U.N. Probers Will Hold First Meeting in Jerusalem Today; No Hearings This Week
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U.N. Probers Will Hold First Meeting in Jerusalem Today; No Hearings This Week

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The United Nations Special Committee on Palestine will hold its first meeting here tomorrow morning, when the 11 members meet in a closed session for an informal exchange of views prior to the launching of their inquiry.

The last five members of the committee landed at Lydda Airport early today in a plane carrying members of the secretariat and five reporters, including Gerold Frank, special correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. The other members of the committee arrived here yesterday.

The committee’s press officer, George Symeonides, who was instrumental yesterday in making the probers available to the press, over the objections of Sir Henry L. Gurney, Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government, announced the following schedule for the committee’s first week:

Tomorrow will be devoted to private meetings. On Tuesday morning, the committee members will meet in camera with a representative of the Palestine Government, who will present facts and figures, and submit a revised copy of the report presented to the Anglo-American inquiry committee last year. Later Tuesday, a representative of the Jewish Agency will submit a memorandum. The committee will visit Jerusalem’s Holy Places on Wednesday morning, and that afternoon attend a reception in its honor to be given by the High Commissioner.

The members hope to begin touring Palestine on Thursday. They do not know how many days will be devoted to touring, but they will return to Jerusalem nightly. After the visits to the country-side are completed, public hearings will be opened at the YMCA building, which will be the committee’s headquarters.


A meeting of the Jewish Agency today named Maj. Aubrey Eban and David Horowitz as its liaison officers with the committee. Horowitz is the head of the Agency’s economic department, while Eban is connected with its political section. Their names have been communicated to U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Victor Hoo, who heads the secretariat accompanying the committee. Moshe Shertok, chairman of the political department of the Agency, assisted by the two liaison officers, will probably speak for the Agency before the inquiry committee on Tuesday.

At today’s meeting, the Agency heard reports on the political situation in the United States and Britain from members who have just returned from there. Speakers included David Ben Gurion and Shertok, who reported on developments at Lake Success. Shertok outlined the stand to be taken by the Zionists when they appear before the committee.

The Irgun secret radio broadcast tonight, welcoming the inquiry committee “to our occupied and fighting country,” and assured the members that no harm will come to “them and “that all stories to the contrary are British insinuations.” The broadcast

Meanwhile, informed quarters predict that the Palestine Arabs may alter their ##titude towards the committee, since all the Arab countries have decided to appear, ##d even the Palestine Arab Communists have announced that they will defy the Higher executive’s boycott. The Jerusalem consuls of the Arab countries were meeting here today to decide on a line of action vis-a-vis the committee and their decisions may effect the Executive’s stand.However, a meeting of Arab mayors yesterday voiced support of the boycott, and resolved not to accept invitations to any functions for the probers. The Arab Communist paper today hints that the Executive’s decision to issue the boycott was the result of influence by British Middle East officials.

When the five committee members who arrived today–John Hood of Australia, ##arel Lisicky of Czechoslovakia, Sir Abdur Rahman of India, Dr. J.G. Granados of Guatemala and Dr. N.S. Blom of Holland–were being led to a special room at the airport where food and drink had been prepared, the three Jewish Agency representatives who travelled on the same plane were separated from the rest of the passengers and forced to submit to an immigration routine. They were I.L. Kennen, Moshe Toff and Maj. Eban.

The Irgun broadcast tonight also attacked the Haganah for its decision to suspend visaless immigration and deplored the lack of cooperation “among the Jewish fighting forces” which it said had existed when the Anglo-American inquiry committee was here. Simultaneously, the Haganah distributed leaflets in Jerusalem charging that the Irgun and Bergson groups were planning to establish a “government-in-exile” in August, and would try to supplant the present duly elected Jewish institutions peacefully at first, but by assassination of Zionist leaders, if other means fail.

The sirens which sounded here last night to indicate terrorist operations were a false alarm, it was learned today, and observers wonder if the military forces timed the incident to coincide with the arrival of the U.N. committee.


Two Jews and two Arabs were injured today when an Arab crowd of about 100 persons attacked Jewish settlers at the recently-established colony of Revadim, between Jerusalem and Hebron. The Jews were ploughing when assaulted by Arabs carrying sticks. They fought back and had fought off the attackers by the time the police arrived.

The Jewish settlement of Alumim, in the Negev, was attacked last night by Arabs, who were driven off by the colony’s guards. There were no casualties, but the village’s water pipes were punctured.

There is still no official clarification of the incident involving the alleged kidnapping and murder of 17-year-old Alexander Rubovitch by three police officers, who fled to Lebanon. The government is demanding the extradition of the leader of the officers, all of whom are believed linked with the anti-Semitic British “self-protective” organization whose formation was announced several months ago.

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