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Battle for Jerusalem Control Shaping Up; Heavy Fighting in Jaffa, Acre Reported

Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem were preparing today a major battle for control of the city. Heavy fighting is expected to break out thin hours, following the Arab seizure of the British Army’s Alamein camp, two ##es from here, which was evacuated earlier.

Arab forces, including units of the Transjordan Legion, were reportedly waiting for the signal to open fire from behind sandbag emplacements in the British camp, ##lie Jews were seen stationed in a wood close by. Tension in the city mounted hourly the deadline for the withdrawal of the lest of the British troops–sunset–###red.The Palestine Information Office, news communication center in Jerusalem, ##osed down today, leaving correspondents for overseas news agencies and newspapers without immediately available facilities for filing news to the outside world.

(A Reuters dispatch from Damascus reported today that the Transjordan Army has ?cupied Jericho, northwest of the Dead Sea, following a Transjordanian declaration ## war on “Zionism.” The armies of Syria, Lebanon, Transjordan and Iraq, the dis##itch added, have agreed to open a three-front attack on Palestine with a combined ##rce of 40,000 men before May 1.)

Meanwhile, fighting in Jaffa flared up again today with Irgun unites reported felling the city’s center. Outlying sections of Tel Aviv were hit by Arab mortars ?eplying to the Irgunist cannonade. One dispatch from the front said the Arab seaport as being subjected to “extremely heavy” rifle and machine gunfire and that some bullets had sent Tel Aviv shopping crowds scurrying for cover.

ARAB LEGIONNAIRES IN ACRE REPORTED SHELLING HAIFA

More than 140 Arabs broke out of the British prison in Acre today after Arab guerrillas stationed on a nearby hill shelled the jail with mortars. Arab sources reported that a large Haganah force was attaching the city, but said that results of the heavy fighting were not yet known. Another report stated that Arab legionnaires in Acre were shelling Haifa, some ten miles to the south.

British sources in Haifa said that truce negotiations between the Jews and Arabs there “have gone well.” Police were boarding all Shop windows to prevent looting in the city, and mixed groups of unarmed Jews and Arabs appeared on the streets today, indicating that a halt in the evacuation of the city’s Arab population has begun.

Lydda airport, 15 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, was taken over by the British today after its seizure by Arab Legion forces yesterday. All international plane and air mail service at Lydda was suspended and scheduled flights bound for the airport were canceled. All Jewish members of the airport’s staff are reported to have left.

The Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road was blocked today near Bab el Wad, the only Arab stronghold along the vital highway still in Arab hands. A huge stone barrier in the middle of the highway was bombed by a Jewish plane, but there was no report as to the success of the operation.

Reports from Cairo claimed today that King Abdullah of Transjordan has decided to lead his crack Arab legion into Palestine to fight the Jews, Ten thousand Legionnaires are stationed in Palestine at present as members of Britain’s a security forces. An Arab League source in Cairo claimed that 12,000 Iraqi troops have left Bagdad for Amman, Transjordanian capital, to await orders to inter Palestine within ten days.

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