JERUSALEM (May. 26)
The Government today for the first time mobilized Jewish colonists for self-defence and was momentarily expected to proclaim martial law as open Arab revolt swept the country, accompanied by bombings, arson and attacks on Jewish settlements.
Settlers at Rehoboth were armed and prepared to repel further assaults after two days’ marauding resulted in destruction of agricultural enterprises.
War planes sought Arab hideouts in the hills as brigands in Nablus, Tulkarem and Jenin retreated to the hills bearing Arabs wounded in clashes with police and military forces. Army tanks and machine gun nests occupied Nablus and Gaza as these trouble centers were brought under full military control.
Many Arab policemen were reported resigning rather than fire on rioters. A British officer was reported to have shot dead two Arab policemen, one who refused to fire on rioters and another who refused to search an Arab’s house for arms.
With Arab police regarded as unreliable, newly-organized Jewish police forces were rushed to Tulkarem. (Palestine police comprise 1,800 Arabs, 800 Britons and 400 Jews, besides the new forces.)
Panicked Jews fled from the Nevei Shalom section on the Jaffa border to Tel Aviv to Tel Aviv when nine bombs were thrown at the border and a large Jewish timber-yard set afire. The situation was tense in Jaffa, Tiberias and Safed where many bombs were thrown at troops from mosques and rooftops.
CONSULATE EVALUATES AMERICAN PROPERTY
The United States consulate was quietly trying to establish the value of American property in Palestine. At the American colony of Raanana, Arabs attempted to cut waterpipes of citrus groves and threw bombs into wells to prevent watering of groves.
Police made no effort to repel Arabs who invaded Jewish settlements in the Sharon plain until military reinforcements arrived. Arabs were driven from Jewish fields near Mount Tabor after a clash with police patrols. A communique said police escaped unscathed but expressed the belief the Arabs had suffered some casualties.
A fleet of 110 privately owned trucks was hired by the Government to transport troops as contracts were withdrawn from Arab bus concerns and awarded to a Jewish firm.
Arab constructionism hampered troop movements. Telephone wires to Cairo, cut Sunday, and railroad tracks torn up were restored today. Communications to England and other places had also been damaged. Arabs demolished poles supporting electric wires of the Rutenberg electric works all over the country, particularly at Hedera.
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT IMPOSED ON BEISAN
Collective punishment was imposed on the Arab town of Beisan for a fire set in the Jezreel Valley. Other fires were started at Rehoboth and Beth Veigan.
A Jewish public works foreman stabbed by Arabs at Acre last night — identified today as Elimelech Berkovitch, 50 years old — was not expected to live.
An official communique said shooting occurred on the outskirts of Haifa and at the Beth Alpha colony. An Arab gang was reported to have fired a volley into Beth Alpha from a hillside and troops returned the fire.
Arabs in Jaffa exchanged shots with police, the communique said. Military forces occupied and closed an Arab sports club at Nablus. A Palestinian constable was wounded at Kakun near Tulkarem. Shots were fired at police at Galilee, Nablus, Jenin and nearby places.
Curfew was proclaimed at Gaza and Safed, the scenes of serious outbreaks.
A delegation of Jewish farmers visited High Commissioner Sir Arthur Grenfell Wauchope asking permission to organize self-defense units to protect citrus groves from destruction by Arabs.
Curfew was partially lifted in Jerusalem’s Jewish sections to permit Jews to attend Shabuoth services tonight by delaying the curfew hour from seven to 8:15 p.m. Jews were forbidden, however, to hold services at the Wailing Wall where incidents in 1929 led to massacres.
The Jewish Agency for Palestine was reported to have appealed to Emir Abdullah, Arab ruler of Transjordan, to influence the Palestine Arabs to halt the disturbances. Emir was said to have replied that he had long ago advised the Arabs to accept the High Commissioner’s offer to send an Arab delegation to London.
A funeral was held quietly last night after curfew hour for Jacob Razili, 36, a Jewish laborer found murdered yesterday near the Hebrew University — the twenty-seventh Jewish victim since April 19, with all the slayers still at large.