British Troops Invade Houses, Attack Jews in Aftermath of Tel Aviv Slayings
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British Troops Invade Houses, Attack Jews in Aftermath of Tel Aviv Slayings

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Troops of the Sixth Airborne Division, seven of whose comrades were killed by Jewish terrorists on Thursday, last night attacked the Jewish villages of Nathanya, Beer-Tuvia, and Givat Hayim about 30 miles from Tel Aviv. Many persons were manhandled and windows of houses and shops were shattered and furniture smashed.

The attack at Nathanya began about midnight when soldiers dashed through the streets, smashing shop windows and shouting: “The Germans must come to Palestine.” The clash at Beer-Tuvia began an hour earlier and continued for 40 minutes, during which 40 houses were damaged and two settlers severely injured. The Givat Hayim incident was confined to a small group of soldiers who sped through the town in automobiles throwing empty bottles at passersby, three of whom were injured.

In a statement issued this morning, declaring that the attacks were being investigated, the military authorities said that they “deeply deplore such incidents, especially in face of British troops’ admirable patience and restraint in face of repeated and unprovoked attacks, culminating in the brutal murder of seven of their comrades.”

Tel Aviv remained out of bounds today to all British troops except for reinforcements patrolling the streets, as tension in the city continued high. In an official statement, the municipal council expressed regret at the “outrageous murder” of the seven men, but added that resentment was felt at the announcement by Maj. Gen. A.J.H. Cassels, commander of the Sixth Airborne Division, that the entire population of the city was responsible for Thursday’s terror. It added that it felt that unjust punishment had been visited upon a population which was opposed to criminal acts. The municipality is slated to hold another meeting today to discuss the situation created by the curfew.


Late yesterday, Gen. Cassels summarized Acting Mayor Eliezer Perlson and told him that he was imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the Lydda and Samaria districts, which include Tel Aviv, and was closing all restaurants and places of entertainment in the city after 8 p.m. Gen. Cassals said that he was sure that many residents of the city had known of the plot in advance and that Perlson could, if he wished, furnish information leading to the arrest of those responsible. He added: “My decision to restrict the whole community has been made in order to maintain public security and because I hold the community to blame.”

A hurriedly convoked meeting of the Chief Rabbinate’s Council, presided over by Chief Rabbis Isaac Herzog and Ben Zion Usiel, last night adopted a resolution expressing horror at the “dastardly terror of last Thursday, which resulted in the destruction of young lives” and voiced “heartfelt sympathy for the tragically bereaved families.”

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