Jerusalem (Dec. 21)
Fifty-five Jews were deported yesterday from Palestine to Eritrea “in the interest of public security,” the Palestine Government announced today. The deportees will be held in a concentration camp.
The group was taken from the detention camp at Latrun, half way between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, and transported to Eritrea by military planes. Other Jewish political prisoners at the latrun camp have proclaimed a hunger strike in protest against the deportation of their comrades.
The deportations came as a shock to the Jews of Palestine, particularly in view of the fact that only a day before the high court here had issued a verdict declaring it unlawful to deport Palestine citizens for detention abroad. Jewish lawyers connected with the case said that they intend to present the matter to the Privy Council in London.
The announcement issued by the Government stated that the Jews were deported “in connection with terrorism.” It did not indicate whether among the deportees were Jews who were arrested during the recent clashes between Jewish settlers and British troops in the Sharon district, when settlements were invaded in search of “noncertificated” Jewish immigrants. The Government communique reads:
“In the interest of public security, fifty-five persons who had been detained under the Emergency Defence Regulations in connection with terrorism, were transferred yesterday to military custody and removed to a detention place in Eritrea. Twenty-one persons who were among detainees in Eritrea have now been returned to Palestine.”