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Echo of 1929 Palestine Riots: Observe Anniversary of Execution of Arab Heroes Says Appeal Issued by

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The Palestine Arab Executive has issued an appeal here to-day calling upon the Arabs of Palestine to remember the Arab “heroes” who were executed on June 17th., 1930 for murdering Jews during the 1929 riots, on the occasion of the anniversary of their execution, which occurs on Friday.

The three Arabs were, Atta Zeer, a porter from Hebron, who was convicted of the murder of Rabbi Castel and his family, Mohammed Jam Joun, a driver convicted of the murder of the Aboushdid, and Fuad Hedjazi, who was convicted of the murder of the Mizrachi school teacher Afriat and his family. Fuad Hedjazi was an official of the Wealth Department of the Government, and Afriat was Hedjazi’s, teacher in French. Afriat’s surviving daughter when she was recovering from her wounds in hospital recognised Hedjazi, who was at the same hospital wearing the Red Cross of the stretcher bearers. Hedjazi belonged to a prominent Arab family in Safed.

When the executions were carried out at the prison in Acre the muezzins from the minarets of the mosques in Acre and Haifa announced the executions and the bells of the Catholic Church in Acre tolled for a quarter of an hour.

The Arab Executive announced a general strike on the day of the executions and there were demonstrations by Arab school children.

The Arabs press at the time declared that the anniversary of the executions each year should be observed as a day of national mourning.

On the first anniversary in 1931 the Palestine Arab Executive issued a proclamation calling on the Arab population to suspend all work on the anniversary and concluding with the words: “Consider not those dead who died in the holy cause”.

A number of Jews, among them Professor Einstein and Professor Martin Buber, unsuccessfully intervened with the High Commissioner of the time, Sir John Chancellor, appealing to him to reprieve the condemned Arabs. Several other Arabs had been sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted.

Only one Jew, Urphali, was sentenced to death, and his sentence, too, was annulled.

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