TEL AVIV (May. 24)
After a respite of two days this week-end the quarter-million Jews of Tel Aviv were again subjected to air bombing today. Early this morning enemy Spitfires dropped eight bombs in a residential area of the city causing a number of casualties and some damage.
Meanwhile, a Haganah communique this morning indicated a speed-up in the tempo of bombings by the Israeli air force. The communique declared that Jewish bombs hit a read Junction at Kuneitra, in northeastern Israel. The function connects major roads between Damascus and Amman.
Among other points bombed by the Jews was an Arab village on the eastern shore of Lake Tiberias which was used as an Arab base for attacks on the nearby Jewish settlement of Eingeb. Further south, in the Jordan Valley, the settlement of Nahanaim vas strafed by enemy fighters and a woman was killed.
The Haganah communique also spoke of Jewish operations on the Lebanese border yesterday. At Sarafand an Arab hit-and-run attack was beaten off by the Jewish garrison. The Arabs opened fire with small arms from an armored car, but left as soon as the Jews replied.
Arab sources today stated that an estimated 1,500 Jews marooned in the Old City of Jerusalem were in desperate straits. They also said that another attempt last tight to crash through the Zion Gate with assistance for them vas beaten off by the Transjordan Arab Legion. The Legionnaires were today pictured as blasting their way from house to house in an attempt to destroy the Jews without a costly frontal attack.
DAMAGES TO HADASSAH HOSPITAL ESTIMATED AT $12,000,000
The Arab assault on Ramath Rachel, south of Jerusalem, was still continuing today with reports of fighting within the settlement’s defense perimeter. In Jerusalem the Hadassah Hospital has ceased functioning as a hospital following the destruction of many of its facilities by 15 hours of continuous shelling by Legion artillery, Dr. Eli Davis, acting medical director, estimated that at least $12,000,000 worth of equipment and structure must be replaced before the hospital can begin functioning again. The hospital which has a normal bed capacity of 400 was operating at 105 percent of capacity during the early days of the fighting before it became a major target for the Arabs.
Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog today issued a proclamation to the Jews of Jerusalem declaring that “in this hour of mortal peril my people in Jerusalem is dedicated to its centuries-old faith in divine salvation. I am not a prophet, but faith rises from the depths of my soul and tells me that we stand on the eve of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy,” the proclamation said, “Our battle is not for conquest but for the defense of the Lord and the shrine of Israel. “
Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan told a press conference here that soon the security of Israel’s coastal plain will be so strong that any blockade attempt will prove unsuccessful and men and material will pour into the country from abroad. He warned that any nation which participates in a blockade of Israel’s Shore will be considered and treated as an enemy. He also revealed that half of the first international loan of $20,000,000 has already been subscribed.
Another government spokesman told foreign correspondents that Israel will protect all accredited correspondents. The statement was made following yesterday’s threats by the Irgun against British correspondents and the demand that they be expelled as spies.