JERUSALEM (Jul. 26)
The death toll in July’s reign of terror neared the 200 mark today, as violence continued to sweep through the Holy land, taking the lives of two Jews and five Arabs, and bringing in its wake a series of Arab general strikes.
The Jewish fatality total reached 60 when two colonists were slain at Mishmar Hayarden. Haim Grabovsky, 50, and his 14-year-old son, Menachem, were heavily fired upon as they returned to the colony from the Jordan river with water-filled barrels. Menachem was killed instantly, while his father fought hand-to-hand with the attackers and reported to the police before dying. Auxiliary police engaged the assailants, killing two members of the band.
An Arab constable was shot dead this morning in Jenin, resulting in imposition of a 22-hour curfew on the town. An Arab bandit was slain when troops and police engaged a band following an attack on Jewish workers in Tiberias. A mobile patrol of auxiliary police, fired upon by an Arab from a canoe in the Sea of Galilee, shot and killed him after he had jumped into the sea and refused to surrender.
These new fatalities raised the Arab death toll for the month, based on unofficial count, past 130. The most sanguinary incident of the month was yesterday’s bombing in the Haifa Arab market place, in which, according to an official check today, 45 Arabs were killed and 45 were wounded. The bomb made a hole in the ground three feet wide and four feet deep. At least five Jews were killed and 18 wounded in subsequent rioting.
Today, the thriving seaport city was virtually cut off from the rest of the country, with all roads closed and only one telephone line open. All passengers ships were diverted from Haifa to Tel Aviv and Jaffa. The city was under curfew beginning at seven p.m. In yesterday’s rioting, many Jewish shops and houses were set afire and looted.
In protest against the violence, Arabs pressed general strikes in the Old City quarter of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Nablus and other Arab centers. The strike was complete in Jaffa, where police and troops dispersed demonstrating crowds and attacks on Jewish businessmen forced them to flee to Tel Aviv under strong convoy. The Nablus strike was enforced by an Arab band which entered the town fired a volley of shots into the air and forced all stores to close.
While the Jerusalem strike was in progress, a Jew, Jacob Rass, 35, was stoned and stabbed near the Damascus gate and seriously wounded. The Jews of the Holy City went without kosher meat as cattle slaughterers, on the advise of a friendly Arab, kept away from the municipal abattoir on the outskirts of the city. Sheikh Abdura, second in command of Palestine Arab terrorist bands, was reported to be heading a band of 600 infesting the hills near Jerusalem.
A party of American tourists from the S.S. Excambrion arrived in Jerusalem and visited the Old City and Bethlehem under heavy guard. They are sailing from Jaffa today.
Falastin, Arabic Christian daily, was suspended for a week for an article on the situation in Arab villages. The weekly, Palestine and Transjordan, was suspended for six months.
a grave disaster was averted when police this morning discovered a land mine of more than 50 pounds of explosives set to explode at nine A.M. in the vegetable market in the Old City quarter of Jerusalem. Police expressed the belief that this was the same type of bomb used in recent explosions in Haifa and Jerusalem. A primitive bomb was discovered on the doorstep of David Yellin, noted Hebrew scholar, whose son was murdered by terrorists several months ago, professor Yellin is now in London.
Minor incidents occurred in Haifa, where on Jewish shop was set afire and one Jew was stoned and slightly injured. At Hanita, northernmost Jewish colony, a settler, Moshe Fogel, was shot and slightly injured. Jewish traffic between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was temporarily discontinued from two P.M., but was later resumed.