Jerusalem (Oct. 14)
The war of nerves concerning Arab troop movements on Palestine’s borders continued today, although there is still no concrete evidence of any plans for launching open warfare.
One report from the northern border says that Syrian units have withdrawn from the frontier area, while another sayes 7,000 troops are concentrated on the border. The latter report is discounted here since the armed forces of Syrian and Lebanon combined do not total much more than 7,000.
Reports from Damascus disclose that the government has promulgated new restrictive anti-Jewish laws. Jews are forbidden to leave the cities in which they reside and Syrian consuls have been instructed not to issue visas to Jews under any sircumstances. Residents of the Jewish settlement of Metula, in Palestine, have been prohibited by Syrian police from crossing the border to cultivate land they own on the Syrian side of the frontier. The Arab press here reports that Joseph Romano, the Jewish Agency representative in Syria, has been arrested.
The Cairo newspaper Al Balagh reports that a motorized division of the Egyptian Army, consisting of 10,000 men, has been ordered to move to the Alarish region in accordance with the Arab League’s decision to extend military aid to Palestine Arabs. The paper says that Brigadier Attala Pasha, chief of the Egyptian General Staff, is flying to Alarish. However, official quarters deny that Egyptian units will participate in any invasion of Palestine.
ARAB LEAGUE SEES AGREEMENT, BUT TRANS JORDAN PREMIER SCOUTS MILITARY ACTION
In Amman, capital of Transjordan, Prime Minister Samir Pasha Rifai said last night that rumors of Arab troops massing for an attack on Palestine were unfounded and “only damaged Arab interests.” The premier said any action on Palestine decided upon by the Arab League would not be carried out while the British administration remained in the country.
There is considerable mystery and a welter of conflicting reports concerning the Arab League’s negotiations with King Abdullah of Trans Jordan. According to one version, the League council, several of whose members were in Amman yesterday, succeeded in persuading Abdullah to break with England, by promising him that the league would make good the $8,000,000 annual subsidy he receives from England. Another report states, however, that Abdullah refused to sever relations with the british, fearing that the League would not fulfill its commitments.
The Anglo-Trans jordan treaty of 1946 gives Britain the exclusive right to maintain troops on Trans jordan soil, and bars the stationing or transit of the armed forces of any other nations. Since Trans jordan would be a logical jumping-off place for troops planning to invade Palestine from the east, there are rumors that Premier ##mair Pasha will shortly fly to London to break the treaty. Informed observers, however, believe the reports are purely “for export.”
Azzam Pasha, secretary-general of the Arab League, said today in Beirut that the League council’s week-long talks on Palestine have concluded. He claimed that “complete agreement” was reached at a round-table conference in Amman yesterday.
David Ben Gurion left today to visit Jewish colonies in the Galilee which is a danger spot since British troops have been withdrawn and replaced by units of the Arab Legion. Mrs. Goldie Meirson, chairman of the Agency political department here, is visiting Naharya, in the Galilee, whose settlers are very much disturbed, since under the UNSCOP partition plan it would become part of the Arab state.