Haifa (Jul. 4)
The Haganah radio, “Voice of Israel,” said today that Yagour, which has been partially destroyed by troops searching for arms, has become another “Lidice.” “The government will have to ruin all the Jewish settlements, as it has ruined Yagour, if it intends to find arms,” the broadcast continued, “but our reply will come.”
A JTA correspondent who has just visited Yagour, today wrote the following description of what he saw there:
“What was several days ago one of the biggest kibbutzim (collective settlement) in Palestine, peaceful and flourishing, is today the biggest center of military operations in the Middle East. Nothing has been spared, even the kindergarten rooms, on the walls of which hang children’s drawings.
“Lt. Col. West, who is in charge of the operations at Yagour, praised his soldiers’ restraint, telling correspondents: ‘Not a single shot was fired, gentlemen. Not a single shot.’ He failed, however, to tell how one settler was dragged to a truck by six soldiers, while a seventh pricked him with a bayonet. Nor how a woman was pulled from a truck by her hair. Nor how the colony’s doctor and a 92-year-old resident were arrested.
“After the arms that had been found were exhibited and photographed by news cameramen, we were shown around the remainder of the settlement. We were happy to note that the entire settlement had not been demolished: the dining room was not blown up, only severely damaged with the windows smashed and the floor broken through in seven different places; pneumatic drills have been used to rip into all cupboards and walls of houses, and even children’s rooms have been ransacked.
“The soldiers’ restraint, of which Col. West boasted, apparently did not extend to looting. Many valuable possessions and mementos were stolen. During the press conference girls of the settlement brought us some of their dresses which they had recovered from the soldiers’ quarters while they were absent. They told us that the previous night the troops had entertained themselves at a party at which many of them were dressed in the stolen feminine apparel.”