Jerusalem (Dec. 1)
The Palestine police announced today that 52 persons are under arrest following a five-hour gun battle in the heart of Jerusalem last night between Jewish extremists and British troops and police.
Despite the fierceness of last night’s attack, which was aimed at the fortified area in the center of the city containing the government offices, there were only five casualties and no deaths. Aliza Goldberg, 21, and a four-year-old girl, whose last name was given as Reiner, were slightly wounded by stray bullets and a young Jew, who as being held as a suspect, was injured by a bomb splinter. Two British constables were hospitalized, suffering from blast shock.
The violence, which was believed precipitated by the deportation to Cyprus of ##,000 refugees, was not unanticipated since both the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern group had warned that they would retaliate if the visaless immigrants were deported. The tense situation resulting from the deportations was the subject of a conversation today between High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham and Isaac Ben Zvi, president of the Jewish National Council.
The curfew which was clamped down on the Jewish sections of Jerusalem immediately after the outbreaks began was lifted early this morning. During the curfew period vigorous house-to-house searches were made in the Jewish headquarters and hundreds of persons were detained for screening. No persons were allowed in the streets, and even newspapermen’s curfew passes were not honored.
Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, who has been touring military installations and conferring with top security chiefs, witnessed the battle. He had just arrived from the Sarafand army camp, where he addressed several hundred British officers on the role of Palestine in British military strategy in the Middle East. His address is so secret that Jewish and Arab civilian employees were barred from the camp for free days prior to the meeting. Montgomery left here early today for Beirut, en route to Athens.
According to informed observers, last night’s attack, which was launched by about 100 extremists, was planned with great thoroughness, but was thwarted by the rapid arrival of heavy troop reinforcements, which were not delayed by diversionary attacks in other parts of the city and landmines placed in the roads.