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Palestine Police Arrest 641 on Steamer; Illegal Entry Suspected

April 3, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A coastal patrol of British police today seized the 1,335-ton Greek steamer “Astir” off the coast of Palestine and brought her into port at Haifa, arresting 641 Jews aboard, under suspicion of attempting to enter Palestine illegally. The vessel’s crew was also held. Following recent discovery of two ships trying to land Jewish emigres secretly, the authorities took strictest precautions to prevent illegal immigration. A new coast-patrol of 100 British constables was formed, with six fast steam vessels and ordered to guard the Palestine coast. The Astir was caught by one of these patrol vessels off Nathania.

Meanwhile, the military authorities placed Acre under curfew following an unsuccessful attempt on the life of M. F. D. Corfield, assistant district commissioner. Two Arab terrorists fired six shots at Corfield, none of them taking effect although one penetrated his hat. Four Jews were injured today in continuing disorders, one in Safed, one near Lydda and two in Jerusalem’s Old City quarter.

More than £76,000 has been expended by the Kofer Hayis hub, Jewish defense and redemption fund, in the seven months of its existence, it was announced today. Expenditures for defense of colonies totalled £15,000; for maintenance and training of ghaffirs (supernumerary policemen) £35,000 and for urban security measures, £13,000. Reporting on the fund’s activities, Mayor Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv told a district conference that the work of the “Jewish Defense Ministry” would continue. He said the organization’s work was appreciated by the Government, which recently advised the Jews to fortify two Sharon colonies.

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