TEL AVIV (May. 20)
A state of emergency was declared today throughout Israel by the Provisional Jewish Government to continue for a period of three months during which the Israeli Cabinet is empowered to issue emergency decrees. The first decrees issued provide:
1. All the rights end authority hitherto vested in the British Administration in Palestine now pass to the Government of Israel.
2. Every Jew who landed in Palestine during the Mandatory’s regime becomes a legal citizen of Israel.
3. The flag of Israel is to be hoisted on all ships registered as Palestinian, while the final design of the Israeli flag is to be decided shortly. The flag will, however, include the Star of David.
Israeli planes went into action today, bombing Arab troop concentrations near the Transjordan frontier, while enemy planes attacked the residential sections of Tel Aviv this afternoon three times. Mayor Rokach of Tel Aviv cabled President Truman, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov and U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie protesting the “indiscriminate murder of women and children” in Tel Aviv by Egyptian planes. He asked that Egypt, as a member of the United Nations, be compelled “to discontinue such barbarities.”
The Jewish planes all returned safely to their base after carrying out their mission, an official Haganah communique stated. This was the first time that Haganah had reported Jewish air force action since the proclamation of Jewish statehood.
The attention of the Jews in Israel was temporarily diverted today from the several fighting fronts to the U.N. Security Council discussions at Lake Success. A feeling of bitter contempt prevailed among the inhabitants of Tel Aviv as they listened by short-wave radio to the arguments of Sir Alexander Cadogan, Britain’s representative to the U.N., opposing the American proposal for sanctions against the Arab aggressors.
HEBREW UNIVERSITY AND HADASSAH HOSPITAL UNDER HEAVY ATTACK
A Haganah report from Jerusalem said that the Hebrew University and the Hadassah Hospital on Mt. Scopus were under heavy Arab Legion artillery fire. The report indicated that heavy fighting is still raging in the Old City of Jerusalem, with Abdullah’s Legion attaching the Jewish sector from the Armenian and Moslem quarters.
The British military commander in Haifa issued an order prohibiting the carrying of arms in certain zones of the city. Hitherto, Haganah men were permitted ? carry arms openly since the city cane under Jewish control.
The Syrian Army’s invasion base was completely destroyed last night by a staring operation of Jewish Army units behind enemy lines which resulted in the ?molition or capture of large quantities of war materiel amassed to supply the Syrian forces invading Israel’s territory.
According to a Haganah communique, the Israeli forces battered their way into the Syrian camp east of the Bnot Yaakov bridge, after shattering strong position. Barracks were blown up, tents set afire and armored vehicles and other materiel destroyed. Large quantities of all types of ammunition, heavy armor and artillery were found in the camp. The fires set there were still visible today, the communique said.
EGYPTIANS CONCENTRATE ATTACKS ON SETTLEMENTS IN NEGEV
Egyptian Army units concentrated their artillery attacks today on Jewish settlements in the Negev. In an apparent effort to cut off the vital water supply, the Egyptians poured 1,000 shells into subterranean pipelines throughout the night and this morning. Simultaneously, the settlement of Yad Mordechai, which has been bearing the brunt of Egyptian artillery shelling for the past 48 hours, came under relieved attack today.
Daganiah, oldest Jewish settlement in Israel which is situated in the Jordan Valley, was raided today by enemy planes which bombed the settlement in formations of six. Anticipating such attacks, all women and children were evacuated from the colony on Monday. Enemy planes also shelled and bombed Neve Jacob and Mishmar Hayarden today, while Jewish forces, which yesterday seized the strategic Sarafand military base, overran the adjoining Arab village of Sarafieh.
A group of 250 Jews who survived the Arab Legion’s shelling and subsequent seizure of Kfar Etzion last week, and are now held prisoner by the Arabs reported today from Hebron that they are being well treated. Some of the women prisoners of war are being held in Bethlehem.
HAGANAH DENIES SAFAD RECAPTURED BY ARABS
Meanwhile, the Irgun force fighting for Ramleh–where a fierce battle has been raging for several days–reported by radio tonight that the “attack is proceeding according to plan.”
Haganah denied Arab reports today that Safad has been recaptured by Arabs, insisting that the city and its environs are “firmly in Jewish hands.” A communique issued this evening by Haganah reported that Jewish units have captured Zemakh, seizing many armored vehicles and destroying a large quantity of arms. The city’s capture also resulted in the imprisonment of several hundred Arabs.
An Israeli Government spokesman said today that “although the air pirates who committed murder in Tel Aviv and in Jewish settlements by bombing and strafing attach do not deserve treatment as belligerents under the Geneva Convention, the Jewish Government wishes it to be known that all such pilots whose planes were shot down and were captured, are being treated as prisoners of war in accordance with international law. Similar treatment is being accorded members of armed Arab gangs or military units falling into our hands.”