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Arabs Attack Hebrew University, Settlements and Troops

June 23, 1936
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Attacks on Jewish settlements spread to the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus today while British troops aided by airplanes scoured the hills near Nablus for Arab bands that killed a British sergeant and a private in a raid on a bus convoy yesterday.

Two British soldiers were slightly wounded and five Arabs reported killed, according to an official communique, in new attacks on a military patrol today. The insurrectionists attacked the patrol first near the village of Malcha in the Jerusalem district and later at Hartuv.

Bombings, arson and cutting of communications continued at various points as disorders against the Jews and the Government went on in their tenth week despite newly-proclaimed penalties of death and life imprisonment for acts of terrorism and sabotage.

An unascertained number of Arabs fell when police and Jewish special guards repulsed invaders who surrounded the Hebrew University and poured rifle fire into the grounds from all sides at a distance of only forty yards. There were no Jewish casualties.

Before the attack, Arabs blocked roads leading to the university, impeding the police in arriving there. Discharged British- and German made cartridges were found on the grounds after the Arabs had been routed.


Attempted raids on Jewish settlements were reported from various parts of the country. No Jewish casualties were reported and the number or Arabs who fell was not ascertained.

A half-hour attack on the Kinereth settlement near Tiberias was beaten off by settlers and police. Several Arabs were believed wounded when troops engaged attackers firing rifles into the Jewish section Kfar Saba from the Arab side of the town. A second attack was reported on the Ramat Kovesh colony. Police repelled the invaders, with no casualties.

A bomb thrown at a military unit en route to Beit Vegan exploded without injuring any of the soldiers. Simultaneously, Arabs attacked local police and a military contingent stationed at Beit Vegan, but were driven off.

A water main supplying Jerusalem was damaged by Arabs for the third time in a week. Telephone wires were cut again in the vicinity of the Holy City. A bomb explosion in the Old City quarter failed to do any damage.

Troops hunting rebels in the Arab village of Saris discovered a large quantity of gun-powder and destroyed it. Two Arabs were arrested in Haifa when spotted carrying a Mills bomb and four home-made bombs. Another Arab was arrested in Haifa for a bombing on Mount Carmel. They are liable to sentences of death or life imprisonment under emergency regulations.

Sporadic shooting was reported in the Southern district of Palestine. Trees were destroyed near Dir-el-Bach. Sniping was reported at Tel Litwinsky, a Tel Aviv suburb, and at Migdal, Safed and Nablus.

Forty Arabs were pressed into service to repair a damaged bridge near Jericho. Police extinguished a fire on the railway tracks near Khanyunis. A military trolley was derailed there by an explosion in which one British officer was slightly wounded.

Searches for arms were extended to the Arab quarters of Jerusalem and neighboring villages.


An army flier, part of the force seeking rebels responsible for yesterday’s attack at Nur-el-Shems, discovered a large band on Mount Ebal near Nablus and pursued it. Troops surrounded the hills and pressed a search for brigands among the caves. Soldiers guarded all approaches to the hills.

The military commander at Sarafend invited Jewish chauffeurs of the Egged Bus Company to see him and warmly thanked them for their courage and active aid during yesterday’s attack. He said their action would be officially commended to the authorities. The chauffeur, Itzak Rabinovitz, came in for special praise for carrying ammunition to troops during the engagement.

Sergeant Henry Sills of the First Seaforth Highlanders’ regiment was killed during the engagement and two privates seriously wounded, one of whom — a member of the Royal Scots Fusilfers — later died. More than 20 Arabs were said to have been killed.

An eyewitness to the battle said today Arabs placed a barricade of stones across the road at Nur-el-Shems and opened fire from the surrounding hills when the bus caravan and its military convoy stopped to clear away the obstructions.

When the heavily-outnumbered troops returned the fire, the Arabs held their cover, according to the account. Reinforcements accompanied by planes arrived soon afterward and pursued the rebels into the hills while the buses continued to Tel Aviv, their destination.


The official communique early this morning on the engagement said the convoy was ambushed three miles east of Nur-el-Shems by an armed Arab band estimated at sixty strong. Reinforcements from the Sea-forth regiment were despatched to the scene while aircraft meanwhile engaged the band with machine guns. The troops attacked the band, which split up. One section escaped to the north and the larger section to the South.

Ten of the band were killed in the battle, the communique said, but the full extent of the casualties was not yet known. There were no other casualties among the troops.

An Arab seriously wounded when a detachment of Seaforth Highlanders surrounded an Arab hideout at Mount Ebal near Nablus yesterday morning later died.

Increased shooting was reported last night in the vicinity of Jerusalem at Ramat Rachel, Motza, Illith, Beit Vegan. A train between Jerusalem and Lydda was fired upon.

A police car en route to Petach Tikvah was fired on near the Yarkon bridge and police replied with gunfire.

The Jewish settlement of Kibutz Hanenchad near Herzliah was fired on form several sides. The police returned the fire, driving off the attackers.

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