JERUSALEM (Oct. 29)
United Nations observers returning here today from Hebron reported that Arabs in Hebron have hoisted white flags and are preparing to surrender to the Jews who are located only a few kilometers from the town.
The Israeli capture of the strategic crossroads town of Beit Djibrin last week actually decided the fate of the Biblical town, since all Egyptian communications with the south have been cut off and the Hebron garrison must evacuate the town. Another important point in the battle for Hebron is the animosity which exists between the town residents and the Egyptian forces–a sentiment which has sharpened considerably as a result of the Egyptians recent debacle in the Negev.
The food and water situation in Hebron has also worsened as a result of the Egyptians’ requisitioning everything they could possibly eat or drink. The soldiers have even spoiled a primitive water supply so as not to leave any water intact for the Israelis.
The civilian population of the town is suffering and a large-scale exodus which began several days ago is now in full swing. Thousands of refugees from the town are jamming all roads and by-paths leading from Hebron to Transjordan. The Hebronites have long been among King Abdullah’s most ardent supporters and the ex-Mufti’s bitterest adversaries.
Meanwhile, Radio Beirut announced this morning that the Arab Legion has completed preparations for the renewal of large-scale fighting in Palestine. Jewish observers here, however, have not as yet confirmed cither the Radio Beirut broadcast or the Hebron report of the U.N. observers.
Air raid sirens wailed through Jerusalem today when an unidentified plane circled overhead.