British Solidify Position in Old City; Food Shortage Still Acute
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British Solidify Position in Old City; Food Shortage Still Acute

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With bread for hungry non-combatants and lead for Arab rebels, British troops today solidified their positions in the walled Old City of Jerusalem which they yesterday wrested from Arab rebel control.

Met by a delegation of Arab women crying for bread after three days of starvation resulting from the 24-hour curfew and siege, the troops obtained and distributed 5,000 loaves. The food shortage nevertheless remained acute because Arab peasants in the vicinity feared to deliver their produce to Jerusalem.

The Old City remained completely invested by troops. Details were posted atop the city walls, and billets were established within the walls. Dragnet searches were resumed this morning while Royal Air Force planes reconnoitered above the Moslem quarter. Troops patrolled the streets at night.

Four more Arab rebels were killed as troops searched the Old City. Women auxiliary police accompanied the troops into the Moslem quarter to search Arab women for concealed arms and ammunition. All persons found carrying guns or suspected of participation in the rebellion were interned in a temporary concentration camp established in the courtyard of the Citadel of David.

Three rebels attempting escape were captured when they jumped from the walls of the Old City, With troops surrounding the walls of the Old City proper, British officers effectively reduced the danger of sudden counter-attack by stationing a cordon of steel around the Christian, Armenian, Jewish and Moslem quarters. Other detachments then started the fine-tooth comb search of each of the four districts.

Last night shooting occurred within the walls as the soldiers pressed their door-to-door hunt for hiding rebels. Many of the Arabs were believed to have hidden their weapons, doffed their uniforms and either escaped from the Old City under cover of darkness or lost themselves in the populace. Warplanes flying over the quarter reported observing numbers of suspected terrorists entering the Mosque area for sanctuary.

The troops voiced high praise for the bravery of Jewish Ghaffir (supernumerary police) and guides who assisted them in the conquest of the Old City.

As disorders continued in other parts of Palestine, the military authorities extended curfew in new Jerusalem to eight hours starting at ten p.m. and the High Commissioner’s emergency powers were extended. The chief executive’s right to demolish and expropriate immovable property of persons aiding, abetting, instigating and directing commission of offenses was extended to Palestinians residing abroad. This would cover property owned by prominent Arabs who were exiled last year, including the former Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, and Hussein Khalidi, former Jerusalem mayor.

A transportation strike called by Arabs yesterday was in effect throughout Palestine today.

Five Arab rebels were killed in clashes with troops and police near Ras-el-Ein and Tayiba. Three were slain when a band ambushed a Jewish-owned truck under military escort Two others were killed when surprised by a patrol while puncturing the pipeline near Tayib. Aryeh Lachman, 31, one of the Jews wounded in the Jordan River shooting at a motorboat on Monday, died today.

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