Jerusalem (Oct. 15)
The final decision to call a general strike of Palestine Arabs on Wednesday, October 16, was adopted by the Palestine Arab Executive at its meeting held here on Sunday. A previous call for a general strike, issued October 2, was postponed pending the result of an interview which the Arab Executive had with Sir John Chancellor, Palestine High Commissioner. It is understood that the Arabs will attempt to extend the general strike to Transjordania.
A last effort to exert government influence against the proposed strike, collapsed when Sir John Chancellor informed the Arab Executive deputation which called on him yesterday that the present regulations at the Wailing Wall must stand until a special commission proposes a new settlement. The deputation, composed of Musa Kazim Pasha and three secretaries of the Executive, Jemal Hussein, Maughanan and Abdul Hadi, refused to call off the strike unless the regulations were revoked, especially the provision that the door leading from the pavement before the Wall to the Mosque area be closed from sunset on Fridays to sunset Saturday and on holidays.
While aimed ostensibly against Attorney General Norman Bentwich, it is understood that what the Arab leaders are really after is a continued state of suspense and unrest. The correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was reliably informed that the Palestine police possesses substantial proof of the importation of arms and ammunition into Palestine by Arabs.
The Moslems are still dissatisfied with the regulations at the Wailing Wall, as is indicated by the general strike called for Wednesday, when the Arab Executive hopes to make an effective protest against the temporary regulations of the government, allowing the Jews the few appurtenances essential to the service on the Day of Atonement, which did not, however,
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(Continued from Page 1) include benches for the fasting worshippers.
It is pointed out that the strike called by the Moslems is to include Christian Arabs as well, though they are not concerned in the dispute over the status quo of the Wailing Wall.
It is reported that the Mufti has appealed to King George to “protect” the Wall, which is claimed as a sacred Moslem site. Declaring that the Moslems have always respected the Christian Holy Places, the Mufti states that the Christians should now reciprocate. Simultaneously, the Arab Executive has cabled Moslem bodies in India, Iraq, Egypt and Syria to assist in safeguarding the Wailing Wall which, they assert, the Jews have converted into an open synagogue.
It had been expected that the strike would include Arab lawyers, causing a further delay of the murder trials which are scheduled for Wednesday. On that day Chief Justice Sir Michael MacDonnel is to resume at Haifa the trial of three Arabs, accused of the murder of Isaac Mamaan of Safed, which was interrupted last Thursday after the withdrawal of the Arab counsel. The trial of Sheik Taleb Markah, accused of being responsible for the murder of the Jewish family Slonim at Hebron, is to be opened by Senior British Judge Corrie on Wednesday. It was thought that sabotage of justice by the Arabs was one of the two motives of the general strike, which is ostensibly aimed against Attorney General Norman Bentwich, whose dismissal is demanded by the Arabs. However, the Arab Executive decided to exempt lawyers from the strike, enabling them to defend the many prisoners. Hence, the trials will proceed as scheduled, that of Sheik Taleb Markah of Hebron in the Jerusalem District Court before Judge Corrie and Judge Defreites.
Arab government employees and officials in the railways and posts will not participate in the strike, which will be limited to the closing of shops in the towns. It is expected that Jewish businesses will also be closed down in order to avoid any possible trouble.
The Arab executive at its meeting, besides its decisions for the calling of the general strike, which was declared to be because of the severity of sentences imposed on Arabs for participating in the outbreak and against the collective punishment ordinance, also considered final steps for an Arab delegation to proceed to London, as well as the temporary arrangements for Jewish worship at the Wailing Wall, against which the Grand Mufti submitted his objections to the government.
BRITISH COUNSEL BRIEFED BY ARABS
The Executive confirmed a decision to brief as the Arabs’ counsel before the Commission of Inquiry, William Henry Stoker, K.C. Mr. Stoker was Attorney General for the Leeward Islands in 1889. He has held numerous judicial posts in Barbados, and is an authority on industrial arbitration, having been chairman of a number of committees and arbitrator for the Ministry of Labor in 1924. He is 70 years of age.