Feb. 15 have been apprehended.

No announcement has been made by any official source and the manhunt is presumably still under way.

The claim was made by Rehavam Ze’evi of the far-right Moledet party, who insisted it was true despite a subsequent denial by Deputy Defense Minister Ovadia Eli.

Eli, in fact, seemed startled by Ze’evi’s allegation, which came at the end of a long speech he delivered about Sheik Abbas Musawi, the Hezbollah leader gunned down by Israeli attack helicopters in Lebanon on Feb. 16.

The deputy minister hurriedly consulted with colleagues and was seen exchanging whispers with Ze’evi before he took the podium to say that “unfortunately, the murderers of the soldiers have not yet been seized.”

He promised they would be, “sooner or later.”

The Defense Ministry and the police subsequently issued denials of Ze’evi’s claim. Israel Radio quoted a senior police official saying Ze’evi spoke “out of an unrestrained desire for publicity.”

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