2,000 More Refugees Reach Cyprus As Britain Plans to Deport 1,771 to Colony

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Two thousand more European refugees have arrived at Lanarca in the British island colony of Cyprus, it was reliably reported here today, as the British administration in Palestine planned to remove two boatloads of 1,771 hunger-striking refugees to a British colony.

The refugees, aboard the steamships Pacific and Milos in Haifa port, launched a hunger-strike on Wednesday in protest against their non-admission to Palestine. The Jewish community held a stoppage of work and business on Wednesday to support the protest.

A communique issued in Jerusalem said that any illegal immigrants arriving in Palestine henceforth would be removed to a British colony for duration of the war. The communique said:

“Early this month two steamers carrying between them 1,771 Jewish passengers were intercepted off the coast of Palestine by police patrol vessels and brought into Haifa harbor. There can be no doubt that these persons must be classed as illegal immigrants, namely, persons seeking to enter Palestine against what is known to be the law of the country.

“His Majesty’s Government are not lacking in sympathy for refugees from territories under German control but they are responsible for the administration of Palestine and are bound to see that the laws of the country are not openly flouted. Moreover, they can regard the revival of illegal Jewish immigration at the present juncture as likely to affect the local situation most adversely and to prove a serious menace to British interests in the Middle East.

“They have accordingly decided that the passengers of the steamships Pacific and Milos shall not be permitted to land in Palestine but shall be deported to a British colony as soon as arrangements for their safe transport and building accommodation can be made and shall be detained there for the duration of the war.

“Their ultimate disposal will be a matter for consideration at the end of the war, but it is not proposed that they should remain in the colony to which they are sent or that they should go to Palestine. Similar action will be taken in the case of any further parties who may succeed in reaching Palestine with a view to illegal entry.”

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