JERUSALEM (Jun. 28)
A synagogue was searched here today for the first time in the history of the British administration in Palestine.
The search followed an Arab’s complaint to the police that he had been shot at by a Jew, that he had pursued and caught his assailant but that Jews from the synagogue, in the Bokharian quarter, had rushed to his assistance and freed him.
The entire quarter was thereupon surrounded by British troops and British policemen conducted a house-to-house search. District Commissioner Edward Keith-Roach ordered a search of the synagogue, which was executed with troops standing by. A Jewish district officer, J. Kisselov, was sent to observe.
A dozen worshippers in the synagogue were detained. Troops mounted machine-guns on house-tops as the populace, mostly Bokharian Jews, were ordered from their houses. Fifty persons were rounded up in the searches.
The military commander of the Jerusalem area later issued a statement assailing the action of the Jews in “assisting a would-be murderer to escape and returning his pistol instead of assisting in his capture.” He imposed a 48-hour shutdown of shops in the Bokharian, Mea Shearim and Geulah quarters as “punishment for this flagrant case of aiding and abetting terrorism.”
Two Jews were seriously wounded today when a taxicab in which they were riding was bombed near Sarafand. The wounded, Hanoch Backer, 30, and Abraham Lipshitz, 58, were removed to the Hadassah hospital at Tel Aviv.
Four Arab terrorist organizations were uncovered, meanwhile, and a search was underway for their members. Six Arab villages in the Jerusalem district offered to help the authorities against marauding bands, with the double aim of escaping possible punitive measures and pursuing work on the harvest.
All traffic was suspended in Southern Palestine from Hebron to the Gulf of Akaba and the Egyptian Frontier, where important military maneuvers are taking place.