London (Jun. 26)
The special squads set up by the Palestine police force to suppress terrorism are in the process of being broken up as a result of the publicity given the case of Maj. Roy Farran, who escaped from the Allenby barracks where he was being held in connection with the kidnapping and murder of a Jewish youth, Alexander Rubovitz, it was reported today by the Daily Express.
The newspaper asserts that the “Phantom Police Force” consists of 12-man squads of supposedly crack commandos and anti-terrorist specialists who frequented cafes in Tel Aviv and the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem and Haifa. They were given wide powers and great freedom in dealing with suspects who, the Express says, were picked up in “lightning arrests” and carried off to the British fortified security zones for interrogation.
A dispatch from a Palestine correspondent in the Tribune declares that there is much uneasiness in official circles over the Farran case. It suggests that a full, open inquiry is needed because of the “rumors” linking Farran with fascism and anti-Semitism.
An editorial in the same newspaper charges that the Palestine Government blundered in its sharp reply to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine on the issue of commuting the death sentences of the three condemned Jewish youths. Warning of the danger of giving the impression that the inquiry is a farce, it declares that the government’s attitude is that of an “independent, rather unfriendly” government, and not of a branch of the British admistration.