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Palestine Speeds Defense Work; Coast Cities Start Blackouts

May 20, 1940
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Palestine today rushed preparations to meet the emergency that would result if Italy’s possible entry into the war spread the area of conflict to the Mediterranean.

The first blackouts in Tel Aviv, Jaffa and the Haifa district were held last night and will be continued indefinitely. The civil guard was making intensive preparations for an emergency.

Officials of the Jerusalem Jewish Community conferred with the authorities and stressed the need of accumulating food and water supplies and preparing shelters, despite the prevailing belief that no one would dare bomb the Holy City. The community also organized Air Raid Precautions squads.

A major portion of the second contingent of the Australian Imperial Force arrived by train early yesterday morning from Egypt and was welcomed by the High Command. The contingent brings Anzac forces in Palestine to full war strength.

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