Jerusalem (Sep. 11)
The Palestine Government today released Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv and Mayor Abraham Krinitzi of Ramat Gan from the Latrun Detention Camp, where they had been held for more than six weeks. Mayor Oved Ben ? of Nathanya, as well as the heads of several smaller municipalities, were not ?eed.
With no more explanation than was given at the time of their arrest, Rokach and Krinitzi were informed this afternoon that they were to be released. For a time ? was stated that they would refuse to leave without Ben Ami, but 55 minutes after the announcement by the government that they had been freed, the two men left the camp.
In an exclusive interview tonight with the JTA, Rokach described the events of this afternoon as “not a release, but a kidnapping.” He said that the Acting Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department, Brigadier S.B. Johnson, arrived at Latrun this afternoon and invited Rokach outside the enclosure, where Johnson announced that ? was being released. Rokach asked: “Where’s Krinitzi and Ben Ami?” Johnson re##ied that Krinitzi was also being released, but that Ben Ami would remain.
Rokach then said: “I am also remaining. We are as guilty as he.” The CID chief replied: “You can’t do that.” He asked Rokach, who was dressed in shorts, the usual camp garb, to enter his car. Rokach’s belongings were left behind and he was not given an opportunity to say goodbye to the other detainees. Johnson pro?sed to convey Rokach’s and Krinitzi’s protests at Ben Ami’s continued detention to the authorities. Rokach pointed out tonight that he was never charged with anything and the police and camp authorities never replied to his queries as to why he was detained.
JEWISH YOUTH KIDNAPPED IN JERUSALEM; SECOND IN TWO DAYS
The police car that brought Rokach home entered the city without any fanfare, and none of the residents, aside from his immediate family and the top officials of the municipality, knew that he had been released. He appeared to be in good health, although indignant concerning his incarcoration. This evening delegations of prominent residents and many friends came to his home to welcome him back.
Haim Khakhar, 19, was kidnapped this afternoon in Jerusalem by a party of men who escaped in two taxis. Meanwhile, no word has been received concerning Eliahu Hodes, 18, who was abducted yesterday. It is reported that the Hagnah is behind the kidnappings.
The Consolidated Oil Refineries plant in Haifa was blasted last night by four bombs, but the damage was slight, and there were no casualties.
The government yesterday announced the Sept. 15-Oct. 14 immigration of 1,700 persons.