JERUSALEM (Aug. 20)
Quiet prevailed in Jerusalem today despite the expiration of the Egyptian ultimatum to the Israeli military commander to evacuate the building of a Jewish girls’ farm-school in the Red Cross enclave in the city. It was feared that the Israeli rejection of the ultimatum would lead to the Arabs opening fire on the building end to Jewish retaliation, resulting in a major battle.
The zero hour mentioned in the ultimatum passed without any shots being fired. Meanwhile, top U.N. truce officials today contacted the Egyptian commander in an effort to mediate the dispute. Although the Israeli commander said he was ready to accept mediation, he warned U.N. officials that the Jews would–if the Arabs opened fire–reply “with everything we’ve got.” We replies from the Egyptian commander have been received as yet by the United Nations representatives.
Irgun chief Menachem Beigin, in an address today at Ramat Gen, asserted that the Irgun will definitely not engage in any fratricidal war with the Israeli Government, He categorically denied British press reports that internecine warfare between the Israeli Army and the Irgun forces is possible soon.
U.S. ENVOY TO ISRAEL PRESENTS HIS CREDENTIALS TO BON GURION
James G. MacDonald. U.S. special representative to the Provisional Government of Israel, called on Premier David Ben Gurion today and presented his credentials, Ben Gurion welcomed the American envoy in Hebrew and his remarks wore translated by Foreign Minister Moshe Shertok.
Ben Gurion and MacDonald spent an hour in friendly conversation, an official announcement said. No guard of honor was present during the brief ceremony, because technically, MacDonald is not a fully accredited minister since the United States has not as yet granted Israel de jure recognition.
MacDonald told the Israeli Premier that he brought greetings from President Truman and voiced the hope for increasingly friendly relations between the United States and Israel. Ben Gurion expressed the “deep satisfaction of the people of Israel” at the arrival of the U.S. envoy.
An order to have the two Britons–Frederick Sylvester and William Hawkins–tried on espionage charges was issued by a Israeli magistrate today. Sylvester was indicted on seven spy counts, including participation in the bombing at Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem on February 22 in which many Jews wore killed. Hawkins was ordered tried on four charges. Conviction would carry a maximum sentence of 14 years on each count, to run concurrently. The trial will probably start next week in a district court.