Tish Hold off Military Rule Pending Jewish Efforts to Free Kidnapped Soldiers

Following day-long consultations among High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham, Lieut. Gen. Gordon MacMillan and high security of(##)cers, it was decided tonight to hold off another 24 hours before proclaiming Nathan(##) and 20 adjoining Jewish settlements in the Emek Hefer district a “military con(##)olled area.”

The district had been slated to be placed under military rule as of midnight tonight, if the two British sergeants kidnapped by the Irgun Zvai Leumi were not re(##)rned, but the authorities agreed to a plea by Nathanya’s mayor Oved Ben Ami for a (##)-hour respite to ensure the cooperation of the Haganah and allow Jewish groups to (##)tempt to liberate the abducted men.

Meanwhile, the Nathanya municipal council met this afternoon to decide what (##) do if military rule is invoked, which will mean that telephone and postal services (##)ll be cut off and the district isolated from the rest of the country. It was re(##)rted that Nathanya and the surrounding settlements had enough food for a fortnight.

BRITISH TROOPS STOP SEARCHES IN ANTICIPATION OF ACTION BY HAGANAH

Thousands of British troops, estimated at more than a brigade, who had been {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ouring the sand dunes and orange groves around Nathanya, where the kidnapped men–{SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ts. Mervyn Paice and Clifford Martin–were seized, halted their searches this after-{SPAN}(##){/SPAN}on, apparently in anticipation of the Haganah resuming the hunt. The Haganah had {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}nt squads into the field yesterday as soon as the kidnappings were disclosed, but {SPAN}(##){/SPAN}ey were withdrawn after troops entered the search to avoid any suspicion that they {SPAN}(##){/SPAN} cooperating with the British.

The Haganah’s high command is understood to have notified leaders of the Ir(##), who seized the soldiers as hostages for the three Irgunists doomed for the Acre(##)son break, that if they do not surrender the two men, the Haganah will launch a (##)ll scale drive against them. Mayor Ben Ami is also making frantic efforts to se(##) the sergeants’ release before military law is clamped down. Yesterday, the (##)gun informed Ben Ami that they would hold the kidnapped men until the death sen(##)nces on their members had been commuted.

A military guard is still occupying the Karasher Barzel engineering works in (##)l Aviv which were shut down Friday night after troops and police raided the plant (##) found blue-prints and parts for Sten guns and one machinist working on a part of (##)Sten gun barrel. According to unofficial sources the plant was one of the Haganah (##)rkshops. A few weeks ago another Haganah workshop in Tel Aviv was seized, reportedly (##) a tip from the Irgun, retaliating for the Haganah frustrating an attempt to blow (##) British military headquarters in the city.

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