Jerusalem (Jun. 16)
Details of an alleged British secret plan to arrest 5,000 prominent Palestine Jews, including members of the Jewish Agency executive and Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv, and to raid all Jewish settlements and colonies in an attempt to disarm the Jewish resistance movement, were broadcast today by the “Voice of Israel,” underground radio of the Haganah.
The broadcast said that the counter-intelligence of the Haganah had succeeded in securing the British plan as well as the “blacklist” of Jewish leaders to be arrested when the plan is put into operation. The plan also provided for widespread searches to be carried out in Jewish sections throughout Palestine.
Among the leaders marked for arrest were David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok, Eliezer Kaplan, Rabbi J. Fischman, and all other members of the Jewish Agency executive; also Dr. Bernard Joseph, legal advisor of the Jewish Agency; Mayor Rokach; Rabbi Emir Berlin, leader of the World Mizrachi Organization; Shlomo Eisenberg, general secretary of the Jewish Agency executive; and a number of other Jewish Agency officials. The plan provided that all seized Jewish leaders be interned in Palestine or deported.
Orders to the military authorities and to the police indicated the exact location of arms stores, and contained instructions on how to approach these caches and the Jewish settlements; how to prevent the inhabitants from putting up resistance; and how to combat resistance by tanks, heavy artillery and planes.
RAIDS WERE SCHEDULED TO START WITHIN FEW DAYS; PLANNED BY GENERALS
The Jews were to be caught unawares, according to the plan which was laid out by four British generals who arrived early last week in Palestine to give final approval to suggestions prepared by the Palestine authorities for “cleaning up” the Jewish resistance movement. The mass-raids on the Jewish settlements were to be started within a few days, according to the Haganah broadcast.
Immediately upon their arrival, the four generals went into session with the senior officers of the military, police and intelligence departments. After studying topographic maps of Palestine, they worked out the final disposition of the troops, including mechanized units, and a time-table for the operation, the broadcast disclosed. The announcer concluded with the warning: “If the British put this plan into action, the Jews will fight to the end. Fire will be answered with fire.”
AUTHORITIES CONCERNED AT DISCOVERY OF CHOIR PLAN; PRECAUTIONS TAKEN
While the Jews throughout Palestine expressed their satisfaction at the discovery of the British plan, the authorities displayed great tension following the Haganah broadcast. Immediately after its conclusion, special precautions were taken–large numbers of tanks and armored cars were dispatch to guard the roads. Simultaneously rigid checks were imposed upon Jewish travelers.
By the end of the day police duties were taken over by troops who checked the identity documents of Jews and searched the luggage of Jewish passengers on trains, buses and automobiles.
While the military authorities were preparing to destroy the Jewish self-defense movement, Arabs were permitted to celebrate freely the arrival of the ex-Mufti in the Middle East. Leaflets were today distributed stating that the ex-Mufti has “arrived safely in Palestine.” A huge demonstration in honor of the ex-Mufti’s escape took place in Jaffa. In other Arab towns the celebration will last three days, with streets and houses decorated with the ex-Mufti’s picture.