Jerusalem (Oct. 11)
A large party of armed Jews raided a military training depot near Rhovoth this morning and, after overpowering the guards, escaped with 218 rifles, 15 machine-guns, 220 bayonets, steel helmets, uniforms and ammunition. They fled in trucks stolen from the depot.
Meanwhile, 20 Jewish youths, including two girls, were today found guilty by a British military court in Haifa of illegal possession of arms. Sentences will be imposed on Tuesday. The defendants were arrested on Aug. 16 at an overnight bivouac they had set up near the colony of Benjamina. Police found two rifles, several sub- mechineguns, four hand grenades and a quantity of ammunition secreted nearby. The accused maintained at the trial that the arms did not belong to them, and defense counsel pointed out that the place where they were found was open to anyone.
Police are still hunting for 208 “illegal immigrants” who escaped from the Athlit internment camp yesterday. The police were reinforced by British troops, an additional 3,000 of which landed in Haifa yesterday.
The secret “Voice of Israel” station, which began broadcasting for the first time on Tuesday evening, last night said that the liberation of the Athlit internees was effected by an armed band of over 1,000. The broadcaster stated the Athlit break and the battle between police and Jews in Tel Aviv, yesterday, marked the beginning of a period of active resistance. “The Jews will no longer tolerate the deportation of their brothers from this country, watever measures and whatever force are used,” he warned.
The newspaper Haboker today charges that while the authorities are devoting all their energy to halting the immigration of Jews, hundreds of Arabs are entering Palestine illegally from neighboring countries, especially Egypt, without hindrance. The paper says that many of them have already found employment in military camps, and have even established a camp of their own near the colony of Ness Ziona. They are earning much more than what they could in Egypt, the immigrants say.
The Syrian border police today were given orders to shoot anyone trying to cross the Palestine-Syrian border, following the arrest of four Jews who were attempting to cross into Palestine from Syria. A Reuter report from Damascus says that the four are in protective custody and are being questioned as to the routes used by immigrants attempting to get across the Palestine frontier from Syria. The Syrian Government today refused transit visas to 105 holders of Palestine visas who are in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, in the midst of all this violence and tension, 25 pioneers from the colony of Near Haoved took possession today of over 1,000 acres of Jewish National Fund land at Yakuk, near Tiberias, and began preparing for the erection of a settlement which will house fifty ex-servicemen and their families.