Jerusalem (Jun. 17)
Palestine police, British troops and unite of the Transjordan Arab Legion were engaged today in a country-wide hunt for members of the Jewish underground who last night blasted ten bridges in a 100-mile area near the Transjordan-Palestine border. More than 1,000 Jews participated in the attacks.
Assisted by aircraft and bloodhounds, the searchers are concentrating in the Dead Sea area. This morning troops surrounded Beth Haarava on the northern shores of the Dead Sea, and arrested seventy Jewish settlers after a clash with the colony’s residents and workers from a nearby mineral plant. Three of the colonists were injured.
Other troops, meanwhile, were searching for the Arabs who yesterday attacked the occupants of a British army truck which ran into a group of Arabs in Gaza. One British soldier was killed on the spot, another died in a hospital this morning and a third was seriously injured. Several Arabs were also injured.
The events of last night, according to an official communique issued this morning, occurred as follows:
At 11 p.m. a police guard post near a railway bridge at Azzib, near Haifa, was attacked by armed Jews dressed in military uniforms, while another group blasted the span. The body of one Jew and parts of the body of another were found on the scene of the explosion.
PALESTINE CUT OFF FROM NEIGHBORS AS RAIL SERVICE HALTS
About the same time a police post on the Allenby Bridge over the Jordan was attacked by a party of 20 Jews, using automatics and bombs. After a gun-battle lasting about a half-hour, the attackers succeeded in blowing up the Allenby Bridge close to the Palestine side. The force of the explosion caused the collapse of a frontier control station, slightly injuring an Arab woman and boy. Later a group of Bedouins were attacked by several armed Jews near the bridge.
Shortly afterwards, the road bridge at Metullah, on the Palestine-Lebanon frontier, was blasted and a railway bridge on the Haifa-Beirut line was blown up. A railway and road bridge at Gaza were also attacked. The railroad span was not badly damaged, but the road bridge was impassable today.
The explosions which destroyed the other bridges occurred about the same time. During the night, there were several clashes between Jews and police troops unite. An Arab Legion camp near Safed was also attacked. The number of dead and wounded in the night’s encounters is not yet known, but it is reported to be small.
This morning Palestine was still cut off from its neighboring countries except for air traffic as communication crews labored to repair the damaged bridges. All rail service was halted.