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Militants Vow to Commit Suicide if Israel Completes Sinai Withdrawal

April 19, 1982
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A group of diehard followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane who have threatened moss suicide if Israel completes its withdrawl from Sinai, refused to be persuaded to leave their booby-trapped air raid shelter in Yamit despite an appeal by Army Chief Rabbi Maj. Gen. Gad Navon who visited them today.

They also rejected appeals over the weekend by Israel’s two Chief Rabbis, Shlomo Goren and Ovadia Yosef, who reminded them that suicide is against Jewish law.

The militants, members of Kahone’s Kach faction, barricaded themselves in the shelter last Thursday and so far have resisted attempts by the army to remove them. On Friday they hurled gasoline bombs at Israeli troops but caused no casualties or damage.

Quoting the late Rabbi Yehuda Kook, spiritual leader of the Gush Emunim, to the effect that martyrdom is honorable, they said they would kill themselves in a pre-determined order. But they indicated their final decision would be made only when they are joined by Kahane whom they have urgently summoned from New York.

The forced evacuation of Yamit and surrounding villages is expected to take place this week. There are believed to be about 2,000 members of the “Halt the Withdrawal” movement in the region, many of them small children and yeshiva students.

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