Searches of Colonies Ended, Says High Commissioner; More Than 2,000 Still Held

Searches of Jewish settlements have ended and British troops have been withdrawn to their normal positions, High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham announced tonight.

“It is hoped there will be no further need for widespread military action, but it must be stated that if regrettably there are any further outbreaks of violence they will be dealt with the utmost vigor,” Cunningham added.

An official announcement tonight said that 645 of the nearly 3,000 persons arrested since June 29 have been released, leaving well over 2,000 still in custody.

There was no explanation today of the false report, which spread throughout Jerusalem last night, that the leaders of the Jewish Agency have been released from Latrun detention camp. A usually reliable source said that the government would be willing to release the members of the Agency executive, if the latter would issue a denunciation of terrorism and give assurances that it would not recur. The Agency heads are obviously not in a position to give such assurances, this source pointed out.

The High Commissioner today ordered the release of five Jews and 39 Arabs convicted over the last few years for illegal possession of arms. Among the Jews was Leib Sirkin, a union official, who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Sept., 1943 in a trial which last six weeks and aroused world-wide interest, because of charges by the prosecution that the Jewish Agency and the Haganah were implicated in the illegal arms traffic. The Agency issued a formal protest at the time. The names of the other released Jews was not immediately available.

1,000 VISALESS IMMIGRANTS END HUNGER STRIKE WHEN PROMISED ADMITTANCE

About 1,000 visaless Jews who entered Haifa aboard the Birya ten days ago went on hunger strike this morning to protest their detention aboard three vessels in the harbor. They ended the strike only when they were promised that they would be allowed to disembark tomorrow morning.

The Haganah radio “Voice of Israel” today announced that one of the two Czech Jews kidnapped by resistance forces on suspicion that they had turned informer and led the British to arms caches at the colony of Yagour, has been found not guilty by the secret “Jewish Peoples Higher Court.” The broadcast said that Otto Fround was acquitted, while Benjamin Papaneck “was given the benefit of the doubt,” but was being expelled from Palestine.

The Irgun radio, “Voice of Fighting Zion,” last night criticized Dr. Chaim Weizmann for his address on Tuesday. It charged him with appealing to “a non-existent British conscience,” and called on the “Jewish old guard” to surrender leadership to younger men.

In Tel Aviv the Jewish Journalists Association adopted a resolution protesting the imposition of censorship in Palestine and appealed to the International Journalists Association to help the Jewish newsmen in their fight for the “free word.”

The group condemned the arrest and imprisonment for one year of Hilda Dulitzkaia, 60-year-old singer, who was convicted of singing songs on contemporary topics whose contents were objectionable to the Palestine administration.

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