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Axis Reports of Palestine Rioting False; Jews Speed Recruiting

There has not been a single incident between Arabs and Jews in Palestine in recent days and rumors abroad of Arab-Jewish strife are regarded as merely Axis-inspired propaganda.

(The German and Italian radios have been reporting “bloody clashes between Arabs and Jews,” kidnaping of Zionist leaders, ambushing of British troops and the bombing of the High Commissioner’s residence in Jerusalem.)

The atmosphere was calm today as preparations for defense were being speeded. Recruiting of Palestine Jews between the ages of 20 and 30 was in full swing to meet the threat arising from the fighting in Iraq and the reported Axis plan for a drive towards Suez through Syria and the Holy Land.

Enlistment of unmarried Jews began yesterday in response to a proclamation issued by the Jewish Agency for Palestine and the Jewish National Council. Jewish officials said the call met with a warm response, although there were no immediate figures on the number of recruits.

There are already more than 8,000 Jews serving with the British forces in North Africa and some were among the expeditionary force evacuated from Greece. Jewish soldiers returned from Greece told this correspondent today that the majority of the Palestine Jews, most of whom were serving in the Royal Air Force, were safely evacuated from Greece.

Today was marked as a fast day among Palestine Jews in connection with prayers for a British victory. Continuous, 24-hour prayers for victory have been instituted in Palestine synagogues.

Meanwhile, the 30th anniversary of Merchavia, oldest Jewish national settlement in the Jezreel Valley, was celebrated yesterday. Merchavia was started by Dr. Franz Oppenheimer as a cooperative experiment with 9,500 dunams of land. There are now 35 settlement on Jewish National Fund land in the valley totaling 250,000 dunams. More than 1,000 persons from all over the country, including Zionist leaders, attended the celebration.

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