Begin averts Cabinet row with promise on religion

Prime Minister Menachem Begin staved off a possible government crisis Monday, promising his ultrareligious partners he will press ahead with laws to tighten up religious observance.

Leaders of the extreme religious party, Agudat Yisrael, complained to Mr. Begin that the government was dragging its feet in executing provisions of an agreement reached with Begin when the government was formed last June. Most of them provided for a strengthening of religious practices, including halting air traffic into Israel on the Saturday sabbath and more powers for the chief rabbinates's office. Begin needs the four Agudat Yisrael votes in parliament to maintain his 61-vote majority in the 120-seat body.

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