JERUSALEM (Jan. 2)
A Palestine Government spokesman today officially denied reports which have appeared in the American press that the government in considering relinquishing the Mandate six weeks earlier than the scheduled date of May 15. These reports, the official stated, are “pure speculation with no foundation in facts.”
All consuls in Jerusalem today met to discuss the security situation in Palestine inasmuch as the current developments affect the normal activities of their consulates. It was pointed out at the meeting that Jewish employees are not able to reach the consulates. The question of opening branches of the consulates in the Jewish sections of Jerusalem in order to enable Jews to maintain contact with the consuls was also discussed.
Jewish leaders today appealed to the government to impose a curfew on the Arab districts adjoining Hadassah hospital and the Hebrew University where Arab snipers are taking a heavy toll Emphasizing that the road to the hospital is one of the most important sections of Jerusalem, since the institution is the largest in the country, the Jewish leaders pointed out that “searches for arms in the sniping areas would surely be in order.”
The representations followed the cutting by Arabs of all telephone lines connecting the hospital and the Hebrew University with the rest of Jerusalem, and the killing of a Jewish nurse by Arab snipers who fired at an armored car escorting medical personnel from the hospital to the center of the city.
ARABS DETERMINED TO CUT OFF JERUSALEM; SHARP BATTLE IS EXPECTED
The Arab Higher Executive is determined to cut off Jerusalem from the rest of the country at all costs, it was learned here today. An order has been issued to Arab guerrilla leaders to sake preparations for an onslaught on the Jewish section of the city “to wipe out the Jews.”
Upon learning of the order, the Haganah today increased its security measures in Jerusalem. A high steel net has been erected around the offices of the Jewish Agency and other national institutions to prevent the throwing of bombs; buses were ordered to put steel screens on their windows, and other counter-measures, which cannot be disclosed for security reasons, have been taken.
The problem of inter-urban traffic into and out of Jerusalem remains urgent. Jewish authorities are preparing to wage a vigorous fight to arrange the safe transport of essential commodities. However, a critical battle for Jerusalem is considered imminent.
An Arab attack on the Sanhedria quarter of Jerusalem was thrown back early today by the Haganah, which killed one Arab and wounded three others. A Heganah attack on a house in the Arab Sheikh Jarach quarter, which had been used as a headquarters by snipers shooting at buses travelling to the Hebrew University, cost the lives of five Arabs. The house was demolished.
Several more Arabs wore killed when a building housing the Supreme Moslem Council was blown up by Haganah sappers operating under heavy fire. Troops and police who were attracted to the scene by the blast allowed the occupants of the house, including armed guerrilla leaders, to escape taking their dead and wounded with them.
The Haganah attacked an Arab band that was acting “suspiciously” in the Jerusalem suburb of Upper Lifta, inflicting a few casualties. The Sternists later attacked Malacha Village near, Jerusalem, killing seven Arabs and destroying six houses.
In reprisal for the last attack, Arab guerrillas massed near Malacha fired at settlers in the Jewish village of Bit Vegan. Earlier, Arabs attacked the Jewish quarters opposite the Sheikh Jerach section, also in reprisal for last night’s Haganah raid. Five Jews in the Beth Israel quarter were injured by snipers. Shmuel Mizrachi, 48, was stabbed to death near the government’s printing plant in Jerusalem.
HAGANAH “EXECUTES” POLE AND GERMAN SPYING FOR ARABS
The bodies of a Pole and a German, otherwise unidentified, which were found in a Jerusalem street this morning, were identified by the Haganah as two spies who had been “executed” by a Haganah firing squad after having, been found guilty of espionage for Arab guerrillas. The Haganah said that they had both been held in custody for several days until a “military court” had been assembled to try them.
A body of an unidentified young Jew was found on the grounds of Hadassah hospital in Tel Aviv this morning. He is believed to have been the victim of an internal squabble among the dissident groups. Twelve masked Jews last night kidnapped 19-year old Moshe Book from his home at Haifa. He has not been heard from since.
Funerals for 25 Jew who died as a result of violence or from natural causes were finally held today after the government furnished protection to funeral corteges here following a protest by U.S. Consul General Robert Macatee, who demanded that the route between Hadassah Hospital and the city proper be protected and also that guards be furnished to ensure the safety of mourners at the funeral of Harry Fischel, American Jewish philanthropist and communal leader, who died yesterday. Even so snipers attacked the Fischel funeral party as it returned from the cemetery.
The Jewish settlement of Hartuv not far from Jerusalem, and Genossar, in Lower Galileo, were both attacked. Three Jews were wounded in the first attack, while one Haganah defender was killed end two others injured sit Genossar.
Arab guerrillas carried out another successful train robbery, 15 miles from Jerusalem, escaping with a large quantity of goods.
An unidentified Jewish group blew up a block of evacuated houses in Jaffa, near the Tel Aviv border, completely demolishing the structure and causing slight damage to a neighboring police station. The houses had been used as a command and sniper post by Arab “guerrillas the offices of the Jaffa municipality and the Jaffa rail station were also attached, but the attackers withdrew before police arrived.
Meyer Levin former JTA correspondent who was released from prison several days ago after being seized aboard a blockade runner, disclosed today that among his cell mates were three American youths who have been imprisoned since May 17, 1947 when they arrived here as part of the crew of the immigrant ship Hatikyah. They are Michael Siess of 262 Stutter Ave., Brooklyn Herman Braverman, 830 East 79th Street, Manhattan; and Adrian Phillips, 1949 Grand Concourse, Bronx They said that no reason has been given them for their continued incarceration.