Arab-jewish Clashes in Tel Aviv-jaffa Area Continue; One Killed; Curfew Imposed
Menu JTA Search

Arab-jewish Clashes in Tel Aviv-jaffa Area Continue; One Killed; Curfew Imposed

Download PDF for this date

Despite the existence of a twelve-hour curfew in the border region between Jaffa and Tel Aviv and the presence of reinforced police and military patrols, a number of new clashes between Jews and Arabs broke out there today, with an Arab being killed. In addition, at least another ten Jews and five Arabs were wounded seriously enough to require hospital treatment.

Although heavily-armed units of the British First Infantry Division were assigned to the area, gangs of boys and youths continued to hurl stones at each other. Most of the major injuries were inflicted with knives. Two Jews, Itzhak Grinberg and Moshe Gottlieb, are in serious condition from stab wounds. Two stabbed Arabs were saved from death by the intervention of Jews who administered first aid and took them to Red Mogen David hospitals. At the end of the day five Jews and five Arabs still remained in Jewish hospitals.

Five Jews were injured by stones and glass splinters when a bus on which they were riding was stoned on a road near the Arab village of Abukebir, just outside Jaffa. Jews living in houses on the borderline between the two cities have been evacuated.


As tension mounted hourly, both Jewish and Arab leaders called on their peoples to remain calm and avoid provocation. A Jewish Agency spokesman demanded that the government put an end to the attacks and charged that “certain persons now resident in Cairo” were inciting Arab organizations to violence. He said that thus far the incidents are purely local and that the Agency believed that neither the Jews nor the majority of the Arabs wanted violence. But experience has shown, he stressed, that such incidents can lead to serious trouble.

Eleven leading Arab organizations, including the powerful Moslem Brotherhood, published a manifesto urging the Arabs to remain quiet and not to reply to provocations.

Tel Aviv Vice Mayor Eliezer Perlson issued an appeal to the inhabitants of the city declaring that “attacks on passers-by are an unforgiveable sin and in the present critical hours every citizen is urged to maintain the strictest discipline.” Every attack, he emphasized, “only helps our enemies who strive to start a bloody inter-communal feud.”

The entire Hebrew press today carried similar appeals. An official of the Tel Aviv municipality called on the district military commander to ask that the incidents be curbed swiftly and several hundred civil policemen were mobilized for duty by the municipality.

Meanwhile, Abdul Kader Husseini, one of the leaders of the 1936-39 Arab disturbances, has arrived in Palestine from Egypt, allegedly on a mission for the ex-Mufti. The Palestine Arab Higher Committee, after several attempts to have the government withdraw its order expelling Mahmud Labib, an Egyptian, from the country for allegedly being implicated in the attack Sunday night on a Tel Aviv cafe which touched off the present clashes, is reported to have telephoned the ex-Mufti in Cairo for further instructions in handling the case. Labib’s doctor has stated that his patient’s health was too poor to permit him to travel at this time.


The toll in the Arab-Jewish battles since Sunday night stands at six Jews and two Arabs killed and 16 Jews and 10 Arabs wounded. In all there have been 16 incidents. An official press release described last night’s clashes as the action of a “Jewish band which fired some shots at the Arab quarter of Karton of Jaffa.” It reported that there were no casualties.

Meanwhile, a government spokesman told a press conference that Palestine officials do not know when the arrested Jewish mayors and other Jewish leaders will be released. He said their release awaits a decision from London which is now in consultation with Palestine Government officials.

(In London, Colonial Secretary Arthur Creech-Jones, commenting on the imprisonment of Tel Aviv Mayor Israel Rokach, said his release was a matter for the local Palestine officials to decide. He added that Rokach was known to have contact with the extremists and had refused to cooperate with the security forces.)

Isaac Ben Zvi, president of the Jewish National Council, today sent a cable, through High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham, to Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee urging the release of the detained Jews. Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog visited the 40-odd detainees at the Latrun camp.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund