Menu JTA Search

High Commissioner Summons Jewish Agency Leaders; Asks Them to Check Terrorists

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Shertok, the principal leaders of the Jewish Agency executive, were summoned today to the headquarters of High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham and asked to appeal to the Jews of Palestine to end the terrorism which resulted in the death of twelve persons and the injury of many others during the bombing of police headquarters last night in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa.

The Agency leaders are reported to have declined to comply with the High Commissioner’s request, stating that the organized Jewish community of Palestine had no hand in the outbreaks of last night and is not responsible for the Irgun Zvai Loumi, the clandestine extremist group to whom the attacks are attributed.

Disassociating themselves from the sabotage of last night, the Agency leaders expressed their abhorrence at the loss of life. At the some time, they reportedly added that they found, to their regret, that their capacity for cooperation in combatting these excesses has been rendered futile by the present policy of the British Government with regard to Palestine.

SHERTOK HELD UNDER ARREST ALL NIGHT FOR BREAKING CURFEW

Ben-Gurion was summoned from his home in Tel Aviv this morning and brought to Jerusalem in a special car sent by the High Commissioner. Shertok, who proceeded from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem about midnight, was detained when entering Jerusalem on the charge of breaking the curfew. Together with other officials of the Jewish Agency who were detained with him, he was kept in custody all night, and released at dawn. However, he refused to leave unless those who had traveled in his car were also released.

The police officer rejected this demand, and Shertok remained under arrest until ten o’clock this morning, when his co-travelers, who included Eliezer Dobkin, head of the immigration department of the Jewish Agency, Joseph Gurion, head of the Agency’s war veterans’ department, and Yehudi Gollan, legal adviser of the Jewish Agency, were released.

INTENSIVE HOUSE-TO-HOUSE SEARCHES IN JERUSALEM; TELEPHONES SUSPENDED

Intensive house-to-house searches were going on all day today in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv where a curfew has been imposed until further notice. It is hoped that the curfew may be relaxed for a few hours tomorrow. In the meantime, unprecedented military measures have been taken, including the suspension of telephone services. Traffic between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv was also suspended.

With the complete stoppage of all but the most essential services, and with no newspapers being distributed, the entire country is now dependent on radio broad casts for their information. The forced degregation is only adding to the anxiety prevailing among the population.

ATTACK CARRIED OUT BY JEWS IN BRITISH UNIFORMS

British reinforcements in full battle equipment, composed chiefly of the Sixth Airborne Division, took over the curfew zone in the Jewish area of Jerusalem, which was held during the night by other military units, and in curfew-bound Tel Aviv. while Palestine policemen on traffic duty were protected by paratroops with tommy-guns,

An official communique disclosed that 50 steel-helmeted Jews, wearing British battledress, carried out last night’s attack on a British arms store at Tel Aviv. The communique said that at least 12 persons, including four Britons, were killed in the street battles in the three cities during the night. Twelve others were injured.

The Jewish section of Jerusalem showed no sign of life today. The number of arrests was believed large, but many were for curfew offenses only. No further incidents were reported today from any part of the country.

A Jewish Agency spokesman told press representatives that the attack on the police headquarters at Jerusalem was clearly not the work of the Haganah, the Jewish self-defense organization. He said that the attack followed the customary pattern of the extremist “Irgun Zvai Leumi,” which concentrates on attacking police stations.

The Agency building was surrounded today by troops, although none entered. The work of the Agency and of the Jewish National Council, whose offices are in the same building, continued without interruption.

NEXT STORY