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Efforts Being Made to Find out Who Decided to Hold State Funeral for Two Stern Group Members

July 1, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Observers here are attempting to find out, so far without success, who decided to hold a state funeral for Eliahu Hakim and Eliahu Beit-Tzuri, the Sternists hanged in Egypt 30 years ago and re-buried on Mt. Herzl last Thursday with full military honors. Official sources said it was not a Cabinet decision.

Circles close to Foreign Minister Yigal Allon intimated that he had not been involved in the decision-making although he, along with Premier Yitzhak Rabin were among the thousands of Israelis who paid their respects before the two coffins prior to the funeral and President Ephraim Katzir sent a wreath.

The men, known in Israel as “the two Eliahus” were sent to Cairo in 1944 to assassinate Lord Moyne, the then British Resident Minister in the Middle East who opposed Jewish immigration into Palestine. They were caught, sentenced to death and hanged in 1945 and were buried in the Jewish cemetery in Cairo. Last week, Israel released 20 convicted terrorists to Egypt in exchange for their remains.


The British Ambassador, Sir Bernard Ledwidge, telephoned the Foreign Ministry yesterday to deliver his government’s expression of regret on be-

The message is understood to have referred to the fact that the Jewish community in Palestine and the world Jewish leadership had condemned the assassination at the time and strongly dissociated themselves from it. Israel is expected to deliver a formal reply to Britain through its Embassy in London.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews and Lord Rothschild have also deplored Israel’s decision to give the Sternists a heroes’ burial, Israeli circles indicated last week that the decision was a gesture in the interests of national unity and an indication that the bitter controversy that divided Israelis in the latter years of the Palestine Mandate and the early years of Statehood over the violent tactics of groups like the Sternists has now been healed.

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