Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

All Parties in Israel, Except Communists, Back Bordershooting of Arabs

September 27, 1961
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Foreign Affairs and Security committee of Israel’s Parliament was reported today to be planning to consider the border incidents of last week in which five Israeli Arabs were killed while trying to cross over into the Egyptian held Gaza Strip. It was emphasized, meanwhile, that all factions, excluding the Communists, were backing the stand of the Government in upholding the border actions.

Reports by Chief of Staff Zvi Tsur, police inspector Joseph Nahmias and the head of security services at a special Cabinet meeting on the border security situation and the circumstances of the shootings convinced Cabinet members that the border forces had no alternative but to fire at the potential border trespassers.

After hearing the reports, the leftist Mapam withdrew its proposal for establishment of an inquiry committee to review the shootings. A Cabinet statement stressed that it was the duty of security forces to prevent illegal border crossings and to defend Israel from spies, saboteurs and murderers. The statement stressed that documentary evidence had demonstrated that rumors of alleged mutilation of the bodies of the five Arabs were spread by elements “hostile to the state.”

“The Cabinet is satisfied that the security forces acted in accordance with the law, ” the statement said; It was recalled at the Cabinet meeting that a member of a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip was killed when he failed to identify himself while walking near the border.


The Cabinet emphasized that any Israeli citizen can leave the country legally and that the fact that the five Arabs tried to cross illegally indicated that they were involved in illegal activities; It was assumed they were part of an organized group acting on behalf of the United Arab Republic intelligence and that they apparently intended to return to Israel, Israel sources indicated that UAR intelligence activities have been stepped up considerably in recent months.

As life in the Arab towns which were the centers of protest demonstrations returned to normal, police began today a track down of “Nasserite elements” known to have been behind the anti-Israel demonstrations. The suspects, who are believed to be part of an organized group, and whose names are known to police, disappeared from their homes as soon as the demonstrations were brought under control.

Some of the organizers of the demonstrations were hiding in the hills around Nazareth. They were detained when they returned to their homes last night. The leaders of the Communist party in Nazareth, Toufik Ziad, secretary of the Nazareth Communist party and a member of the Municipal Council, and Loutfi Zari, a Communist leader in the Uabun village, were found hiding and detained on charges of inciting the demonstrations.

Nazareth shop and restaurant owners apparently were the main victims of the disturbances, which led tourists and Israelis who come to Nazareth on Sundays and holidays to cancel such plans last week.

Recommended from JTA