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Axis Vessels Assembled in Greek Ports for Invasion of Palestine, Syria

An Axis invasion fleet made up of hundreds of vessels capable of carrying assault troops to Palestine, Syria and to Turkey if necessary, was reported here today to be assembled in Greek ports.

At the same time the Nazis are reported massing 40,000 parachute troops in Crete to be dropped behind the British army line on the Libyan front and possibly in Alexandria, Cairo and in the Suez Canal zone.

Military experts here expect Hitler to begin his offensive in the Middle East any day. The Allied defensive semi-circle from Libya through Palestine and Syria to the Turkish frontier has been reinforced to meet it. An air raid alarm was sounded in Tel Aviv Saturday night as one of the precautions.

Armed to the teeth, Palestine is watching with utmost interest the developments in Turkey, since the dangerous balance in the Middle East is dependent on what Turkey does. Turkey might be expected to go with the Axis against Syria, Palestine and Iraq which were parts of her former empire. But modern Turkey, run by Gen. Ismet Inonu, seems content to build and remain a nation rather than an empire, and is building her 750,000-man army into a modern machine, with equipment from the United States and Britain.

Meanwhile, Axis agents are reported to have started a vigorous propaganda campaign among Arabs in Syria and in Iraq to cause confusion and to implant anti-British feelings. It is no secret here that there are a large number of fifth-columnists among the Arabs in Syria and Iraq who take their lead from the broadcasts which the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem is making from Italian radio stations. These broadcasts are heard on a program which is styled “the Voice of the Free Arabs”

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