JERUSALEM (May. 2)
The Haganah announced today that attacks on five Jewish settlements, on the northeastern border facing Syria, by some 8,000 invading Syrian, Lebanese and Iraqi troops were repulsed yesterday, while the British revealed it they were rushing troops, tanks and heavy guns from. Malta and Cyprus to Palestine because of the rapidly "deteriorating situation" which they said had resulted soon the Irgun’s attack on Jaffa. Meanwhile, the Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem agreed a 48-hour truce in the Katamon quarter following the intervention of Palestine Relief Secretary Sir Henry L. Gurney.
Announcing the dispatching of troops from Mediterranean bases to Pales tine, British statement said that "owing to the unwarranted aggression" of the Jews on the Jaffa-Tel Aviv border the Palestine situation had become so serious that it had ?sumed operational priority over some other British commitments in the Middle East.
A Jewish Agency spokesman commented sharply on the British attitude, asserting that "the situation has only deteriorated in that Jews have been scoring military successes. As long as the Arabs appeared to have the upper hand there was ? ttle interference in their aggression," he added.
ARABS ATTACH ON 20 MILE FRONT; BATTLES RAGE SEVEN HOURS
In beating back the Syrian and Lebanese regular who invaded Palestine yesterday at dawn the Jews were in very serious danger in at least two of the five Battlements. When the Arabs opened up on Kfar Szold and Lehavoth Habashan, southernmost points on the 20-mile front which the Arabs had chosen as their battleground, the Jews were forced back from their outer defensive perimeters and the main buildings of the villages came under Shell fire.
Arab armored vehicles at Kfar Szold penetrated the colony’s minefields with only two cars being knocked out. Faced with the possibility of complete anninilation, the Jews hurled Molotov cocktails at the armor and then counterattacked the Arab infantry which was marching behind it. In the intense hand-to-hand fighting which resulted, the Arab tanks could not fire into the mass for fear of hitting their own soldiers. After a wedge was driven between the infantry and the tanks, the Jews were able to attack the tanks at close quarters and destroyed several otters forcing the Arabs to give up the attack.
Arab casualties in this engagement were reported to be heavy, while the Haganah said only two Jews had been Killed and a number wounded. The battles at Dan,Daphneh and Ramaoth-Naphtali raged for seven hours before the Arabs were forced to beat a retreat. Arab strength was estimated at some 8,000 men, 18 tanks and armored cars and 15 field guns as well as a heavy concentration of machine guns and mortars.
Relative peace reigned today in the Manshieh quarter of Jaffa in which British troops and Jews traded bullets and shells yesterday. The Jews have been rushed back from some of their hard won positions by the British attack which was launched, ## British said, because the Irgun had violated the truce agreement, The British ported 70 Jewish casualties, but the Jews said that the figure was much lower.
Earlier, the Haganah, which had assumed command of the Jaffa positions from the Irgun had agreed to "straighten out" their lines in Manshieh, but would not repeat from posts in the nearby Arab village of Beit Dajan and from positions on the Jaffa-Jerusalem road. The Haganah vas also reported to have invaded and occupied the Arab village of Yazur, about five miles from Jaffa.
BRITISH THREATEN FORCE TO GAIN JERUSALEM TRUCE
In Jerusalem, prior to the announcement of the truce, the Jews had occupied the entire Katamon quarter and secured it against Arab counterattack. The British threatened to use troops to enforce an armistice if the Haganah did not agree voluntarily. Eliezer Kaplan, Jewish Agency treasurer, called on Chief Secretary Gurney and protested against the British returning troops to Palestine, He also charged the Government with attempting to drive a wedge between the Irgun and the Haganah.
(In London Richard Crossman, former British member of the Anglo-American Inquiry Commission on Palestine, writing in the Sunday Pictorial, urged the United Nations not to stop the Palestine war. He stressed that "there must be a peace settlement – but at the right time;" the Jews and Arabs cannot come to terms until after they have tested their own and each others’ strength.)