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British Strike at Palestine Terror; Depose Mufti, Outlaw Arab Body, Seize 4 Leaders

SPURRED TO ACTION BY LAST SUNDAY’S ASSASSINATION OF DISTRICT COMMISSIONER LEWIS Y. ANDREWS AND HIS BODYGUARD, THE PALESTINE GOVERNMENT TODAY CRACKED DOWN ON ARAB LEADERSHIP.

ACTING WITH DRAMATIC SUDDENNESS, BUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH A CAREFULLY CONCEIVED PLAN, THE AUTHORITIES DEPOSED GRAND MUFTI HAJ AMIN EL HUSSEINI FROM HIS GOVERNMENT-PAID POSITION AS PRESIDENT OF THE MOSLEM SUPREME COUNCIL, ARRESTED FOUR ARAB LEADERS, AND OUTLAWED THE ARAB SUPREME COMMITTEE AND ALL ITS NATIONAL AFFILIATES.

AN OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUE ANNOUNCED THE ARREST OF FUAD SABA, SECRETARY OF THE COMMITTEE; MAYOR HUSSEIN KHALIDI OF JERUSALEM; THE MUFTI’S NEPHEW, JAMAL EL HUSSEINI, AND TUKAN BEY SHOUMAN, MANAGER OF THE ARAB BANK, AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.

THE MUFTI HIMSELF, WHOM THE BRITISH ROYAL COMMISSION TAXED WITH A LARGE MEASURE OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE 1936 DISORDERS, WAS ALSO REMOVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE GENERAL WAQF COMMITTEE, WHICH CONTROLS FUNDS DERIVED FROM MOSLEM HOLY PLACES. HE WAS REPORTED ISOLATED IN A ROOM OF THE MOSQUE OF OMAR IN THE OLD CITY. THE MOSQUE, CHIEF MOSLEM HOUSE OF WORSHIP, IS SURROUNDED BY A DETACHMENT OF HEAVILY ARMED SOLDIERS.

A GROUP OF ARAB PEASANTS, THE HAVAS NEWS AGENCY SAID, APPARENTLY AROUSED BY RUMORS THAT THE GRAND MUFTI WAS IN DANGER GATHERED AROUND THE ENTRANCE TO HIS APARTMENTS IN THE MOSQUE. THEY WERE SAID TO HAVE SWORN TO PROTECT HIS LIFE AT THE RISK OF THEIR OWN.

TAKEN ABOARD BRITISH CRUISER

WARRANTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ARREST OF A NUMBER OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ARAB SUPREME COMMITTEE, INCLUDING AHMED HILMI PASHA AND YACOUB GHUSSEINI. THEY HAVE BEEN TAKEN ABOARD THE BRITISH CRUISER SUSSEX AT HAIFA. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THEY WILL BE REMOVED TO THE ISLAND OF SEYCHELLES IN THE INDIAN OCEAN.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE DRASTIC MEASURES TO SUPPRESS THE NEW WAVE OF TERRORISM CLIMAXED BY THE NAZARETH ASSASSINATIONS WERE UNDERSTOOD TO HAVE BEEN STARTED SEVERAL DAYS AGO.

(A HAVAS AGENCY LONDON DISPATCH QUOTED OFFICIAL CIRCLES AS SAYING THE STRINGENT MEASURES TAKEN BY BRITISH AUTHORITIES IN PALESTINE TO SUPPRESS ACTS OF TERRORISM WERE APPROVED BY THE CABINET WEDNESDAY. THEY ADDED THAT THE GOVERNMENT GAVE FULL POWER TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER TO ACT AS HE SAW FIT IN MAINTAINING ORDER IN PALESTINE.)

FIRST INTIMATION THAT ANYTHING UNUSUAL WAS IN THE WIND CAME EARLY THIS MORNING WITH THE UNEXPLAINED SUSPENSION OF ALL TELEPHONE SERVICE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, APPARENTLY TO GUARD AGAINST LEAKAGE. SEVERAL HOURS ELAPSED BEFORE SERVICE WAS RESTORED.

MEANWHILE, ALL POLICE AND MILITARY LEAVE WERE CANCELLED AND ORDERS TO STAND BY WERE GIVEN DURING THE NIGHT. THE ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT DID NOT LEAVE FOR EGYPT, AS HAD BEEN SCHEDULED. HAVAS SAID THE BLACK WATCH REGIMENT ARRIVED AS EXPECTED. FURTHER REINFORCEMENTS ARE EXPECTED FROM EGYPT TOMORROW.

AT SIX O’CLOCK THIS MORNING, DETACHMENTS OF POLICE STARTED SURROUNDING APARTMENTS IN WHICH MEMBERS OF THE ARAB SUPREME COMMITTEE RESIDE. SIMULTANEOUSLY, DETACHMENTS OF TROOPS WERE DISPATCHED TO OTHER PARTS OF PALESTINE, PARTICULARLY NAZARETH. IN HAIFA, POLICE AND TROOPS SURROUNDED THE GOVERNMENT’S DISTRICT OFFICES AND SEARCHED THE DESKS OF ARAB OFFICIALS TO DISCOVER WHETHER INFORMATION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S RAIDS HAD BEEN SECRETLY RECEIVED.

SHORTLY AFTER THE RAIDS HAD BEEN CARRIED OUT, AN OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUE WAS ISSUED EXPLAINING THAT SUPPRESSION OF THE ARAB SUPREME COMMITTEE, WHICH IN 1936 DIRECTED THE ARAB GENERAL STRIKE AGAINST JEWS AND THE GOVERNMENT, WAS MOTIVATED BY THE EXISTENCE OF AN ORGANIZED TERRORIST AND ASSASSINATION CAMPAIGN. THE ACTION, ACCORDING TO THE COMMUNIQUE, WAS TAKEN UNDER THE PALESTINE DEFENSE ORDER IN COUNCIL.

THE HAVAS NEWS AGENCY REPORTED AN ARAB WAS KILLED BY TWO BRITISH SENTINELS WHO FIRED UPON HIM WHEN HE FAILED TO HEED A COMMAND TO HALT.

THE AUTHORITIES CLAMPED DOWN A CENSORSHIP ON ALL NEWSPAPERS, FORBIDDING PUBLICATION OF ANY REPORTS CONCERNING THE MORNING’S EVENTS EXCEPT THAT CONTAINED IN THE OFFICIAL COMMUNIQUES. (CENSORSHIP WAS ALSO EXERCISED ON DISPATCHES GOING ABROAD, CAUSING A DELAY IN TRANSMISSION OF J.T.A. MESSAGES.)

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