TEL AVIV (Jun. 7)
Israeli units opened a new offensive against Arab positions in the outskirts of Latrun and its northern suburbs in which Arab guerrillas and Arab Legionnaires are entrenched. Latrun, itself, is a no-man’s land.
This latest move to rid the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway of Arabs following the opening of the road briefly to military traffic today. However, the supply route is not yet safe for slow, non-military convoys. This morning four military convoys of artillery passed along the road and entered Jerusalem safely.
Further to the west the Jews are pressing on Arab Ramleh, southeast of Tel Aviv, which is another base for units blocking traffic on the main highway. The Israelis are attacking on the west and south and have already cut the city’s supply entrances from the east.
Israeli forces continued today to pound the Arab “triangle”–Jenin-Tulkarm-Nablus. They are still in possession of a number of strategic positions in the northern parts of Jenin and are mopping up in the surrounding area. At Tulkarm, less than 25 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, the Israeli forces have isolated the city along a semi-circular front extending from the northwest to the southeast. Today’s battles took place on the north and west of the city.
An Israeli communiqu? announced that 400 Arabs were killed yesterday when the Jews captured the strategic village of Qaqun, four miles northwest of Tulkarm. In one trench the Jews found 40 dead Arabs with one foot of each corpse tied to a foot of another corpse. Military observers interpreted this to mean that the Arab “volunteers” and been tied together to prevent their fleeing during a battle.
The Arabs today opened an offensive from Lebanon forcing Israeli forces out of the village of Malakieh, on the Palestine-Lebanon border, which they had occupied for about ten days. The Jews immediately entrenched themselves a short distance to the south of Malakieh. To the southeast the Syrians attacked Mishrar Hayarden, but were repulsed after a hot battle. Syrian artillery also shelled Rosh Pinah, east of all-Jewish Safad.