Jerusalem (May. 10)
Two Jews were sentenced today by a Palestine military court for participation in an unsuccessful attempt to land 240 visaless immigrants at Tel Aviv on the night of March 25-26.
The two were Arieh Klapper, 34, who was sentenced to four years, and I. Shraga, an 18-year-old youth, who received a three-year sentence. Both were charged with possession of two detonators and two small containers of explosives.
Klapper and Shraga were arrested during an attempt by several thousand Jews in and near Tel Aviv to distract the attention of police and military forces while the motorship Orde Wingate attempted to land its human cargo. However, the strategy was unsuccessful, and the Wingate and the Tel Hai, carrying more than 700 refugees were captured. One Jewish woman, Beracha Fuld, was killed during the diversionary attacks. The visaless refugees were eventually released.
In a statement to the court before sentence was passed, Klapper said “All my life I have devoted to work in defense of my brethren, but never have I attempted to attack anybody. On the night when I was arrested refugees were expected to arrive, contrary to existing laws. It was necessary to land and shelter them. All Palestinian Jews are ready to sacrifice their lives to bring their brethren into this country and to defend them. I, like every Jew, was also ready to bear these responsibilities.” Shraga endorsed Klapper’s statement.