Bombs Burst in Haifa and Jerusalem; Tax Office Wrecked; Extremists Battle Troops
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Bombs Burst in Haifa and Jerusalem; Tax Office Wrecked; Extremists Battle Troops

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As nearly half the Jewish population of Palestine remained under martial law for a fourth day today Jewish extremists continued their activities against the British. Bombs burst in Haifa and Jerusalem and several skirmishes took place in the latter city.A terrific explosion was heard throughout Jerusalem tonight, followed by the sound of gunfire and hand grenade blasts. The explosion is believed to have occurred in the Meah Shearim quarter which is under martial law and policed by large troop concentrations.

As troops rushed to battle stations, the extremists attacked several police cars and a military truck in Meah Shearim. The roads around one of the "fortified" zones of the city, in which British personnel are concentrated, were reported to be heavily mined. Firing was heard in the Rehavia section where Palestine military commander Lt, Gen. G.H.A. MacMillan lives, and where the Goldsmith officers club was destroyed by a bomb last Saturday. The power line between Jerusalem and the suburb of Katamon was cut. Sirens sounded for almost an hour and flares lit the night skies as troops and police attempted to capture the attackers. At least one soldier is known to have been wounded.

The bomb in Haifa wrecked the government tax office in the Mount Carmel section, it was officially announced tonight. No other details of the action were given.

(In London the Daily Graphic features a report from its correspondent in Tel Aviv that martial law may be extended to all agricultural settlements in the Tel Aviv vicinity within the next 48 hours.)


Throughout the country Jews were observing a day of fast and prayer in sympathy for the people in the five "sealed areas." In its call for the day of prayer the Chief Rabbinate described the Jews in the Tel Aviv area and in Jerusalem as being in the "agony of martial law."

The traditional Purim carnivals which have been an outstanding feature of Jewish life in Palestine for centuries will not be held tomorrow in the areas under martial law. The absence of Purim festivities will be felt most keenly in Tel Aviv where the three-day holiday, capped by a masquerade "Purimiada," has in the past attracted thousands of tourists from all parts of the world. However, the holiday will be celebrated in synagogues and homes as usual.

The first military courts to try criminal offenders were opened in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem today. The military authorities here have announced the appointment of a liaison officer between the Jews and the army in the city. The appointment was made following a plea by Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog.

High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham last night promised an Agudas Israel delegation from the Jerusalem area under military control that arrangements would be made to permit the Jews to celebrate the Sabbath this week. He also stated that there was sufficient food in the "sealed areas" for the next five days.

Despite the iron hand of martial law and the presence of thousands of armed troops, the Jews of Palestine continue to build up the country. In Jerusalem today a cornerstone was laid for a new Jewish housing project of 160 units for veterans. The project will be on land owned by the Jewish National Fund and the homes will be built with funds furnished partly by the Jewish Foundation Fund and partly by public contributions.

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