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Palestine Official Wounded in Attack; 3 Engineers, 14 Bandits Slain

Walter S.S. Moffatt, Acting District Commissioner in Jenin, was shot by Arabs today and critically wounded as he entered his office, climaxing a day of disorders in which three white Russian engineers working for the government and 14 Arab Bandsmen were killed.

Mr. Moffatt was rushed to the Government hospital in Haifa for a blood transfusion and an emergency operation. Although his condition was described as dangerous, the 45-year-old official gave police a description of his assailants. Jenin, which is situated in terrorist-ridden central Palestine, was immediately placed under a 22-hour curfew, and a strong cordon of troops and police was thrown around the town, with police intensively searching for Mr. Moffatt’s assailants.

The Government official had served continuously in Palestine since 1925, when he came here from Egypt as Assistant Inspector. Previously, from 1921 to 1923, he had served with the survey of Palestine. The attack recalled the assassination of Lewis Y. Andrews, District Commissioner for the Galilee, in Nazareth last September, which led to the suppression of the Arab Supreme Committee and exiling of important Arab leaders.

An official communique said 14 terrorists were killed in an engagement with troops and police last night at Kafr Kanna, on the Tiberias-Nazareth road. A British soldier was seriously wounded and 11 Arab rifles were captured in the battle, which started when Arabs ambushed a caravan of automobiles under military escort.

The engineers were slain when an Arab band of 50 attacked a Government Survey Department camp on the Transjordan side of the Allenby Bridge.

Abandonment of the southernmost Jewish colony of Ruchama, east of Gaza, was reported here today following withdrawal of a police post which had been subjected to repeated Arab attacks. On Saturday night, the post had repelled a band of Arab raiders, killing two and wounding ten. This morning, the last Jewish resident of the colony, a Groves foreman, was evacuated.

The United States Consulate was instructed by the State Department to intercede for the protection of American Jews living in Gan Javne, isolated southern orange-growing colony owned by a group of New Yorkers who had invested $500,000 in it. The colonists had sought better protection, pointing out that the number of government-paid special policemen assigned to the colony had been reduced from 23 to three.

The colony has been subjected to four attacks so far this year. In one of them, an Arab band destroyed a house and groves owned by Solomon White, formerly of Long Island City, N.Y. The band, which had raided White’s property on Aug. 14, warned that it would return. White’s request for police protection was fruitless and the Arab raiders returned Aug. 20 and completed destruction of his property. The American Consulate has sent a memorandum on the situation to the Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government.

The Agudath Israel, religious Jewish organization, has been notified by the District Commissioner that the traditional pilgrimages in the Hebrew month of Elul to Rachel’s Toms have been prohibited. The ban followed requests for police protection for prospective visitors.

A large band surrounded a Greek monastery near Caeseria and kidnapped two monks. Eight bandits raided the Lydda police station, held up an orderly and escaped with seven rifles and ammunition.

Dr. Solomon Goldman, president of the Zionist Organization of America, today visited Ramat Hakovesh and the American colony of Raanana on a tour of Palestine.

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