TEL AVIV (Jun. 25)
Tensica continued high in Tel Aviv despite the feet that the action of the Israeli Government against the Irgun’s attempt to land arms in defiance of the U.N. truce was approved yesterday by vote five abstentions, at an emergency session of the Council State.
Large-scale movements of Israeli military units were evident in various parts of the city although there was no visible-activity on the part of the Irgun. Raids on Irgun arms stores were conducted here and in other parts of Israel. A the same time, trusted Palmach guards have been standing by not only outside all government offices and military buildings, but also along the entire Tel Aviv coastline. Military guards have also been stationed on many roof tops.
A major question still to be answered by the Israeli military command is the strength of the Irgun. It is known that the Irgun had four units, numbering 2,000 men, enrolled in the Israeli army, and possibly 1,000 to 1,500 outside the army. Public opinion here today can be summed up as opposed to any challenge to the authority of the established government, and hostile to internecine warfare. At the same time there is some criticism of the government.
Premier David Ben Gurion today announced the composition of a seven-man inquiry commission to investigate the clash between the army and the Irgunists when the latter attempted to land arms and ammunition from a gun-runner against government orders. The commission members are: Ben Gurion, in the capacity of Defense Minister Dr. Felix Rosenbluth, Minister of Justice; Dr. Itzhak Gruenbaum, Minister of the Interior; I.M. Levin, leader of the Agudah; Berl Repetor of the United Labor Group; J. Idelson of the Jewish Labor Party, and A. Shapira of the Mizrachi.
BEN GURION LEAVES FOR JERUSALEM; MIZRACHI MEMBERS RETURN TO CABINET
Following the announcement, the Israeli Premier left for Jerusalem which he is visiting for the first time since the formation of the Israeli Government. Mean while, the two Mizrachi cabinet members, Rabbi Judah L. Fishman and Moshe Shapiro, who resigned from the government, have agreed to return to their posts.
The Irgun tonight announced that it will not create any special military force of its own within the state of Israel, but “will continue fighting outside of the Israel area for the freedom of the whole fatherland until final victory.” A demand that all arrested Irgunists be released was also voiced over the radio by Menahem Beigin, leader of the dissidents, who succeeded in escaping last night when Israeli soldiers surrounded the Irgun head quarters in Tel Aviv.
Prior to his leaving for Jerusalem, Premi Ban Gurion indicated that the government is ready to negotiate for the release the arrested Irgunists and their sympathizers. Last night he promised to release all immigrants who landed from the Irgun ship. Simultaneously, he appealed to the nation to support the Irgun with funds. Among the Irgunists arrested is Itzhak Merider, second-in-command of the Irgun forces, why recently escaped from the British internment camp in Kenya. Israeli authorities also arrested a number of members of the municipal council of Nathanya.