The Arab “Black Hand” is at work again in Palestine, seeking to terrorize both Arab and Jewish merchants into observing the boycott of Jewish goods, it was reported today from Jerusalem by Renters. It has already hounded at least two Arab merchants to death, the Renters correspondent says.
The correspondent reveals that the Arab boycott against Jews is not being fully observed. “There simply are not enough Arab manufactured goods available, and an Arab shopkeeper, if he wants to stay in business, is compelled to deal with the well-stocked warehouses in the Jewish city of Tel Aviv,” the British correspondent reports. “Arabs still patronize Jewish-owned notion picture theatres and cafes. Educated Arab merchants who have had friendly and profitable dealings with Jews for years continue to trade with them surreptitiously, but they remember the terror of 1936-38, during which 133 leading Arabs, including police officers and civil officials, were murdered by Arab terrorists.
“Recently an Arab broker, suspected of having sold land to Jews, was shot dead in daylight in one of the busiest streets in Jaffa. When Palestine police Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested two suspects, a bomb containing pamphlets exploded in the street. The pamphlets warned the police not to continue their investigations of the murder.”
ARABS THREATENED WITH DEATH; JEWS RECEIVE WARNING LETTERS
Arab merchants who have failed to observe the boycott have received letters threatening them with death if they continue to deal with Jews. How the “black hand” organization has turned its attention to Jewish merchants in an effort to make the boycott effective. A Jewish merchant in Tel Aviv showed the Router correspondent a copy of a letter he had received from the “black hand” group. It read:
“Sir, We have the honor to informs you, and to advise you first, regarding the distribution of your goods to Jaffa, our organized League instructed not to do any mean of harm against you, but in condition if we have to see your at Jaffa, then other ways of damage will be done. He in safety, and cut all your relations with Arabs, as we instructed all the merchants by a mean of warning not to receive your goods. We advise you, hoping to settle the matter in peace, and not to oblige us to make harm against you.” At the button a skill and crossbones and two guns were drawn over the words “the black hand of the Arab Secret Army.”
The original “black hand,” which charged during the Arab rebellion of 1936 was believed to have been composed largely of boys under 18 “delegated” to kill because they could not be sentenced to death if captured and convicted.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.