JERUSALEM (Jun. 27)
The end of July has been set by the British Army headquarters in Palestine as its deadline for the complete suppression of organized terrorist bands in the country. The army leaders believe they have the situation well enough in hand now to be confident that in six weeks or less they can break the siege from within which has been carried on by Arab terrorists in the Holy Land for more than two years.
Civil and military authorities are vexed over the fact that the work of the Palestine Partition Commission, now visiting the country, has had to be carried on in an atmosphere of daily raids, shootings, killings, and arson. The army staff is determined that the commission shall be able to conclude its work in a pacified country.
For this purpose it is intended that measures similar to those already applied in Samaria and the Galilee, will be instituted in the rest of the country, though with less intensity. The hill country is still occupied by troops billeted in public buildings in the towns and in houses in the Arab villages, where they can watch the movements of the inhabitants and nip in the bud attempts to concentrate peasants into raiding bands.
Without waiting for completion of the great barbed-wire fence along the northern and northeastern boundaries the army men believe they have, pursuing the tactics prescribed by Sir Charles Tegart, and with the aid of the new force of Jewish frontier guards, succeeded in closing the frontier effectively against movement of terrorists either in or out, the purpose being not only to prevent reinforcements and supplies from coming in to the bands, but to prevent the terrorists from retreating strategically into Syria when pressed by pursuit, to return again as soon as the coast is clear.
As a counter-measure the terrorist leaders have withdrawn half their forces from Palestine into Transjordan, where they can maintain communications with Syria and where they hope to create enough disturbance to draw troops away from Palestine, permitting the terrorists remaining, with the aid of those villagers who can escape the vigilance of the troops, to continue the guerrilla war.