Court to Rule Today on Whether “knesseth Israel” Refugees Can Remain in Palestine
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Court to Rule Today on Whether “knesseth Israel” Refugees Can Remain in Palestine

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The Palestine Supreme Court will rule tomorrow morning on whether the 3,854 visaless Jews who arrived in Haifa on Tuesday aboard the Knesseth Israel are to be deported to Cyprus or allowed to remain in the country, it was announced today.

Meanwhile, residents of Tel Aviv could see three small vessels accompanied by destroyers anchored outside territorial waters. Port authorities believe that they are refugee ships and are being prevented from approaching the shore by the destroyers.

High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham, receiving a delegation of the Jewish National Council which appealed to him to detain the arrivals in Palestine instead of deporting them to Cyprus, said that he could not comment on their request until the court proceedings had terminated, but that he was studying the possibility of making available accommodations in Palestine camps for some of the persons now held in Cyprus. The Raffa and Athlit camps here will be empty within a few weeks.

The Agudas Israel executive in London also cabled the High Commissioner urging that the Knesseth Israel passengers not be deported and at the same time suggested to the Jewish Agency that it propose to Sir Alan that certificates available under future immigration schedules be reserved for them. The Agudah said that it was prepared to allocate the certificates which would normally be made available to it for that purpose, if the Agency would agree to do likewise with its portion of the visas which constitutes the largest section of those available each month.


A 24-year-old girl, Shoshana Beilin, jumped overboard this morning from one of three deportation vessels to which the refugees were transferred on Tuesday. She was captured by a coast guard vessel and taken to a hospital in Haifa. The deportation ships are steaming up and down the coast waiting the court’s verdict.

Fifty-seven of the refugees who were brought ashore because they were ill are now confined in a hospital at Haifa or at the infirmary of the Athlit clearance camp. Those in the hospital are, in addition to 11 new-born babies, Mendel Muntianu, 18, from Rumania; Meir Gottlieb, 20, and Mendel Zussman, 29, from Hungary; Abraham Fried, 38, from Czechoslovakia; Jetty Finkelstein, 32, Frieda Petrover, 25, and Lotte Manger, 30, all from Rumania who are in the maternity ward. Also in that ward are Nova Fried, 24, wife of Abraham, Irene Weiss, 22, and Magdona Weiss, 24, both of Hungary. It is understood that several of the women have already given birth. One unidentified immigrant died in the hospital yesterday.

The two immigrants who were killed during the nine-hour battle aboard the Knesseth Israel on Tuesday were buried yesterday amid great secrecy. Only police officials and Jewish grave-diggers were present. One of the dead was identified as Eizik Rosen baum, 17, the son of a rabbi in Seret, Bukovina, but the other remained unidentified. He was interred under the name of Abraham ben Abraham. All work stopped in Haifa when the population learned of the burials and tens of thousands of persons marched to the cemetery to pay their respects to the victims.

Jewish extremists yesterday flooded Jerusalem with leaflets warning that terrorism will be resumed if the immigrants are deported to Cyprus. A Jewish Agency spokesman commenting on the events, said that they jeopardize the prospects of Jewish participation in the conference on Palestine which is to be resumed next month in London. If the immigrants are deported to Cyprus, it will certainly not help to combat terrorism in Palestine, he pointed out.

The Histadruth, Palestine Federation of Labor, today cabled an appeal to British Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones asking him to intervene on behalf of the 4,000 Jewish immigrants so that they may land in Palestine. A similar cable was sent by the Histadruth to William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, and to Philip Murray, C.I.O. president.

The Roman Catholic communities of Jerusalem and Haifa were called on today to hold mass meetings to protest the “desecration of Mount Carmel” by Jews who allegedly built bonfires on the peak of the mountain on Monday night to welcome the Knesseth Israel. It is understood that a protest to the Pope is being considered.

(Several hundred youths attending the Youth Conference for Labor Palestine demonstrated today outside the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin is staying, to protest against the forced transfer of the Knesseth Israel refugees to deportation vessels.)

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