Jerusalem (Aug. 19)
As British troops swarmed through the central section of Jerusalem today, halting persons in the streets for spot identity checks and setting up machine-gun posts and barbed wire entanglements, the executive committees of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council met here to map final plans for non-cooperation with the government.
Authoritative spokesmen stressed that non-cooperation is aimed exclusively at protesting the deportations to Cyprus of visaless Jews. If the government should halt the deportations and return those who have already been sent to Cyprus, Jewish leaders would agree to call off the non-cooperation campaign and meet with the government for general discussions on the entire Palestine situation, they said.
A Jewish Agency spokesman, meanwhile, told a press conference that the death sentences imposed on 18 Jewish youths last Friday is likely to produce the “gravest results” in the Jewish community. He pointed out that the doomed men had not killed any British soldiers or police in their raid on the Haifa railroad yards. Asserting that such severe sentences would not be possible under any other ostensibly democratic regime, he said that the impression was growing that the authorities wished to provoke a conflict.
TROOPS OF TRANSJORDAN LEGION STATIONED IN JERUSALEM
In an operation which began at dawn and was continuing as night fell, troops and police, reinforced by units of the Transjordan Arab Legion, fortified the so-called “government” section of Jerusalem until it resembled a wartime fortress. Traffic was disrupted on numerous occasions by troops hunting for arms or searching passers-by. The searches were not confined to the center of the city, but took place in all quarters, with the assistance of armored cars and Bren gun carriers.
In a continuing war of nerves, resistance forces caused the evacuation of the post office four times today by telephoning false reports that the building was to be blown up. The post office has been evacuated at least eight times in the last few days. Each time, troops and police searched the structure before allowing employees and patrons to re-enter. Other government buildings here as well as the large military base at Sarafend have also been receiving similar calls, resulting in a partial disruption of their activities.
A British military court here today began trying Lt. Benjamin Woodworth, who is charged with killing Abraham Rosenberg, 31, in Tel Aviv on June 19 in revenge for the kidnapping of several British officers. Woodworth answered affirmatively when asked by his counsel whether it was not true that the entire population of Tel Aviv were potential accomplices of terrorists.
He pleaded self-defense, but his claim was challenged by the prosecution which presented medical testimony that Rosenberg was shot in the back at a distance of at least two yards.
NEW REFUGEE VESSEL REPORTED NEARING PALESTINE SHORES
An unconfirmed report reaching here tonight said that another refugee ship carrying visaless Jews was approaching Haifa. There was no information available concerning the numbers of passengers it is carrying or its port of origin.
The Arab newspaper Falastin today charged that Jews were being smuggled into Palestine across the Syrian border for $80 a head. It said that an investigation had disclosed that the headquarters of the smuggling ring was in Damascus. It added that the Jews were first brought into Transjordan and from there crossed into Palestine.