Jerusalem (Aug. 18)
One British transport sailed from Haifa early this morning bearing the second group of Jewish refugees to be deported to Cyprus, while another returned to its pier after an explosion in its hold.
The Empire Rival left Haifa after a several-hour battle during which tear gas and fire hoses were used to subdue Jews aboard the Katriel Jaffe, who refused to be transferred to the transports. After two attempts to move them failed Indian troop reinforcements were sent to the ship and crushed the resistance.
Although unofficial reports said that one refugee had been killed and several injured in the battle, an official communique issued today stated that “no casualties were suffered.”
The explosion, which took place aboard the Empire Heywood, occurred at six a.m., shortly after the vessel had moved from the pier with its cargo of refugees. According to the official announcement, the blast was caused by two flashlights filled with gelignite, and had been aimed at blowing a hole in the ship’s side. However, no damage was done.
Mass meetings and demonstrations were held in Tel Aviv tonight to protest the deportations and all shops and businesses were closed. The demonstration was called by the city’s municipal council.
At a meeting last night the council voted to appeal to the government to commute the death sentences imposed Friday on 18 Jewish youths and to ask permission to send clothing and other assistance to the Cyprus deportees.
Military headquarters have issued orders to all officers and enlisted men not to appear in the streets in groups of less than four and to go armed at all times. The authorities apparently fear kidnappings in reprisal for the death sentences.
The Jerusalem post office, which has been the target for three bomb scares this week, received two more telephoned warnings today and both times the building was evacuated until police and troops had completed searches.