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Haganah Thwarts Irgun Attempt to Extort Money from Shopkeeper; Several Wounded in Melee

Several persons were injured today, three seriously, when a Haganah group thwarted an attempt by Irgunists to extort money from a shopkeeper. Most of the wounded were Irgunists.

When the Irgun representative entered the shop and demanded money, the proprietor summoned the Haganah, which arrived before the Irgunists left and a brawl developed. The Irgunists fled with their wounded.

A Haganah spokesman said today that new tension between Jews and Arabs has arisen in recent weeks, particularly along the borders of neighboring Arab states. He charged that the Arab League was behind the campaign of “incitement and intimidation.”

A Jewish Agency spokesman today denounced the most recent attacks on British soldiers and said that the Haganah was going ahead with its efforts to frustrate the extremists’ activities. He disclosed that a mine planted on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway had been dismantled yesterday by a Haganah bomb squad.

Commenting on police terror, the spokesman said that the Agency was demanding an open trial of Major Roy A. Farran, charged with the abduction and murder of 17-year-old Alexander Rubowitz. It has been reported that the authorities were planning a closed court martial.

The Agency representative said that the government’s decision to increase the price of gasoline and use the funds so derived for projects benefitting the Arabs was “interesting” when viewed in light of the government’s memorandum to the U.N. inquiry committee, in which it said that the profits of the oil companies were so high that damage such as that inflicted on the Haifa refineries could not injure them.

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