Jerusalem (Sep. 2)
Numerous trials of Jews and Arabs, who were held on charges of possessing arms, are porceeding in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa. Many Jews have been sentenced to two months imprisonment.
As the situation is becoming somewhat stabilized under the pressure of the military forces, more authentic information is being gathered as to the course of the events during the past eleven days, when murder, pillage and fire reigned supreme over the Jewish population of the country, creating an unparalleled record of terror and violence which has shocked the conscience of mankind.
A substantiated inquiry into the origin of the riots in Jerusalem on Friday, August 23, has established the fact that the riots were first started not in the old Jewish quarter, Meah Shearim, as was originally believed, but on Jaffa Street, where Dr. Wolfgang von Weisl, the German correspondent, Ittamar Ben-Avi and Engineer Raitan were first wounded about noontime, when the Moslems were on their return from the Mosque of Omar. The attack on Meah Shearim quarter was made by another group of rioters, a little later. It was then that a Jew, in self-defense, fired his gun. The rioters retired, but soon returned in increased numbers. It was then that another Jew, in defense of the Jewish population, threw a bomb which, however, killed no one. A second bomb was thrown later by the Jewish self-defense, when the attack became fierce and the danger mounted. Arab policemen who accompanied the attacking mob did nothing to prevent the riots.
Eye-witnesses relate that the Arab unrest in Jerusalem was patent for days before the actual riots occurred. The authorities were warned of the impending danger, but they scoffed at the Jews’ anxiety. It is the firm conviction of the Jewish population here that were it not for the heroism of the youthful self-defense body, which was constituted in the emergency, the number of Jewish casualties in Jerusalem would have been greater and that a large part of the Old City of Jerusalem and many other Jewish habitations would not have been saved.
Jewish organizations here are in possession of documentary evidence showing the negligence, and in many cases the open unfriendliness and complicity, of some of the government employees. This evidence is being collected and corelated in anticipation of the promised inquiry. It is a matter of record that the Assistant Governor of Jerusalem, Ruhi Abdul Hadi, rebuked a British officer who protected the Jewish settlement Ataroth, alleging that men of Ataroth had fired at innocent villagers walking along the road. What actually happened was that the villagers approached the settlement at midnight armed with rifles, revolvers and daggers.
The situation in Jerusalem was greatly aggravated during the 11 days because of the order suspending the Hebrew press and the strict censorship in force. This affected only the Jewish population, as the Arab population was amply served by the Arab language press from Egypt and Syria, which was admitted into the country and contained descriptions of the events from an Arab point of view, emasculating the facts and spreading the wildest rumors and pouring calumnies and accusations on the Jews of Palestine.
It was only at the end of the week that the Egyptian and Syrian newspapers in all languages were barred from Palestine.
KURDISH JEWS SLAY ARAB, INFURIATED AT MASSACRE
Wide attention was attracted by the incident which occurred on Thursday in the Kurdish Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, where an Arab, aged 30, was killed. An investigation shows that the man suddenly appeared among a crowd of Kurdish Jews, who suffered greatly during the Jerusalem outbreaks. In excitement, the Kurdish Jews stoned and stabbed the Arab, ignoring the protests of the European Jewish passersby. It was they the Europeans, who aided the wounded man, taking him to the nearby German hospital for first aid. He died Thursday night. The Kurdish Jews explained that they have reason to know that the man came from Lifta, the village near Jerusalem from where the trouble started.
ARABS SENT SPIES TO JEWISH QUARTERS, POSED AS FRIENDS
A number of facts are being related concerning the action of certain Arabs during the days of murder and pillage in Jerusalem. One Arab, representing himself as a friend of the Jews, came to the Jerusalem Jewish self-defense group, giving them advice. Some of the members of the self-defense body were unwilling to believe in his sincerity and wanted to do away with him, but the others persuaded them to abstain from unjustified acts, and the Arab friend was permitted to go peacefully. Several hours later, it became apparent that he proceeded to the headquarters of the Arab trouble makers, disclosing to them the plan of the Jewish self-defense body.
PHYSICIAN SLAIN ON ERRAND OF MERCY
Horrifying particulars are being related concerning the murder perpetrated by the Arabs on the Hadassah physician, Dr. Israeli, at the colony Kastinia. Following the Arab attack the sheik of the group came in behalf of the villagers, carrying a white flag and, offering peace, asked for medical aid for the Arab wounded. Dr. Israeli went with the sheik. He was found stabbed to death.
A shining contrast to these tales of horror is the action of the Arab inhabitants of the village neighboring the Jewish colony, Kiryath Anavim (Dilb). The villagers came to the Jewish settlement begging peace and offering their children as a token of peace in accordance with Oriental custom.
JERUSALEM JEWS EXERCISE SELF-CONTROL TO PREVENT UNNECESSARY BLOODSHED
Numberous cases are reported in which Arabs were saved by Jews from the vengeance of the Jewish self-defense body and the self-defense preventing the civil population from taking vengeance on individual Arabs. In the Chassidic quarter of Mendelrand, there was an Arab employed by Jews as a servant in a bath house. The Georgian Jews, infuriated by the Arab massacre in their quarter on the first day of the riot, wanted to kill the Arab servant. The Chassidim, however, saved the Arab, promptly removing him to police headquarters. They also protected his property in their houses. At the Schneller quarter, a Jewish milkman had in his employ three Arab women. The civil Jewish population sought to kill them, but the self-defense body opposed this act, using their revolvers, and escorted the women to their village.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, VISITING SAFED, WEEPS AT HORRORS; 15 SLAIN
The assistant secretary of the Palestine government, Mr. Moody, an Englishman, who visited Safed following the massacre there on Friday, August 30, returned yesterday to Jerusalem. He wept at the sight of the victims, he said.
The number of Jews killed in Safed during the Friday massacre has now been ascertained to be 15. Several of the bodies were unrecognizably burned at the beginning of the riots.
THE GHASTLY HORRORS OF HEBRON
The survivors of the Hebron massacre on Saturday, August 24, fled to Jerusalem, where they are now homeless and penniless. The ghastly tale of the Hebron atrocities has now been reconstructed on the basis of authentic testimony by eye witnesses who have recovered sufficiently from their shock to be able to relate coherently of the horrors with which the Arabs accompanied their murders. The head of a Jewish baker was burned on his primus stove and his intestines opened. An old Jew died of castration. The
The Hadassah Mother and Child Welfare Center was burned.
THE ATROCITIES AT MOTZA
The refugees from Motza relate the unspeakable horrors perpetrated against the Makleff family, the father, son and two daughters being slain, the girls after being violated. The mother died of the wounds inflicted. The hooligans overpowered a handful of youths who tried to prevent the attack. The door was broken in and the family slaughtered. Two guests in the house were also killed and the bodies outraged. One was burned.
Further information received here reveals that assaults, pillage and arson were perpetrated in other settlements hitherto not mentioned.
40 ARAB ASSAILANTS SLAIN BY KASTINIA SELF-DEFENSE
In the organized attack on Kastinia, where the Arab boy scouts accompanied the attackers as an ambulance service and as incendiaries, about 40 of the assailants were killed by the Jewish self-defense.
The military governors advised the Jewish merchants not to open their shops on Thursday or Friday, fearing new Arab riots, particularly in Jerusalem.
THE EVENTS IN TEL AVIV AND HAIFA
In Tel Aviv, a special police to reinforce the defense was organized. On Tuesday, however, the District Commissioner ordered this special police disbanded. On Tuesday and Wednesday the government authorities started to disarm the Jews of Tel Aviv and Haifa. This action caused panic among the Jews and encouraged the Arabs.
In Haifa a huge attack was perpetrated on Bathgalin on Monday, and riots took place throughout the city. Five Jews were killed and many were wounded. The colonies in the vicinity of Haifa, after the attacks were repulsed, were evacuated upon the demand of the military governor. The electric works were attacked, but the assailants were repulsed. On Tuesday, before the arrival of the naval reinforcements, the riots continued in Haifa and several shops were burned, including the Miller factory. Inside the factory women and children and young men found refuge. The police refused to help save them. Finally the British marines aided the Jewish youth in rescuing the refugees.
HULDAH LOOTED AND BURNED
The Hadassah automobiles and the cars of the electric works were greatly helpful in transporting the wounded.
Huldah was looted during Monday night and destroyed by fire. The inhabitants were saved. In Tel Aviv there were several skirmishes, resulting in 6 dead and 12 wounded.