43 Arabs, 2 British Soldiers Killed in Clashes; Jew Slain in Tel Aviv

TWO BRITISH SOLDIERS AND A JEW WERE ADDED TODAY TO A DEATH TOLL OF 43 ARABS WHILE GOVERNMENT FORCES CONTINUED OPERATIONS AGAINST TERRORISTS IN NORTHERN PALESTINE FOLLOWING CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY ENGAGEMENTS WITH ARAB BANDS.

SECOND LIEUTENANT K.J. MOUNTAIN, 21 YEARS OLD, OF THE BORDERERS REGIMENT, ONE OF THREE SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN A CLASH WITH A STRONG BAND AT YACOUB VILLAGE NEAR NAZARETH YESTERDAY, DIED IN THE GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL AT SAFED. PRIVATE J.F. CREASEY OF THE NORTH STAFFORDSHIRES DIED IN THE SCOTTISH HOSPITAL AT TIBERIAS.

TEN ARABS WERE KILLED IN THE YACOUB CLASH ADDING TO A TOTAL OF 33 SLAIN IN ENGAGEMENTS SINCE THURSDAY. TROOPS AND ROYAL AIR FORCE PLANES CONTINUED ACTION IN THE NORTH. A PLANE WAS BROUGHT DOWN IN ACTION AT HAIFA YESTERDAY, IT WAS LEARNED. TROOPS ENCOUNTERED NO BANDS IN DAY-LONG SEARCHES TODAY. COMBINED LEBANESE AND PALESTINIAN FORCES VIGILANTLY WATCHED THE BORDER, FEARING AN INVASION OF NEW LARGE GANGS INTO PALESTINE.

MRS. HAVA LEWIS, 70 YEARS OLD, WAS KILLED AND HER HUSBAND, SAMUEL LEWIS, 78, WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED WITH BLUNT INSTRUMENTS IN THEIR HOME IN THE HEART OF TEL AVIV. BOTH WERE FROM NEW ZEALAND AND HAD BEEN HERE ELEVEN YEARS. AFTER THE MAID DISCOVERED THE CRIME, AN ARAB AND NINE OTHER PERSONS WERE ARRESTED. POLICE ANNOUNCED BLOOD STAINS ON THE ARAB’S CLOTHING MATCHED LEWIS’S BLOOD. THEY SAID ROBBERY WAS THE MOTIVE FOR THE ASSAULT.

A, BUS DRIVER, LUPU GROSSMAN, 34 YEARS OLD, AND A PASSENGER, RAPHAEL YAVNE, 26, WERE SLIGHTLY INJURED WHEN AN EGGED COMPANY (JEWISH) BUS EN ROUTE FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM WAS FIRED UPON NEAR THE POLICE STATION AT ABUGHOSH. TROOPS GUARDED THE JAFFA-JERUSALEM ROAD, SEARCHING AUTOMOBILES FOR ARMS.

A BOMB WAS THROWN INTO A CAFE IN HAIFA CROWDED WITH SOLDIERS CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS. ONE OF THE SOLDIERS CAUGHT THE BOMB WHILE THE FUSE WAS STILL BURNING AND THREW IT OUT INTO THE STREET, WHERE IT EXPLODED. THE SOLDIERS PURSUED TWO ESCAPING ARABS AND FIRED AT THEM.

WHILE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES WERE HELD IN BETHLEHEM FRIDAY NIGHT UNDER HEAVY GUARD, BRITISH TROOPS AND PLANES ENGAGED A BAND OF 300 ARABS IN THE BLOODIEST BATTLE THE HOLY LAND HAS WITNESSED SINCE THE WORLD WAR.

FRIDAY’S ENGAGEMENT BEGAN WHEN A DETACHMENT OF TROOPS, SCOURING THE VICINITY OF TIBERIAS FOR TERRORISTS, ENCOUNTERED A BAND OF 40 ARMED ARABS. THE ARABS SIGNALLED FOR HELP AND 300 ARMED ARABS RUSHED INTO THE BATTLE FROM NEARBY VILLAGES. TRAPPED BY THE REINFORCEMENTS, THE TROOPS WIRELESSED FOR AID. IN RESPONSE MORE TROOPS AND ROYAL AIR FORCE PLANES WERE RUSHED TO THE SCENE OF HOSTILITIES. FIFTEEN ARABS WERE REPORTED TO HAVE FALLEN IN THE ENSUING BATTLE. BETWEEN 11 AND 18 ARABS WERE KILLED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ENGAGEMENT THURSDAY. THE ONLY REPORTED BRITISH CASUALTIES WERE THE PILOT OF A BOMBING PLANE, WHO WAS SHOT DOWN AND SLIGHTLY WOUNDED, AND A MEMBER OF THE TRANSJORDAN FRONTIER FORCE.

BY NOON FRIDAY THE BATTLE HAD REACHED SUCH PROPORTIONS THAT THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES CLOSED ALL ROADS IN NORTHERN PALESTINE TO PRIVATE TRAFFIC AND ORDERED ALL VILLAGES NEAR THE FRONTIER TO KEEP HOMES DARKENED AND NOT TO PERMIT RESIDENTS TO LEAVE THE HOUSE AT NIGHT. THE ORDERS RESULTED IN EVACUATION OF MANY VILLAGES, THE INHABITANTS TAKING REFUGE IN MOSQUES AT ACRE, ON THE MEDITERRANEAN COAST.

MEANWHILE, DISORDERS CONTINUED IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, RESULTING IN DEATH OF AN ARAB NOTABLE AND WOUNDS TO TWO JEWS.

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