JERUSALEM (Feb. 14)
The Haganah today disclosed that it was responsible for the blasting of two British vessels in Haifa harbor yesterday.
A broadcast on the Voice of Israel, secret Haganah radio, said that the boats–a small launch and a landing craft–were mined because they had been used to transship arriving visaless immigrante to deportation vessale. The broadcast added that immigration into Palestine will continue “under all circumstances.”
A Jewish Agency spokesman, com##ting today on the recent clashes between Jewish groups, said that although the situation was “serious,” it was not the ? ginning of internecine warfare. He warned, however, that if the incidents continue, they might develop into civil war.
During the night a Hashomer Hatzair club at Kfar Ata, a few miles from Haifa, was set afire by unknown arsonists. It was the third Hashomer Hatzair clubhouse to be attacked in the last week or two. There is considerable mystery surrounding the attacks, since the Irgun, which was believed responsible, has denied its members were involved.
GEN. BARKER CONFIRMS DEATH SENTENCES OF THREE IRGUNISTS
Lieut. Gen. Sir Evalyn Barker, who relinquished command of British troops here on Wednesday, before his departure confirmed the death sentences imposed on three. Irgunists, it was announced today. The three, and a fourth youth sentenced to life imprisonment, were captured in a taxi which tried to run a road block on Dec. 29 several hours after a British officer and three sergoants had been flogged. Chief Rabbis Isaac Herzog and Ben Zion Uziel today appealed to Gen. Gordon H.A. MacMillan, Barker’s successor, to reprieve the doomed men.
It is reported that just before leaving, Barker demanded the files on the three Irgunists and confirmed the sentences without waiting for the opinion of his legal adviser, which is the usual procedure. His action is still not known in the Jewish community, since it was announced on the eve of the Sabbath after the afternoon papers had gone to press. There will be no Jewish newspapers published here until tomorrow night.
At the same time that he acted on the Irgun cases, Barker confirmed sentences imposed on five Arabs charged with similar offenses – illegal possession of arms. However, the Arabs’ sentences ranged from three-months to one-year imprisonment.
Mrs. Helen Friedman, sister of Dov Gruner, who arrived here from New York yesterday, visited her brother this morning in his death cell in Jerusalem Central Prison. She spoke to him through a steel screen under the surveillance of guards. Later, Mrs. Friedman saw U.S. Consul-General Lowell C. Pinkerton, and thanked him for his efforts on behalf of Gruner.