Maximum Penalties to 32 Arab Assailants Given by Haifa District Court
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Maximum Penalties to 32 Arab Assailants Given by Haifa District Court

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Twelve Arabs charged with the murder of the Makleff family at Motza will face trial under the article of the Palestine law imposing the death penalty. The indictment was upheld by the magistrate before whom the prisoners were first brought.

Following a three-day trial in the District Court of Haifa, 32 Arabs of the village Tireh were sentenced to five years imprisonment each and 5 Arabs to two years each, for having assembled for the purpose of attacking Beth Galim, a Jewish suburb of Haifa, on August 26. The mob was dispersed by an aeroplane, the military taking fifty prisoners, all of whom were armed with clubs. The air force as well as the military had orders to shoot at the crowd marching on Haifa on that day.

The prison superintendent, Matson, was the first to sight the crowd on August 26. He went by motorcycle to warn the police, whereupon a special train carrying the military was sent, and an aeroplane carrying Judge Litt as an observer. He ordered the action.

Police Superintendent Foley testified that the condition in Haifa that day was very grave and had the mob penetrated into the town the situation (Continued on Page 4)

would have become more dangerous.

The presiding judge paid tribute to the air force officer and to Matson, who risked his life in leaving the prison to warn the police of the approaching danger. All Haifa, including the prisoners themselves, owe gratitude to these officers of Haifa for being saved from sustaining a greater loss to life and property, the prisoners for not having to face a charge involving the death penalty, the judge declared.

All but five of the Arabs, young men, were given the maximum punishment as an example to others who might be similarly tempted.

Fifty troops surrounded the court house while the verdict was being pronounced. An armored car was stationed at the exit of the courthouse, where an enormous Arab crowd broke into a terrible wail when the prisoners were marched out in chains.

Three Arabs were sentenced to prison terms on charge of blackmail. Gante, the leader, was sentenced to six months and his accessories to the crime to four months each. They were found guilty of having extorted money from a number of Arab families in Mejdel, by threatening letters signed, “Black Hand.”

One of the letters was sent to a police officer, who placed marked money where the writers of the letter had directed and captured them when they came to collect.

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