JERUSALEM (Jan. 25)
A bitter battle on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road today marred the quietest weekend in Palestine since the U.N. partition decision. The encounter, in which several hundred heavily armed Arabs and a large Haganah unit depending on the sources of the figures.
The clash, which occurred in the Mount Castel area, began at noon when an Arab unit proceeding towards the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Anavim, which it planned to attack in reprisal for the blowing up of a snipers’ nest in the vicinity on Friday, for a large convoy headed for Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
The Arabs, who had planned to mine the road ten miles outside of Jerusalem, were surprised before they planted their explosives and a fierce encounter which lasted for five hours ensued. A Haganah source said tonight that the Jews had lost 14 Arab Source claimed that 10 Jews had been killed, which the guerrillas suffered only two dead and four wounded. The Arabs were led by Abdul Kader Husseini, veteran terrorist chieftain. Both sides received reinforcements during the battle, the Jews from the convoy, and the Arabs from neighboring villages.
CONVOY FORCED TO HALT; ARAB GUERRILLAS GET “VICTORY RECEPTION”
British police, who arrived on the scene after the violence had subsided, advised the convoy to put in at Kiryat Anavis for the night since other Arab units were on the road ahead. The Arabs retreated to Remallah , where Husseini was given a “victory reception” by hundreds of gun-waving villagers shouting, “Death to the Jews.
At dawn today a Haganah unit attacked the Arab settlement of Yibna, south of Rehovoth, where 11 Jews were killed last week, and blew up between 15 and 29 houses. The raiders found the settlement deserted when they arrived and spent two hours searching the houses for arms. The inhabitants of Yibna have participated in recent attacks on Jewish property in the vicinity.
A battalion of trained troops from Syria arrived yesterday in the Arab town of Hablus, which has become the head quarters of the terrorist bands. The guerrillas, estimated at 700, were ceremoniously received and the commander was taken on a tour of the vicinity to map plans for attacks on Jewish settlements.
The troops, who crossed into Palestine from Transjordan, had covered the 230 miles from Damascus, their point of departure, in eight days, according to an Iraqi officer who accompanied them. Their arrival brings to about 2,000 the number of drained and equipped Arabs who are reported to have infiltrated Palestine within the first few weeks. The new arrivals were split up today and sent as reinforcements to ?its in different parts of the country.
JEWISH YOUTHS SEIZE ARMS MANUFACTURING MACHINERY FROM GERMAN FACTORY
Three Arab houses were blown up in the Manshieh quarter of Jaffa by the Irgun ?ai Leumi. A Jaffa residence was completely demolished by members of the Stern group, but there were no casualties.
Meanwhile, a group of about 20 youths entered the former German-owned “Wagner foundries” factory in Jaffa, bound and gagged the guards and made off with all the machinery which is estimated to be worth tens of thousands of dollars. The machinery had been used during the war for the manufacture of small arms.
Shooting from the Arab Katamon quarter of Jerusalem into the Jewish Rehavia rector continued all day yesterday. One Jewish settlement policeman was wounded, British police stationed in the vicinity looked on without participating throughout the day, and some were heard shouting words of encouragement to the Arabs.
This afternoon, Arab villagers in Jaouni opened fire on Rosh Pina, but the Jews did not return the fire. There were no casualties.
A Haifa magistrate has issued warrants for 37 Arabs in connection with the Haifa oil refinery massacre in which 39 Jews lost their lives. Seventeen of the Arabs are reside in Balad Essheikh, just outside the city.
BRITISH DELEGATE ARABS TO “GUARD” JEWISH BUILDING IN OLD CITY
The Jewish Home for Incurables, in the besieged Old City which was heavily damaged a few days ago, was evacuated today. It was learned that British troops guarding the building after the departure of its inmates handed the keys to a member of the Arab National who promised to guard the Home “faithfully.”
Syrian and Saudia Arabian troops have arrived in Jerusalem to guard their respective consulates.
It is reported that detainees in the Latran prison camp will be transferred to the Athlit clearance camp as a result of strong pressure on the government by the national Jewish institutions.
The Hashomer Hatzair and L’Achdut Avodah organizations, which merged over the weekend, will be called the United Workers Party, it was announced here. The Hashomer Eatzair’s official newspaper, Mishmar, will be renamed Al Hamishmer.