Situation on Jerusalem Front Eased; Jews Regain Suburb; Hold Their Position in Old City

The suburb of Ramath Rachel, a half-mile south of Jerusalem and considered one of the important approaches to the city, is once again in Jewish hands, a Haganah communique issued here said today. The suburb, half destroyed by two days of incessant fighting, has changed hands four times within the past48 hours.

The communique stated that after the last Israeli counterattack large stores of Arab arms and supplies and tens of bodies were found left in the town’s defense perimeter by the retreating Transjordan and Egyptian forces. The son of Itzhak Gruanbaum, member of the Provisional Government, was reported killed in the fighting at Ramath Rachel.

In the Old City, meanwhile, the battle between Arab Legionnaires and their outnumbered and outgunned Jewish opponents continues with the Jews apparently holding their own. The famous Sephardic Nissan Bek Synagogue captured by Legionnaires in the Old City has been dynamited and destroyed. The Irgun reported that a Legion attempt to break out of the Damascus Gate, on the northwestern perimeter of the Old City, in the direction of Irgun gun positions around the Notre Dame Hospice, was repulsed and two of the enemy’s armored cars were destroyed.

Legion artillery in the Old City and the Sheikh Jarrach quarter continued to pound the center of the Jewish section of the city. Most of the shells fell in or near Ben Yehuda Street, one of the main Jewish business thoroughfares. New trenches, atone barricades and machinegun nests are being built in all Jewish-held sections of the city in preparation for a house-to-house and street-to-street defense.

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