Palestine Tense Following Execution of Gruner; British Prepare for Irgun Retaliation
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Palestine Tense Following Execution of Gruner; British Prepare for Irgun Retaliation

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Tension in Palestine reached the highest ##evels in years today as 100,000 British soldiers were alerted for possible retalia##ry attacks following the execution in the pre-dawn hours this morning of Dov Gruner ## three other Palestine Jews. The other three, also members of the Irgun, were ##ov Rosenbaum, Eliezer Kashani and Mordechai Alkoshi.

More than half the Jewish population of the country was placed under vir##al house arrest shortly after the executions as curfews were clamped down on Jeru##lem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Petach Tikvah, and non-military traffic was barred from all roads. It was reported in official circles that the government was prepared to ##eimpose martial law in any area where an attack broke out.(In London it was reported that a broadcast on the Irgun’s underground station, “Voice of Fighting Zion,” in Jerusalem, threatened that “ten senior British officers will be hanged in the streets for every one of our martyrs murdered.” Underground posters, threatening retailation, hurriedly placed on walls in various Jewish cities were torn down by police and soldiers.)


The Palestine Government Executive Council met in an emergency session at the summons of High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham. Besides civil officials, ?igh army and police officials attended. Cunningham ordered the army to place all its personnel in Palestine “on active service.” Army personnel were immediately ordered on a war-time basis, with full war-time punishments threatened for infractions of orders or neglect of duty.

New amendments to the Emergency Defense Regulations forbidding any appeal from the decision of military courts or the military commander were published in the official Gazette. They provided that no court writ or any other manner of challenge could be made of any sentence, order or decision whether in cases tried before the ?amendments were published or afterwards. Referring to death sentences specifically, the amendments stated that all persons condemned shall be hanged and that the Palestine military commander shall set the place and time of all executions as well as assume responsibility for the custody of condemned persons until their execution.


The four men were buried late this afternoon in the Safad Jewish cemetery. Some 200 persons attended including Mrs. Helen Friedman, Gruner’s sister who flew from America in a vain attempt to save him, and the relatives of the other three men. Also present were members of the local community including the head of the community council and the rabbi.

The Jewish quarter of the city was cordoned off from early this morning until after the funeral, to prevent any sort of demonstration. Troops set up ma inegun nests on rooftops, in the streets and on hills overlooking the town. The ##dies of Gruner and Rosenbaum were covered with bloodstains, apparently indicating at they did not go to their deaths quietly. Grurner is reported to have sung Hatik## until the hangman’s noose cut off his voice.


A twelve-year-old Jewish boy was mortally wounded tonight by a British ?trol in the Zikhron Joseph quarter of Jerusalem. With the curfew imposed at 4 a.m. ## in effect all day, Jews in the city, particularly in the slum areas were caught ##thout food and many small children were today roaming the streets in search of ##. The boy, Gedalia Ben Eliyahu, was among them.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem and the other cities under curfew were informed ## the restrictions early this morning when armored cars with loudspeakers drove through the streets making the announcement. Military searches were carried out in his city, Haifa and Tel Aviv during the day.


Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv interrupted his vacation when he heard the jews and rushed back to his city. He told newsmen that he was “shocked by the sudden execution,” especially of Rosenbaum, Kashani and Alkoshi who, he said, “did nothing for which to be sentenced to death, only that they carried arms.”

Alkoshi’s mother suffered a heart attack when she was informed of her son’s execution, but Kashani’s father maintained an outward calm, declaring that his son would have wished him to act “in a manly” fashion. Mrs. Alkoshi was taken to a hospital.

Gruner’s sister and Max Seligman, Gruner’s lawyer, were granted permission last night to visit Gruner in prison this morning. When he was informed of the hangings, Seligman said: “It is un-English to execute men when their cases are before the ##rivy Council for decision. It is inhuman to invite me and Gruner’s sister to come to ##cre today, knowing that we would arrive after the execution.”

It was learned today that the High Commissioner yesterday informed Dr. Chaim Weizmann that he would like to visit him in Rehovoth. Dr. Weizmann agreed, but inview of today’s events it is doubtful that the visit will take place.

(As the Bulletin went to press it was reported that a quantity of dummy land##ines had been scattered on one of Tel Aviv’s main streets and that two vehicles, one military and one civilian, were afire in the city.)

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