Haganah Breaks Through Encircled Old City of Jerusalem; Captures Sarafand
Menu JTA Search

Haganah Breaks Through Encircled Old City of Jerusalem; Captures Sarafand

Download PDF for this date

The 1,500 beleaguered Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem today received a supply of urgently-needed food, water and medical applies, when Jewish army units battling Arab Legionnaires broke through the Arab ring around the area and later joined forces with the several hundred ##ggard defenders within the Old City’s confines.

Jewish units today captured Sarafand, formerly the biggest British military base in Palestine. Several months ago, the Jews had offered to buy the camp from the British for $2,400,000, but at the last minute the British backed out and turned the camp over to the Arab Legion. The camp, of tremendous military strategic importance, is located between Lydda airport and Tel Aviv and controls the main highways from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and from Tel Aviv to Egypt.

Four Arab aircraft raided Tel Aviv, again today, dropping some bombs and causing slight damage. Many Jews here today demanded that Israeli planes bomb Arab cities in retaliation for yesterday’s bombing of a bus terminal during the rush hour in which 41 Jewish civilians, including women and children, were killed and 65 were wounded.


Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley were raided from the air today and hit by 25-pound shells. Haganah reported that one of the enemy planes was shot down. The former Arab village of Kaukabilhaua, now in Haganah hands, was heavily shelled by Arab forces, but the Arabs were repulsed with 30 of the attackers killed.

Irgun forces fighting for the strategic Arab city of Ramleh issued a. communique today reporting that the "Jewish offensive is continuing and a heavy battle is in progress." Precise information on this fighting area is not available here.

Haganah said today that all Jews have been evacuated safely from the isolated Har Tuv settlement in the Judean Hills. Jewish settlements in the Negev area are under heavy Egyptian Army shelling Haganah reported, with shells hitting the colonies at the "rate of one per minute." The southern Jewish settlement of Negba was raided by planes this morning, but no casualties or damage were reported.

Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok told a news conference today that recognition of Israel by the United States and the Soviet Union has "opened the door to aid to our struggle." He pointed out that President Chaim Weizmann had made a substantial contribution in bringing about U.S. recognition of the Jewish state.

It was reliably reported here today that a Soviet charge d’affaires will arrive in Israel next week. The Soviet Union, according to this report, will set up consulates in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund