JERUSALEM (Mar. 13)
Stricter measures to check terrorism in Palestine were taken during the week-end when the police began searching persons on the streets of Jerusalem during the day. Buses are being stopped and passengers ordered to dismount and submit to searches before being permitted to proceed to their destination.
Hitherto, the police conducted their searches in the evening only. Pedestrians in Jerusalem streets at night run the risk of being halted by roving police patrols. Almost everyone carrying a package in thoroughly searched. No exception is made even for responsible members of the Jewish community. In view of the attacks against the police by members of terrorist groups no patrol is inclined to hesitate if their command is not promptly obeyed by the pedestrian. This resulted in the killing by the police recently of a Jewish barber, Zvi Amramoff.
The case of Amramoff is discussed today in the press by S. Horowitz, noted Palestine lawyer, who demands that it be transferred to the criminal court “which is the only authority to decide whether the homicide was justified.” The corner has exonerated the police on grounds that the victim was given three warnings but failed to obey the command. Horowitz claims that the corner exceeded his authority in absolving the police.
“If the proposition of the law implied in the coroner’s ruling is true, it is positively not safe for any citizen, however law abiding, to go at any time after dark into a public street carrying in hand any brief-case or other case which to the overheated imagination of some possibly nervous policeman might, in the hands of some terrorist or gangster, serve as a receptacle for bombs or grenades,” Mr. Horowitz writes. “If such a citizen should be challenged and should fail to stop, whether for deafness or because he did not realize that the challenge was directed to him, then apparently the policeman would be justified to shoot and kill.”
The issue raised by Mr. Hrowitz is not merely theoretical but concerns practically every Jew in Jerusalem. Your correspondent has personally seen citizens leaders here recounting their own experiences criticizing the police for their severity.