JERUSALEM (Oct. 12)
Peace officially, but not actually, returned to the Holy Land today after 175 days of unprecedented violence as Arab merchants reopened shops and Arab laborers returned to jobs they had left in their general strike against the Government and Jewish immigration.
The strike was liquidated by the Arab Supreme Committee, its organizer and director, upon an appeal signed by the rulers of four neighboring Moslem States.
Its official termination, however, has not yet brought to an end the disorders which in 25 weeks have resulted in nearly 500 Arab, Jewish and British deaths, and a financial less of approximately $14,000,000.
Arab snipers early this morning killed a Jewish settler of Jagur, Mordecai Feldman, while on duty as a special guard at Jedda. Feldman was the 88th Jewish victim since April 19, when the disorders broke out in Jaffa.
Arab newspapers greeted the strike’s termination with expressions of dissatisfaction, emphasizing only the intervention of the Arab kings of Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Transjordan.
Hebrew newspapers on the other hand greeted the development with enthusiasm, declaring the strike had been a failure in that not one of its goals – suspension of Jewish immigration, – ban on sale of Arab lands to Jews and creation of an Arab national government- had been attained. They emphasized at the same time that the Jewish community had strengthened its position in the Holy Land and had shown the world that the country was no longer dominated by Arabs.
The Hebrew papers said the blame for the economic destruction of the past six months and the loss of Arab, Jewish and British lives rested clearly with the Arab leaders. They also criticized the British Government for having permitted foreign rulers to intervene on behalf of the Palestine Arabs, declaring this had established a dangerous precedent.
Davar, laborite daily, stated the Jewish community was now facing “a hard fight, for which the Palestine Government is responsible.”
Meanwhile, the authorities announced withdrawal of convoys from the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, but cautioned against night travel.
Continuing violence at scattered points resulted in three casualties – two Arabs and a Jew. Cameron Highlanders replied to a volley fired at their billets at Bethlehem, inflicting two casualties. Haim Gutner, 29-year-old Haifa Jewish teacher, visiting his parents in Jerusalem, was beaten while walking to the Wailing Wall.
Heavy sniping occurred at Tel Aviv and adjoining areas. At Kiriat Anavim, a convoyed milk truck from Ataroth was fired on, but no casualties were reported. At Kfar Sirkin, 3,000 trees were uprooted in a Jewish grove.
An Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline was damaged last night near Beisan and the escaping oil ignited.
Jewish settlements of Kiriat Anavim and Maabaroth near Nathania were attacked by Arabs. Shots were fired at the Jerusalem suburb of Givat Saul.
A police car was hit by gunfire on the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv road, but no casualties were reported.
A 22-hour-curfew — permitting inhabitants on the streets only two hours a day — was imposed on the city of Hebron for acts of terrorism committed there. The authorities also levied a $5,000 collective fine on the city.
Three British soldiers and a constable were wounded Saturday when a band of Arab rebels ambushed a military patrol en route from Yatta to Hebron.
Twenty Arabs were killed earlier in a sharp battle with tank-equipped troops in the Tulkarem area. Forty Arabs were arrested.
Troops repulsed a strong Arab attack on the colony of Beit Shemen.
A court acquitted two Arabs accused of premeditated murder of a Jew earlier in the disorders.