Jerusalem (Mar. 10)
Another land clash between Jewish settlers and Arab Bedouins occurred to-day in the Valley of Jezreel, in the settlement of Kuskustabun, which belongs to the Jewish land purchasing organisation, the Meshek Land Company.
Twelve Arabs and three Jews were arrested, all of them being subsequently released on bail. Three Jews sustained injuries, one of them of a somewhat serious character.
There are only four Arab tenant families on the land, which was purchased by the Meshek Company in 1925. The other Arabs who were involved in the encounter are Bedouins and Felaheen from the vicinity, who were trespassing, never having worked on this land.
The Arabs had previously threatened that they would plough the land this morning. The District Administration in Haifa raised no objection to both Arabs and Jews ploughing the land. The Arabs accordingly appeared on land which had been previously ploughed by the Jews, and encountered there thirty Jewish ploughers with their teams, and the clash resulted. After the clash, Police Superintendent Harrington ordered both sides to stop work on the land.
There is a great deal of indignation among the Jewish settlers with the District officer, M## Lees, for advising the Arabs to plough the same land that the Jews had already ploughed.
Mr. Lees would appear to be the Area Officer in charge of the Arab villages during the 1929 outbreak, who in his evidence before the Shaw Enquiry Commission, gave the impression of being a pro-Arab. Mr. Lees’ evidence, it was complained in Palestine at the time, tended to show that the Jews had provoked the Arabs. Sir Boyd Merriman, the Counsel for the Jewish Agency, challenged his credibility, pointing out that Mr. Lees had only recently come to Palestine from Zanzibar, that he was a great friend of the Arabs, and knew their language, and had no contact with or knowledge of the Jews.