JERUSALEM (May. 24)
The Palestine Government tonight placed Jerusalem under curfew from seven p.m. to five a.m. after a burst of violence in the Holy City which took a toll of one Jew and two Arabs killed, and five Jews, 14 Arabs and a Russian nun wounded.
The new disorders raised the death toll to four Jews and six Arabs in a three-day wave of terrorism coinciding with the inquiry of Britain’s Palestine Partition Commission, which is seeking a solution of Arab-Jewish differences.
The Jerusalem disorders began early this morning when an Arab was fatally shot while walking in the Street of Prophets. Later a bomb exploded in a mixed crowd of Jewish and Arab workers waiting for work outside the Public Works Department, but caused no casualties. Arabs then stoned Jewish workers, injuring four of them. Simultaneously, a Jewish laborer was fatally shot in a nearby lane.
Shortly afterward, twelve Arabs and a Russian nun were wounded when an Arab bus entering Jerusalem was fired upon. An Arab was killed in Ben Yehuda Street and another was wounded in Gaza Street. A Jewish bus was stoned by Arabs in the Beth Hakerem suburb of Jerusalem. The driver, who fired into the air to disperse the attackers, was wounded.
Following the attacks, Arab buses were being escorted by carloads of British, Jewish and Arab police. Seven Jews, most of them Zionist Revisionists, were detained in connection with this morning’s shooting. Three of them are scheduled to be interned in the Acre concentration camp.
One Jew was killed and another was injured, it was reported here today, when six Jewish workers returning from a repair job on a road which had been damaged by terrorists were heavily fired upon near Safed. The dead worker was Eliahu Avatichi, 26, who left a wife and child. The injured one is Nahum Bebe.
Two Arabs were killed and two others wounded when troops replied with machineguns to an Arab assault on a military camp near Mt. Ebel, the first attack in the Nablus district since the Government last week announced military occupation of the district. In addition, an Arab was killed in Haifa Sunday, a Jewish guard fatally wounded at Hanita Sunday night and a Bedouin sheikh slain near Benyamina Monday.
Following the murder near Jerusalem Sunday of Jacob Itzhaki, 55-year-old tinsmith and father of three bus-drivers, the Government, fearing reprisals against Arabs, today withdrew firearm licenses from Jerusalem Jewish drivers and seized their revolvers, which they had been permitted to carry in defense against Arab attacks.
Disarming of Jews was opposed at a joint meeting of the Jewish National Council and the Jerusalem Jewish Community Council which was called to consider the situation. The District Commissioner, conferring with community leaders, urged that an appeal for calm be issued, and the community council issued a statement urging self-restraint and asking the Jews to assist in maintenance of law and order.
Simultaneously, Arab bands began setting fire to crops at northern Jewish colonies. Harvests were destroyed in hundreds of acres of wheat fields at Yavniel, Rosh Pina, Ayelet Hashachar and Mishmar Haemek.
In Haifa, meanwhile, three Jewish youths went on trial before a military court on charges of firing on an Arab bus near Rosh Pina several weeks ago. They pleaded not guilty and requested separate trials, which were refused.
Amid the continuing terrorism, the Partition Commission went ahead with its inquiry. The Jewish Agency for Palestine submitted a memorandum to the commission today, it was learned. It has not yet been decided whether Dr. Chaim Weizmann, president of the Agency, will testify separately, in addition to his scheduled public appearance with the Agency’s executive committee.