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Palestine Suffering Under Drive Against Illegal Residents

The iniquitous system of “oblava”, the domiciliary searches carried out during the Czarist regime in Russia when hundreds of people were arrested during the early hours of the morning by secret police enforcing passport and other regulations, is threatened in Palestine now with all its severity.

The High Commissioner’s address to Moslem notables at Nablus, Moslem town. is held to presage the enactment of stringent regulations to deport tourists, persons arriving here through other than recognized places of entry, and others over-staying their legal period of sojourn. It is held in some circles, however, that the regulations may be practised with more strictness against Jews than against illegal Arab immigrants from Hauran, Syria and Iraq. because of the political as pects involved in the present Arab agitation against Jewish immigration.

“The man-hunt after tourists” is the description given in the Hebrew press to this latest phase of Palestine officialdom’s measures to check immigration. Systematic combingout of hotels, pensions, and public places is reported. One hotel was the scene of such a raid. A young Jew came and registered as a visitor, and spent two nights in the hotel. He conversed affably with the guests, and even “allowed” himself to be photographed in groups. On the third day a policeman arrived and made inquiries of the proprietor. That night a high British police officer with a Jewish inspector and constables entered the hotel, went from room to room demanding passports and identity documents, and five persons were arrested. They were later released on £50 bail each pending trial.

A PATHETIC CASE

One of those caught in the police dragnet, a man of fifty-five, who has been here six months, presents a pathetic case. He has left his wife and two daughters in Vienna, hoping later to bring them here. He sends them small remittances now and then. He is a cook by profession, but lost an eye at his work, and has been forbidden to continue in that trade. Consequently he has had odd jobs, and only lately has secured a permanent connection.

When brought to the police-station, he became very dejected, so much so that a policeman was sent with him when he returned to the hotel. And the proprietor found among the man’s baggage a note reading, “I do not wish to leave Eretz Israel alive. Do not blame anybody for my death.” He is now kept under special surveillance.

Two Jewish tourists coming here on board the S.S. Italia on October 23 were refused entry.

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