2,700 Visaless Immigrants Arrive in Palestine on “s.s. Haganah”; Taken to Athlit
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2,700 Visaless Immigrants Arrive in Palestine on “s.s. Haganah”; Taken to Athlit

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Nearly 2,700 visaless immigrants, the largest number of “illegal” immigrants ever to arrive in Palestine in one group, landed today at Haifa from the S.S. Haganah which was towed into the harbor this morning after it broke down about 90 miles off the Palestinian coast. The refugees were immediately transferred to the Athlit clearance camp.

The immigrants arrived off Palestine in two vessels but before they entered Palestine waters, 1,678 men, women and children were transferred from the second vessel to the Haganah, a 600-ton ship, which was already loaded down with 1,000 passengers.

The perilous transfer in mid-ocean was apparently accomplished without injury to any of the refugees, but when fully loaded the Haganah threatened to capsize and an “S.O.S.” signal was radioed to British naval headquarters. As intercepting British destroyers approached the scene, the second vessel turned and sped off.

The passengers, who included about 150 pregnant women and one infant boy born several hours before the British destroyers picked up the Haganah, came from all parts of Europe, with the largest groups from Poland and Rumania. The majority of the latter group were former deportees from Transnistria. The bulk of the arrivals are young men and women with approximately 100 children between the ages of one and ten. The Jews are believed to have embarked at a Mediterranean port and were en route seven days.

An unconfirmed report today said that another ship bearing 700 refugees was approaching Palestine and was expected to dock this evening.


One British soldier, Corporal L. Cranwell, was shot and killed last night and another soldier wounded on the Jerusalem-Bethlehem road in the first outbreak of violence within recent months attributed by the authorities to Arabs. It was reported today that police have arrested an Arab suspect.

It was also reported here that police have uncovered an underground workshop in Tel Aviv where it is believed the landmines used in blasting the King David Hotel last Monday were constructed. A number of arrests have been made.

Jewish shopkeepers in Jerusalem have defied a government order to vacate their premises on Jaffa Street, near several strategic government offices, because the directive which was effective this afternoon, did not allow them sufficient time to move their stocks to new quarters. The government maintained that it was taking over the 30 Jewish stores as a step “necessary for maintaining services essential to the life of the community.

Headed by Rabbi Yehuda L. Fishman, acting chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, a delegation of members of the Agency executive flew from Palestine today to Paris to attend the meeting of the Agency executive and world Zionist leaders which will be held there next week. The other two members of the delegation are Dr. Emil Schmorak and Eliahu Dobkin.

Additional information obtained today disclosed that the 2,400 members of the Alnajada, the Arab boy scouts, last Friday took an oath of allegiance to their “absent leader,” the ex-Mufti, following an address by his cousin, Jamal Husseini, chairman of the Arab Higher. Committee, calling on all Arab youth to join the “Arab army.”

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