Jewish Agency Meets in Emergency Session As Tension Mounts Throughout Palestine

The executive committees of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Council met in emergency session today, first separately and then jointly, to discuss the situation in the country which has deteriorated steadily since the execution Tuesday morning of three Irgunists.

The two-fold reprisals which the hangings set off, with the Irgunists retaliating against British troops and police, and troops rioting to avenge the hanging of two Britons by the Irgunists, have brought the country to the brink of a crisis as serious as that of last July, when Jewish Agency leaders were arrested and martial law was imposed.

In a statement issued after the joint meeting, the Agency executive warned that "cessation of terrorism is an inexorable national necessity." It condemned the hanging of the two British sergeants and the subsequent rioting. Declaring that the soldiers had been murdered by "unprincipled men who have cast aside every vestige of national responsibility," the executive called on the Jewish community "to intensify its efforts with all organized strength to eradicate terrorism and give full support to the Yishuv’s security forces in carrying out this objective."

The meeting was attended, in addition to the Agency and Council members, by Mayors Rokach and Ben Ami of Tel Aviv and Nathanya, respectively, the heads of many local municipal councils, the Chief Rabbinate, the presidents of the Jewish Community Councils in Haifa and Jerusalem, the representatives of the Histadruth and the Manufacturers Association and others. Some of the participants urged that suspected terrorists be excluded from Jewish public affairs and removed from any office. Others objected, declaring that would be tantamount to pointing out the suspects to the police.

BRITISH REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS IN JERUSALEM ATTACKED; ONE JEW KILLED

In the midst of the deliberations, a group of extremists attacked the headquarters of the Hampshire Regiment, which are situated in a fortified zone adjoining the Agency building, where the meeting was taking place. One Jew was killed and two captured in the attack, which inflicted no casualties on the British.

According to a communique issued later, the headquarters building was attacked simultaneously from several sides by underground fighters using rifles, Sten guns and grenades. Windows in the Agency building were shattered by the blasts. Two hundred persons were rounded up for questioning.

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