Jerusalem (Aug. 5)
A spokesman for the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Resistance Movement’s radio, “Voice of Israel,” today warned the Palestine authorities that the entire Jewish community would resist any attempts to turn back the 1,500 visaless refugees who still remain on five ships in Haifa harbor.
David Horowitz, a member of the temporary Jewish Agency executive, told a press conference that “prolongation of the refugees’ sufferings would wreck any hopes of a reconciliation between the Jews and the British,” while the secret radio threatened “country-wide action.”
With the disembarkation of 800 persons today, mostly women and children, the 1,500 remaining aboard the ships are able-bodied males. Horowitz charged that sanitary conditions aboard the vessels made the release of the remaining passengers imperative.
The Voice of Israel warned today that British troop reinforcements are now being centered in the Haifa area, apparently in anticipation of possible disturbances if the refugees are not released soon.
Tension is growing here also because of reports that the British plan large-scale raids, such as those just completed in Tel Aviv, in other cities, particularly Jerusalem. The Irgun radio, “Voice of Fighting Zion,” said last night that the next British curfew would be defied and that if the authorities attempted to enforce the curfew by arms, there would be many casualties on both sides.
Seventeen of the 3,000 persons who were arrested in the June 29 raids were released today from Latrun prison. About half of the 3,000 are estimated to have been freed in the past few weeks, but additional hundreds arrested in Tel Aviv last week have been sent to Latrun and Raffa.
The 2,070 prisoners held at Raffa are threatening to launch a hunger strike in protest against the slow process of interrogation and screening, which is holding up their release, and the fact that the authorities have cut off all contact with the Jewish community. The Histadruth welfare officers have been barred from the camp.