4,000 British Troops Invade Tiny Jewish Fishing Village; Detain 200 Men, Women
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4,000 British Troops Invade Tiny Jewish Fishing Village; Detain 200 Men, Women

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Four thousand troops of the British Second Infantry Brigade early this morning descended upon the tiny Jewish fishing village of Sdoth Yam, 35 miles from Haifa, and rounded up some 200 villagers in a hunt for the three men who last week attached magnetic mines to the hull of the Empire Heywood while it lay anchored in Haifa harbor and severely damaged the Cyprus deportation ship.

The troops and police cordoned off the entire Caesarea coastal area which they believe was the base for the swimming saboteurs and the point at which the 200 visaless immigrants landed last week after penetrating the British land-sea-air blockade of Palestine. No evidence was found, but the search is expected to continue tomorrow.

The 4,000 troops were supported by three Sherman heavy tanks and a number of armored cars. In the air reconnaissance planes circled above the village, while police launches patrolled the waterfront to prevent any of the Jews from escaping. On the beaches squads erected machine gun nests, while soldiers and police searched the village and herded its inhabitants into barbed-wire detention pens.


Engineer troops conducted a house-to-house search for mines similar to the ones which blew a hole in the Empire Heywood. They were assisted by a dozen “metal smelling” dogs, which are said to be able to detect metal. which has been buried beneath the soil or hidden in walls. This is the first time such dogs, which were trained in Germany, have been used in Palestine.

When the British forces occupied the town, the local mayor made a formal protest, but no further opposition was offered. When the young men and women were questioned in the wire cages on the sand dunes outside the village, they identified themselves readily.

Brigadier T…I. Anderson, who commanded the operations at Sdoth Yam, told newsmen who accompanied the expedition that the village has long been a center of operations for “illegal” immigration. The village was raided once before on June 30, during the country-wide searches for arms and underground forces.

A report from Cyprus today said that Jewish immigrants may be intercepted at sea and brought direct to the Cyprus camps instead of being taken first to Haifa. this step may be taken in order to avoid possible sabotage of British ships in Haifa harbor.

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