Jerusalem (May. 3)
The nation-wide strike of Palestine Arabs in protest against the findings of the Anglo-American Committee passed without serious incident today, although a clash between fanatical students and British police at Damascus Gate in the Old City threatened for a time to precipitate a major outbreak.
During the day, Jamal Husseini, president of the Arab Higher Committee, and Abmad Shukeiri, another leader of the Committee, conferred with High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham. Shukeiri told the High Commissioner that the Arabs felt the inquiry committee’s report was a severs breach of promises made to the Arabs and asserted that the Arabs would defend their rights and have, in fact, already started to organize their defense. He told reporters, after leaving Government House, that his statement to Sir Alan was in the nature of an ultimatum.
Husseini, who was summoned to the High Commissioner’s headquarters later, for an undisclosed reason, this morning addressed a crowd of students at the El Aksa Mosque. He is reported to have urged the demonstrators to remain calm, because the time for violence had not yet arrived. The students who shouted “Down with Britain,” and “Down with America,” carried banners inscribed “Palestine is an Arab State and Must Remain So Forever.”
Although a procession of several thousand Arabs paraded through Jerusalem, as Arab shops and places of entertainment remained closed, the only violence reported was at the Damascus Gate where an angry crowd of more than 2,000 stoned British troops. They were quelled, however, by the arrival of six armored cars and a handful of police and troops who slipped into the Old City and threw a barbed wire barricade across the gate. A warning volley by British tommy gunners emphasized the police order to the demonstrators to disperse. The police carried only shields and clubs.
JEWISH BUSES STONED; FIRE IN JEWISH SETTLEMENT CAUSES HEAVY DAMAGE
Several Jewish buses were stoned in other parts of the country and one Jew was slightly injured in Remlah, but in general the strike was without incident elsewhere in Palestine.
A large fire of mysterious origin, however, broke out last midnight in the Jewish settlement of Kibbutz Ruhama, in the extreme southern part of the country, and Arab sabotage was suspected. The blaze destroyed a tractor and several other pieces of farm machinery. The damage is estimated to exceed $10,000. Four settlers were injured, three of whom required hospitalization.
A report from Damascus said that Arabs in Syria also demonstrated today. In Baghdad, the National Democratic Party published a demand that the Iraq Government break off relations with United States and Britain if they adopted the report. Its statement said the Arab League must submit the Palestine problem to the United Nations Security Council as adoption of the report would threaten the peace of the Middle East and the world.