Jerusalem (Apr. 26)
Seventy-one Jews were arrested and detained for questioning today following last night’s attack on a police station and a military parking space on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa boundary line in which seven British soldiers and one constable were killed, and nearly 20 Jews wounded, several of them seriously.
The curfew which was clamped down on the area immediately after the attack was lifted early today, following house-to-house searches in the vicinity. More than 1,500 people were questioned, of whom 150 were taken for further interrogation. Later 79 of these were released.
Jewish leaders, led by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, and the Hebrew press, strongly condemned the violence. Following statements by the executive committee of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council scoring the perpetrators of the attack, Dr. Weizmann issued a statement expressing his “abhorrence” at a crime “which could only discredit anyone connected with it.” He said that he was certain that all Palestine Jews condemned such crimes and expressed sympathy to the families of the dead soldiers.
At the same time, the Palestine Government Information Office told correspondents that the High Commissioner was shocked by the attack, which he charged was not justified by considerations of any character-military or otherwise-since the car park was not a military objective.
The three-hour attack opened with the explosion of an anti-personnel grenade in the parking area adjoining the police station, according to this morning’s official communique. The attackers followed up with small arms and machine gun fire and, undercover of the fire, rushed and captured a guard tent in the parking area. A quantity of arms were removed from the tent and from military vehicles.
Military reinforcements were rushed to the vicinity and established a cordon. They were hampered, however, because the terrorists had mined all approaches and roads to the police station and the parking lot. The police and troops were assisted in their house-to-house search by planes which circled over the area dropping flares. Despite all precautions, however, the attackers escaped through the British lines. Witnesses told of seeing small armed groups withdrawing under cover of darkness.