JERUSALEM (Feb. 20)
A pitched battle of several hours duration developed in Haifa this afternoon and evening, beginning with sporadic sniping and progressing to a point where several hundred Jews, Arabs and British soldiers turned who streets of the central section of the city into a battleground criss-crossed by machinegun bullets and mortar shells.
First official reports listed four persons dead and more than 50 wounded. Eyewitness accounts told of large numbers of casualties, with the dead and wounded often remaining where they fell for more than an hour because the gunfire was so intense that first aid crews could not reach the victims.
Until dusk both Jews and Arabs confined themselves to rifles, machineguns and grenades, but afterwards the Jews brought tap a battery of mortars which were turned against Arab sniper posts and caused considerable damage to a number of buildings. Some of the shells dropped inside the perimeter of the police headquarters in the in the area. British troops and parachute troops were rushed up in armored cars, supported by Bren gun carriers.
TWELVE JAWS MAKE DARING ESCAPE FROM JERUSALEM CENTRAL PRISON
Twelve Jews today made a daring escape from the Jerusalem Central Prison by tunnelling their way under the prison walls and coming up in a street bordering on the Jail. The escape was not noticed for a long time. When it was discovered, sirens sounded throughout the city, but no sign of the prisoners was uncovered. The tunnel was approximately 600 feet long. The prison is located within the most heavily guarded security zone to Jerusalem.
A Haganah punitive squad last night raided Yazur, a major Arab base athwart the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway and blew up three houses before returning to Tel Aviv. One British soldier was shot and killed last night in an engagement with Arab guerrillas near Bet Dajan and two Arabs were killed. In Haifa late yesterday at least four Jews were killed and many more were wounded in several Arab attacks on buses.
The refugee vessel which was intercepted by the British off the Palestine coast late yesterday was today escorted into Haifa. It is expected that its 700 visaless Jewish passengers will be deported to Cyrpus.