JERUSALEM (Jul. 13)
The truce which has prevailed here since yesterday morning was broken today and the consular truce commission was compelled to call for a new cease-fire agreement effective at 3 P.M. this afternoon, Jerusalem time.
Both Jews and Arabs accused each other of breaking the truce. In the Jewish sector of the city, dozens of Jews were reportedly killed when Arab artillery in the Old City opened a fierce barrage on the Jewish section. Israeli mortars replied with equally heavy fire against the Arab positions in the ancient walled quarter.
The Israeli Government’s representative here, Dr. Bernard Joseph, is in constant touch with the consular truce commission and has notified the commission of each Arab breach of the truce. Amid a welter of confusing reports, it has been established that Arab Legion forces at noon today attacked the Sheik Jarrach quarter of northern Jerusalem but were repulsed by Jewish units.
In the absence of U.N. truce observer teams, it is held likely that fighting will continue in Jerusalem until the country-wide truce is imposed. Jewish authorities here have not yet received any direct notification from the Israel Government that the Arabs have accepted the United Nations order to cease fire.The deadline when the Security Council’s order must be complied with is 7:00 P.M., Palestine time.
Outside the truce area of Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, Israeli troops today consolidated their lines southwest of Jerusalem by capturing the historic village of John the Baptist, Ein Karem. The village was taken after a show of only token resistance and none of its buildings were harmed. Correspondents who visited Ein Karem after occupation by the Jews reported that the Franciscan monks and nuns were unharmed in the Biblical buildings. With the capture of the village, the Israelis now hold a five-mile-wide corridor all the way from Jerusalem to the coastal plain, except for Arab positions athwart the highway at Latrun.
The International led Cross will evacuate Jerusalem this week, it was reported today. The agency will close down two refugee centers and will move the camps’ inmates to the former Mandatory Power’s Government House.
In one of the greatest battles the Jerusalem population has witnessed in the present conflict, the combined forces of the Defense Army of Israel, Irgun Zvai Leumi and Stern Group pounded at the ancient walls of the Old City for eight hours prior to the truce deadline yesterday. Sis: Jews were killed and 31 wounded in the operation. Irgun shock troops stormed through two dynamited sections of the wall and engaged in an hour-and-a-half bitter exchange of fire.Many actions were fought from house to house. At 5:45 A.M. the Israeli Army announced, it received orders to suspend all fighting.
The assault, apparently designed to wrest the entire Old City from its Arab Legion defenders within a few hours before the truce began, was described by correspondents who observed the battle as “one of the most concentrated of the war. Heavy shelling and incessant fire could be heard throughout the city during the engagement.