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Jews Would Have Captured All of Jerusalem Put for Truce, Israeli Troop Commander Says

“When the fighting resumed in Jerusalem after the expiration of the first truce,” Brig. D. Shealtiol, commander of the Israeli Sixth Brigade in Jerusalem, declared today at a press conference here,” we planned to take all of Jerusalem, including the Old City.

“Actually, of course, we had only seven days, after which the Security Council began to discuss an immediate truce in Jerusalem and eventually we were forced to change our plans and launch some kind of attack with only a few hours left to us before the truce deadline became effective. We intended, with this attack, to show the world our intention of regaining the Old City.” he said.

“During the nine days of fighting,” the 45-year-old commander continued, “we gained great strategic successes in capturing Malha, Ein Karem and other positions. Our position was greatly improved thanks to the arrival of artillery since the British, evacuation began. The Irgunists and Sternists did not interfere, and certainly helped in our military actions, he added.

Commenting on yesterday’s truce boundaries demarcation conference between the Arab commanders and himself in Jerusalem, Shealtiel said it differed from other meetings with Arab officers in that there were no British officers representing the Arabs. He estimated that, as a result of recent fighting in the city, between 25,000 and 30,000 Arab civilians fled from the Old City sector.