TEL AVIV (Sep. 24)
Arab troops in the Latrun area today launched an attack against the Jewish-held heights overlooking the strategic Jerusalem-Haifa highway. Casualties were inflicted on both sides after the Jews recaptured positions lost in an earlier withdrawal. This is the first major battle in the area since the beginning of the second truce.
The enemy raid was carried out by Arab Legion infantry units supported by armored vehicles. Previously the strategic “Burma Road” was subjected to intensive Arab artillery shelling in an attempt to disrupt Israeli communications. Jerusalem bound traffic along the vital link continued despite the barrage. Israeli batteries retaliated by shelling the Ramallah-Latrun road, closing it to Arab traffic.
Twenty-six Sternists today broke out of an Israeli jail near Tel Aviv. A large force of military police was put on their trail and all but one of the extremists was recaptured by tonight.
An Israeli spokesman revealed today that an investigation has been ordered into Arab charges that Israeli fighters yesterday shot down an Arab plane, killing two British correspondents. The spokesman denied that Israeli representative to the United States Eliahu Epstein told newsmen in Washington that he approved internationalization of Jerusalem.
A Revisionist Party member of the State Council last night announced during the course of a debate on the emergency defense regulations against terrorism that his party would support the government on this matter “because of the necessity for strengthening the state of Israel for total mobilization.” The Council thereupon unanimously approved the emergency measures, which are already in effect.
IRGUN-SPONSORED POLITICAL PARTY ASKS IMMEDIATE ELECTIONS
The Irgun-sponsored Freedom Movement today demanded that general elections be held immediately and criticized the Provisional Government for assuming “dictatorial powers” by issuing new emergency regulations and continuing the emergency regulations of the former Mandatory Power. The Freedom Movement announced that it would “continue to wage a public battle against a regime of military courts and concentration camps.”
The Mizrachi World Conference meeting here decided today to from a united religious party in order to support the Orthodox platform in the forthcoming elections. The Mizrachi executive was empowered to negotiate with the other religious parties in Israel towards this end.