JERUSALEM (May. 30)
The British administration today retaliated for acts of terrorism, ascribed in official circles to Jews, in which five persons were killed and 23 wounded. The death total for two days was 10.
In reprisal for the bombing yesterday of the Arab-owned Rex Cinema with a toll of 18 injured, the military commander for the Jerusalem district closed indefinitely Jerusalem’s four Jewish cinemas, imposed curfew on all Jewish cafes from 8 p.m., banned a scheduled performance performances of the Palestine Symphony Orchestra on June 1 and prohibited all future performances without special permission.
Two bombs exploded in the Rex Cinema and a third unexploded bomb was found in the balcony. The casualties included three British constables, three Palestinian constables, 10 Arab civilians and 2 Jews. The motion picture house had just reopened after being closed for a long time because of Arab terrorism and was showing the picture ”Tarzan’s Revenge.” The proprietors had been warned by Arab terrorists not to reopen.
Although police cleared the streets immediately after the bombing, one Jews was killed and another fatally wounded by gunfire on a sidestreet off King George Avenue. The fatally wounded one was Arieh Polonsky, 28, a sergeant of the Criminal Investigation Department, who died today.
The other act of violence attributed to Jews was the shooting at the Arab village of Biyaradas in which five persons were killed and five wounded. British police, after searching nearby Jewish colonies, arrested four boys at the Kfar Saba settlement and the local council was ordered to billet a military detachment in punishment. An official communique earlier said the assailants spoke Hebrew and wore European clothing.
Another attack on Arabs occurred today when an Arab bus passing the Machine Yehuda quarter of Jerusalem was fired upon and one passenger was injured. Later, a Jew was injured when Arabs stoned a Jewish bus.
Three Arabs were killed and three others wounded when a detachment of British troops rounded up an armed band near Safed.
Twenty Jews were reported injured when a watchtower collapsed during the secret building of a new colony in the Haifa bay area. Police headquarters instructed forces stationed in Jewish colonies not to assist in establishment of new settlements by guarding and accompanying the settlers. Attempts to establish settlements must be reported to head quarters immediately, the order said.
Establishment of a ”Jewish High Committee” with semi-dictatorial powers to conduct the campaign against Britain’s plan was demanded by a delegation of Jerusalem Jews dissatisfied with the tactics of national institutions in regard to British policy which visited the Jewish Agency Executive. The demand was rejected by David Ben Gurion, chairman of the Executive, who stated that existing institutions were competent to conduct the campaign.
The Palestine Central Committee of the Group ”B” General Zionists adopted a resolution demanding that the Jewish Agency establish an emergency committee to conduct the campaign against the British policy with L1,000,000 annually taken from national funds. The resolution warned that if the Agency did not assent, the Group ”B” would withdraw its representatives from the activities of Jewish national institutions until the Zionist Congress.
As resistance to the British policy mounted, the Government press officer, on behalf of the High Commissioner, warned the local Jewish press against inciting to civil disobedience in editorials or articles and against inflammatory accounts of meetings on pain of punishment. Simultaneously, the Jewish National Council and the Agudath Israel submitted memorandums to the High Commissioner for transmittal to the Mandates Commission in opposition to the British policy.
Jewish members of Jerusalem’s Municipal Council, except for the Agudath Israel Councillor, visited District Commissioner Sir Edward Keith-Roach and demanded that the present Arab mayor be replaced by a Jew. They warned that Jewish tax payments would cease if the demand was not met within two weeks.
A Jewish auxiliary policeman, Hans Joachim Fechtner, 18, who was arrested Saturday at Ataroth with a non service revolver, was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment by a military court.