Menu JTA Search

Armistice in Jerusalem Effective Today; Jews Take Control of Tiberias and Safad

Arab League leaders today agreed to a truce in Jerusalem effective at noon tomorrow on the condition that the Jews cease fire. The Haganah tonight gave orders to all its members to hold their fire, although the sound of mortars and machine guns were heard in the Yemin Moshe quarter of the Old City at the very moment that an official communique announced the Arab leader’ agreement.

The accord was reached after Sir Henry L. Gurney, Palestine Chief Secretary, journeyed to Jericho to confer with Arab leaders including Arab League secretary Abdul Rehman Azzam Pasha. Gurney carried proposals from High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham to the Arabs.

The Jews today gained virtual control of Upper Galilee following the retreat of armed Arabs from Tiberias and surrounding Arab villages today. Sejera, strongpoint west of Tiberias, was among the occupied villages. Most of the major roaming Arab bands in the district have been beaten off or subdued, particularly after the almost complete occupation of Safad during the past few days.

Three Arab strongholds in the vicinity of Safad, including the important village of Ein Zeitim, are now in the hands of the Jews who also have complete control of all roads and communications between the towns and villages. The major part of Safad’s 8,000 Arabs have left for Transjordan and the 3,000 Jews in the town appear to be in the majority.

A Jewish Agency spokesmen today presented a picture of the preparations which the Jews have made for taking over the normal activities and facilities of the state after May 15. Some of the activities–such as the issuance of domestic postage stamps–have already begun. Programs which have been mostly independent of governmental control, such as health, education and social services, will continue to function as they always have.

Among the planned activities is the floating of a $20,000,000 internal loan to support the Jewish national administration, and other fiscal measures including the imposition and collection of an income tax. The spokesman also announced that the Agency has established an export-import license office which’ has already granted licensee for the $25,000,000 worth of imports and exports to and from 36 countries, including 12 countries in the sterling bloc.

NEXT STORY