Jerusalem (Aug. 4)
Far-reaching decisions of a military and administrative nature were arrived at here during a ten-day visit by a high official mission from London consisting of officials of the Foreign Office and high-ranking army, navy and air force officers, it was learned today.
The mission arrived here shortly after the bombing of the King David Hotel and returned to London during the week-end. Great secrecy surrounded its comings and goings as well as its meetings with High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham. Present at these meetings were Chief Secretary Sir John Shaw, Sir Evelyn Barker, British commander in Palestine, and the chiefs of police and the Criminal Investigation Department.
The conferences are believed to be connected with recent decisions to prepare Jerusalem and other large cities against possible extended terrorist attacks or even an armed uprising. The requisition last week of several key buildings in Jerusalem is believed to be the first step in setting up “defense areas” in which the government could continue to function under any condition.
One of the chief reasons for the present concern and apprehension in official circles is the arrival in the past week of several thousand visaless immigrants and the reports that thousands of others are en route. One reliable source estimated that 17,000 Jews have sailed for Palestine since June 29.
The decision as to whether these immigrants are to be admitted is up to London, but it is understood that the Palestine Government has recommended the admittance of only women over 50 years of age, children under ten and persons who are seriously ill.
HALT DISEMBARKATION OF “ILLEGALS”; RUMORED REFUGEE SHIP TAKEN TO CYPRUS
Disembarkation of women and children from the vessels Haganah and Hayal Haivri, which began Friday, was suddenly halted today without any explanation.
Jewish circles here are considerably concerned over the fate of the Yagour, Raffiah and four other unidentified vessels, which were reported nearing Palestine several days ago and should have arrived here by now. An unconfirmed rumor which spread throughout Jerusalem tonight said that British naval units have apprehended at least one refugee vessel on the high seas and have taken it into Cyprus, where the passengers were disembarked and placed in an internment camp which has been set up to house refugees turned away from Palestine.
The editor of the Palestine Post was summoned to the offices of Acting Chief Secretary Scott yesterday and informed that a recent editorial criticizing the re- quisitioning of Jewish shops, offices and homes was regarded by the government with disfavor.
The concentration of government offices in a central “defense area” is continuing. The Jerusalem municipality was instructed today to move to the former post office building, while certain of the departments of the new postal building have been moved to the Sansour Building, which, incidentally, houses the offices of the JTA.
The “Voice of Israel,” the Jewish Resistance Movement’s secret radio, returned to the air yesterday after a four-day silence which coincided with the British military occupation of Tel Aviv. The radio, which broadcast on three different wave lengths to avoid jamming by the government radio, called upon the Jewish community of Palestine to maintain the strictest discipline in the future.
It was announced today that 22 suspected terrorists among the 724 persons who are being interrogated following the Tel Aviv raids have been transferred by air to the British internment camp in Eritrea.
The Tel Aviv municipality’s special committee assigned to check damages caused during the raids said that it has already registered 300 cases, in which the total damage involved is estimated at $600,000. The management of the Labor Sick Fund has sent a letter to Maj. Gen. Cassel, who directed the Tel Aviv searches, protesting that troops broke into a store of medicaments belonging to the Fund, despite the fact that the name of the manager and the information that keys could be obtained from him, were clearly posted.
The Journalists Association in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem today protested the beating of Asrield Schwartz, an assistant editor of the daily newspaper Mishmar, who was assaulted by troops when he objected to the looting of a jewelry shop by soldiers. The editors of the Hebrew press have complained to the Chief Secretary against the silencing of the entire Hebrew press during the raids and the military’s failure to recognize the press credentials of resident correspondents.