JERUSALEM (Jan. 15)
An Arab attempt to overrun Kfar Etzion, in the Hebron Hills, south of Jerusalem, was finally beaten back today after a fierce ##ttle which began early yesterday and continued intermittently until late today. ##e official casualty count has not yet been announced, but it was stated that the Haganah had collected 80 British and German rifles left behind by dead and fleeing attackers.
In Haifa, meanwhile, a fierce battle raged all day for domination of the ##ty’s traffic lanes. Four Jews and seven Arabs were killed and many more wounded ### an exchange of rifle and mortar fire that virtually paralyzed traffic throughout ###e city. For a time this morning all Jewish vehicles stopped operating after ###veral attacks on busses by Arab snipers. Later, the Haganah counter-attacked and ##cceeded in halting Arab traffic. However, British troop reinforcements which ##re rushed into the city drove the Haganah units from their positions. By late afternoon, most of the outbreaks had subsided, but the streets in the business lection were still deserted.Tension continued in the northern settlements, bordering Syria and Lebanon ?s “suspicious movements” by large units of Arabs were reported. Some bands are reported to hare infiltrated across the border on Arab busses and others by foot. Meanwhile, it was learned that the Haganah has sent strong reinforcements to the ?orth to meet any eventuality.
EREST BARBED-WIRE ENTANGLEMENTS TO FOIL REPORTED ARAB PLAN TO INVADE GEL AVIV
Haganah sappers operating along the Tel Aviv-Jaffa border today erected Barbed wire entanglements between Tel Aviv and Salama Village in Jaffa to prevent Arab attacks, following a report that a newly arrived gang, commanded by a former merman officer who escaped from a prisoner of war camp in Egypt, has set up its base of operations in Salama and is planning to attack Tel Aviv.
The Kfar Etzion battle resumed today after Arab units which had been routed yesterday regrouped and mounted a new attack using rifles, machineguns and four-inch mortars. The advantage shifted from side to side during the morning, but by afternoon, the Haganah had routed the invaders. An official communique issued tonight said that the situation was “quiet.” A Haganah spokesman told the JTA that the Jewish militia had scored a “great decisive victory.”
Strong Britain detachments which were sent to the scene of the battle this morning were halted for several hours by Arab roadblocks and riflemen. The only vehicles to penetrate the blockade at first were Army ambulances which evacuated Jewish casualties. Haganah sources estimated that Arab casualties from yesterday morning until noon today totalled 125. Hospitals in Hebron and Bethlehem were ?ed with Arab casualties and wounded and dead were lying outside the hospitals. The height of the battle it was estimated that 900 Arabs and 400 Jews were involved
A British communique said that an RAF plane was fired upon over Kfar Etzion Jewish civil aircraft which had been dropping leaflets to the settlers. Later, was announced that an army security officer bed found a plane at Tel Aviv’s civil ?port which bore the same markings as the craft which dropped the leaflets, but he ##ld discover no signs of guns or ammunition.
Another Jewish colony, Neve Kilen about 12 miles east of Jerusalem, was ?ced under attack today by a strong Arab force. Eliezer Markovitch, 20, was killed ? an unnamed girl inhabitant wounded. The colony, which was founded with funds ?tributed by American Zionists, is populated by veterans of the French Maquis.