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Cabinet Defers Expulsion Order Against Orthodox Settlers in Hebron

August 12, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Cabinet deferred today an expulsion order against three Jewish settlers in Hebron who defied military government orders to tear down a kosher food stand they had built illegally in the West Bank town. The order was deferred for more discussion when Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, who did not attend today’s meeting because of the death of his father, returns to the Cabinet. Action was postponed after several Ministers intervened for the settlers, among them Deputy Prime Minister Yigal Allon, Religious Affairs Minister Zerach Warhaftig, and Herut party leader Menachem Beigin, Minister Without Portfolio.

The settlers were part of a group of about 80 religious Jews who went to Hebron last Passover and subsequently announced their intention to remain. The Cabinet authorized them to remain on condition that they stayed within the military government compound and did not engage in any activity prohibited in the occupied area. Their soft drink and sandwich kiosk was located outside of the authorized area. The settlers also failed to obtain the special permit that non-residents require to trade or set up a business. The Cabinet, in a ruling several months ago, said the establishment of a residence or a business in the occupied territories was a political act.

The military governor said that the kiosk’s owners not only broke the local law but their action was likely to spark unpleasant incidents with the local Arab population. Israeli soldiers tore down the kiosk when its owners refused to do so. The structure was located near the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

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