Jerusalem (Jul. 12)
Rabbi Judah Leib Fishman, 73-year-old Mizrachi leader, was released from Latrun prison today, thirteen days after he was brought here by British troops who arrested him at his home on Saturday, June 29. An official communique said that High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham ordered Rabbi Fishman’s release “acting purely on medical advice.”
Rabbi Fishman’s release came after examining physicians were told by his associates that he planned to start another hunger strike on Sunday and that they would join. When the order for his release came the prisoners staged a spontaneous farewell demonstration.
Dr. Chaim Weizmann today appealed to the British Government and the Palestine Administration to release the other leaders of the Jewish Agency to enable them to participate in the meeting of the Agency scheduled to be held in Paris within the next fortnight. A reply from London is expected tomorrow.
It is understood here that the Palestine Government is prepared to release several of the detained leaders, if they will agree to promise that they will undertake no political activity. One report said that several of them have been approached with this offer, but rejected it.
(A Reuter report from Jerusalem today said that “informed Jewish quarters” believed that the release of the arrested members of the Jewish Agency was imminent. The Palestine Government, Reuter said, is reported to be in contact with the British Colonial Office regarding instructions for the date of their release.)
A report that the military authorities are planning to launch extensive searches in Tel Aviv and the vicinity tomorrow has aroused tremendous excitement here and provoked all sorts of wild rumors. Dr. Weizmann is reported to have warned the authorities that such a move would have grave consequences.
Jewish leaders conferred today over the wording of the High Commissioner’s announcement yesterday that “searches of Jewish settlements” have ended. They are concerned over the fact that the announcement did not refer to halting of all troop movements.
The 1,000 visaless immigrants who had been quarantined aboard three vessels in Haifa harbor for eleven days were landed today. They called off a hunger strike yesterday after the authorities promised that they would be allowed to disembark today.