JERUSALEM (Jan. 6)
The Palestine Government is “carefully considering” the situation created by the Haganah’s public assumption of responsibility for the blasting of the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem yesterday, a government communique stated today.
It added that “the government is satisfied that reports allegedly from Jewish sources’ that the Samiramis Hotel was used as a base for marauding Arab gangs and the headquarters of the military Arab youth organization Nejada and Futuva are entirely without foundation.
The Jewish Agency tonight declared that it would stand by its statement of yesterday, that the hotel was a center for Arab gangs and military groups. It pointed out that the murder of Jews had elicited no such indignation from the government.
Arab quarters loosed a flood of criticism at the government for failing to take “adequate” security measures to prevent the Jewish raid. Dr. Hussein Khalidi, secretary of the Palestine Arab Higher Executive, charged the government with partial responsibility for the deaths resulting from the attack because “no protection whatever” was given to the Arab inhabitants of the Katamon quarter where the hotel was located.
BRITISH POLICE BEGIN EVACUATION OF ARAB SECTIONS OF COUNTRY
British police detachments today began evacuating those parts of Palestine which have been designated as territory of the Arab state, it was learned here. It is unknown, however, whether the police will be concentrated in the territory which they are evacuated from the country, possibly next month.
The Jewish Agency called on all elements of the Jewish community to guarantee the safety of all foreign consuls in Palestine in accordance with the practices of international custom and law. The appeal followed a visit this morning to the Agency by a delegation of consular representatives, who are also calling at offices of the Palestine Government and the Arab Higher executive to make similar demands for full observance of their international status.
Acting Spanish Consul Manuel Salazar was killed in yesterday’s explosion at the Semiramis Hotel and most of the consulates, which are located in the same area, were forced to close as a result of the disruption of water and electric services by the blast.
The Agency also issued a statement expressing its regret that Salazar had been the innocent victim of the explosion. It expressed sympathy with his family. Declaring that Salazar fell victim to the “present spasm of disorder, “the statement addled that the Agency sincerely hopes that law and order will speedily the restored in this country.
HIGH COMMISSIONER SUMMONS BEN GURION TO CONFERENCE
It was learned that High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham met today with Agency Chairman Bavid Ben Gurion and that sharp words were exchanged concerning the Semiramis blast. Official sources indicated that arms searches in Jewish settlements or similar sanctions might be invoiced as reprisal for the operation.
One Jew, one British policeman and two Arabs were killed in the continuing guerrilla actions on the Jaffa-Tel Aviv “front” during the night and early this morning. The two Arabs were killed when Haganah units fired on a band looting deserted Jewish homes. The Sternists again blasted the rail line connecting the two cities, just as it was about to he reopened to service after being repaired from a previous bombing.
The toll in the bombing of the Arab National Committee headquarters in Jaffa has now reached 21 dead, it was officially announced. In addition seven more bodies have been extricated from the ruins of the Semiramis Hotel, bringing the total to 12 dead. One woman was found alive in the debris.
2,000 JEWS BESIEGED IN OLD CITY FIGHT OFF ATTACKERS FOR FIFTH DAY
Shooting continued in the Old City at intervals today as the 2,000 Jews surrounded in the tiny Jewish ‘quarter beat off several new Arab assaults. Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog has telephoned an appeal to government officials to break the five-day-old blockade of the Jews and assure that they receive supplies of food and medicine.
Two Arabs were killed and several wounded when the Haganah repulsed an attack by Arab guerrillas and Arab police on the Jerusalem suburb of Mekor Hayim. The raid lasted some two hours, but there were no Jewish casualties. Meanwhile, it was reported that 39 telephone wires between Hebron and Jerusalem have been cut. In Acre a British officer was shot dead while attempting to pass through an Arab roadblock.
A British military court this morning sentenced two young Jewish women to a fine of $1,600 or three years in jail for illegal possession of arms. The women, 18-year-old Ruth Klinov, daughter of the Jewish Agency’s information officer, and Carmela Yaari, 20, were arrested on Dec. 1, at the height of one of the early Arab riots, while defending a Jewish section of Jerusalem from attack.
The Palestine Government has asked the International Red Cross to send a representative to Palestine to investigate the situation and offer aid because the many casualties during the past five weeks have filled the hospitals to capacity, it was announced.
Reports from Beirut state that three Arab guerrilla units destined to join the Arab “armies” in Palestine already been completely equipped and will leave for Syria shortly. No information is available concerning the strength, equipment or make-up of the units other then that they are named for Arab chieftains. The reports also revealed that the Farouk Sharia College in the Lebanese capital has been converted into a training camp for Palestine volunteers.
It was learned that the Lebanese Foreign Ministry has received a request that all funds collected for the defense of Palestine be placed at the disposal of the Palestine Arab Higher executive. The Lebanese Government has just contributed 50,000 Lebanese pounds to the fund for the “redemption” of Palestine.
Another dispatch stated Lebanese and Syrian Government have decided to expel by Jan. 15 all Jews of Palestine origin.