Menu JTA Search

Palestine Telegraphic Agency Despatches

Israel DeHaan, the well-known Executive Secretary of the orthodox Agudath Israel in Palestine, was shot at 8 P. M. last night. Three bullets pierced his heart and he died within five minutes.

DeHaan spent the last minutes of his life in the synagogue near the hospital of Dr. Vallach, saying his evening prayers, and the murder occurred almost in front of the hospital as soon as DeHaan left the synagogue. The murderer has not yet been discovered.

DeHaan was to have left in a few days for England together with Dr. Vallach and Rabbi Horowitz, as a delegation representing the Agudath Israel, to protest to the British Colonial Office against the draft of the ordinance of the Palestinian Government granting internal autonomy to the Jewish communities of Palestine.

He was considered by many very eccentric. Years ago he was an active Zionist in Holland, where he was born, but due to a conflict with the Dutch Zionist leader, Nehemiah de Lime, he left the Zionist movement. In his youth he had been an athiest and married a Christian girl. Ten years ago he became an orthodox Jew, surpassing even the most orthodox by his fanaticism. Immediately after the armistice he was sent by the Amsterdam “Algemeen Handelsblad,” one of the largest Dutch papers, to Palestine, where he represented it, as well as, at different times, the London “Daily Express” and “Morning Post,” both anti-Zionist papers.

He joined the orthodox Agudath Israel and under his spiritual guidance the extremely orthodox and fanatical section of the Jewish community of Jerusalem bitterly fought the Zionist movement and Zionist institutions in the country. At the time when Lord Northcliffe visted Jerusalem, shortly before his death, DeHaan went to him, together with a delegation of the orthodox group, to denounce political Zionist. This action was considered, at the time, an act of treason against the Jewish National Homeland.

Mr. DeHaan was well known in Dutch and Jewish literary circles not only as a journalist, but also as a poet.

NEXT STORY