American Crew of Refugee Ship to Be Tried Today: 597 Passengers Deported to Cyprus
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American Crew of Refugee Ship to Be Tried Today: 597 Passengers Deported to Cyprus

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Eighteen American crew members of the immigrant ship Ben Hecht are to be arraigned in Magistrates Court in Haifa tomorrow on charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration, while 597 of the vessel’s passengers were tonight en route to Cyprus aboard two British deportation ships. Two U.S. newspapermen who travailed on the Ben Hecht may be charged with illegal entry.

The ship, also known as the Abril, was captured last night a few hours before terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Jaffa precipitated violent battles between troops and Jewish extremists in the areas under martial law. According to the latest casualty figures, four Jews, one British soldier and one policeman were killed last night and 15 Jews injured, three of them seriously. One of the dead was an 18-year-old girl, Shoshana Rachimoff, who was struck by a bullet while walking in the street in Tel Aviv. This afternoon, Esther Tashua, 18, and Yechiel Bopani were seriously wounded by a patrol which fired on a crowd in Tel Aviv.

Hassia Mizrachi, 45, a Jewish policewoman attached to the police station at Rehovoth, was killed last night by four masked men. It is believed that she was working for the British Intelligence and had been responsible for the capture of several terrorist suspects. Previously four attempts on her life had been made.


Meanwhile, the Jewish Agency meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning has been postponed until Wednesday because Dr. Abba Hillel Silver and other members have not yet arrived here. When the Agency members who flew here by special plane from New York arrived at 2 a.m. this morning, they were barred from leaving the aerodrome until daylight. Goldie Meirson, chief of the Agency’s political department here, who went to Lydda Airport to greet them, was not allowed to see them. The arrivals included Moshe Shertok, Dr. Moshe Sneh, Mrs. Rose Halperin, Daniel Frisch, Mrs. Herman Shulman and Joseph Schechtman.

The Haganah radio, Voice of Israel, commenting tonight on the week of martial law said that it has proved “the complete bankruptcy of the Palestine police and troops, who have not succeeded in crushing terrorism.” It added that “only the Yishuv itself is able to combat terrorism, without the cooperation of the British, but the British have chosen instead to destroy the Yishuv’s economy by imposing martial law.”

The 599 refugees who arrived on the Ben Hecht carried “passports” issued by the Hebrew Committee of Liberation. They were signed by Eri Jabotinsky, son of the late Revisionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky, and dated Feb. 20. Two of the arrivals, a husband and wife, were allowed to remain here because the woman is expecting a child. The ship, whose whereabouts had provoked a series of wild rumors for the past three weeks, displaced 800 tons and was the cleanest and most seaworthy of any of the blockade runners that have arrived in recent months. (The Tyre Shipping Company of New York, which is listed as owner of the


{NOTE}Although the situation in the martial law areas had quieted down today {SPAN}###{/SPAN} still ran high in Tel Aviv as a result of last night’s events. It was announced that three of the four Jews killed died during an attack on a police station in {SPAN}###{/SPAN} while the fourth was shot dead by a military patrol around dawn this morning others Marthel Mayer, 58, and Ben Zich Shtekeis, 65, died of heart attack during the street battle around Citrus House, British military headquarters, which was the chief target of the attacks.{/NOTE}

A military camp in Haifa was also attacked during the night and three guards injured. The attackers escaped without injury. A group of masked men invaded a jewelry shop in Haifa, this afternoon and escaped with $10,000.

Troops yesterday interrupted Sabbath services in several synagogues in the Neah Shearin quarter of Jerusalem in their hunt for extremists and arms coaches.

The general manager of the Palestine railway system has announced the official closing of the port of Tel Aviv. Cargoes destined for that city will be discharged at other ports and stored there until permission is obtained to send them to Tel Aviv. Goods now en route to the city will be permitted to enter if they fall within specified categories. Storage charges will continue to accumulated on all goods destined for the controlled areas but which have been discharged elsewhere.

The Arab press has been scoffing at the British actions in Palestine. They refer to the restrictive regulations as “children strategies,” demanding stronger measures. The Arab advice to the British Army is: “Whenever martial law is imposed it must be accompanied by severe restraint of freedom, large-scale military activities and violent pressure on public activities.”

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