Passover in Palestine Marred by Strikes; Govt. Expected to Yield to Hunger Strikers
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Passover in Palestine Marred by Strikes; Govt. Expected to Yield to Hunger Strikers

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The Jews of Palestine will sit down to their seders tonight amid tension caused by the fourth day of a hunger strike by 15 Jewish leaders and by a wave of strikes of civil service workers which has tied up the postal, telephone, telegraph and radio services and which spread today to the government-operated railways.

The 15 Jewish leaders, who are determined to continue their hunger strike until the more than 1,000 Jewish refugees detained at La Spezia are permitted to proceed to Palestine, were reported today by physicians to be showing slight signs of fatigue. However, their general condition is satisfactory.

Palestine Jewry is awaiting impatiently an expected decision by the Government to grant 1,500 immigration certificates to the Jewish Agency with which the La Spezia refugees could enter the country legally. Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal advisor of the Agency, met today with John V. W. Shaw, Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government, and a meeting of the Government’s Advisory Council was held to discuss the hunger strike.


This morning civil service workers in the Haifa district and civilian employees of Jerusalem police headquarters also struck. Late last night the 2,500 postal employees, whose walkout precipitated the strike wave, rejected a compromise proposal drawn up by their representatives and government officials. On Saturday, the postal workers rejected a proposal that the dispute be submitted to the Colonial Office for settlement.

The Palestine public, both Jewish and Arab, although inconvenienced by disruption of postal and telegraph service, views the strikers demands with sympathy. One of the demands made by the workers is a revision of the basis pay rates for higher grades of postal employees, whose present maximum is $60 per month, after a period of 20 years service.

One of the casualties of the strike has been the Passover messages which traditionally are received and go out from Palestine in the pre-holiday and holiday period.

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