Two Kidnapped British Policemen Released in Tel Aviv District; Both Unharmed
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Two Kidnapped British Policemen Released in Tel Aviv District; Both Unharmed

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Two British policemen who were kidnapped from a swimming pool at Ramath Gan last night were released today unharmed. A military patrol, acting on a tip, found the men near Kiryat Shaul, in the Tel Aviv area.

The patrol established a cordon around the colony about noon and waited for the prisoners, Sergeant E.P. Hackett and Constable P.C. Ward. The abducted men walked up to the patrol about 40 minutes later.

Earlier this morning, the government gave the Haganah and the Jewish community a free hand to find the men. A communique declared: “The government takes a serious view of the outrage, and notes that the Yishuv has been called on to secure the immediate release of these men. It is not therefore, proposed at this moment to take any action which would hamper the Yishuv in meeting this call.”

The call referred to in the communique was issued last night by the Haganah, which urged all Jews to furnish it with all information they might have about the incident, which it termed an “evil provocation.” Members of the resistance group launched the greatest manhunt in its history following issuance of the appeal.

A similar call was issued by a Jewish Agency spokesman in the name of the Agency and the Jewish National Council and most of the major national institutions. The spokesman also expressed gratification that the government had agreed not to hamper the Jewish community’s efforts to free the policemen. He charged that the “poor timing of the kidnapping seems designed to plunge the Jewish community into confusion.”


In another statement last night, the Haganah charged that both the Palestine Government and the dissident Jewish groups are plotting disturbances for the duration of the investigation of the United Nations inquiry committee. In a statement to the press the resistance movement declared that it would not allow such activities to disrupt the investigation and that it could assure the U.N. committee that its work would be carried on under normal circumstances.

Shortly after the kidnappings, Brigadier H.M. Moore, military commander of the Tel Aviv district, summoned Mayors Israel Rokach of Tel Aviv, Joseph Saphir of Petach Tikvah and Abraham Krinitzy of Ramath Gan and warned them that the incident might have serious consequences for the Jewish community. He threatened “serious measures” and asked them to appeal to the public to cooperate with the authorities in the hunt for the policemen. However, when the mayors asked him to suggest concrete steps be taken to discover the whereabouts of the abducted men he was unable to reply.

Meanwhile, all soldiers were ordered to return to their camps and military policemen rounded them up from bars, cafes, theatres and other amusement centers. During these operations a mobile police unit discovered a bound and gagged Jew who was believed to have been the original driver of the light truck used by the kidnappers during the seizure of the policemen. Several youths who were guarding the man fled when the police approached. The truck was found near Herzlia.

Police Inspector John M. Flanagan, who was in charge of the group which found the kidnapped men, claimed that he had not found them as a result of a tip but that he had traced them to Kiryat Shaul by the tracks of the truck. He said his men were conducting a house-to-house search when the two Britons, still in bathing trunks, appeared.


The two policemen said that following their seizure they were kept in a closet in the truck until they arrived at the colony where they were blindfolded and {SPAN}##led{/SPAN} to a cellar. Their captors told them that they were hostages for the safety of five Irgunists now standing trial for participation in the Acre prison break and that if the Jews were hanged they would die.

They said that they were well treated except that they were shackled. At noon today their guard left the room, declaring he had to make a telephone call. While he was out Sergeant Hackett freed himself and Word and they quit the cellar. The occupants of the house, who were later questioned, disavowed any knowledge of what had transpired in the basement room, where several weapons were found. Meanwhile, the police continued to search the colony and one of the kidnapped men is said to have identified one of his captors. Nine persons were arrested.

In Jerusalem late yesterday several armed Jews held up a truck owned by the Palestine Potash Company and escaped with about $1,600. Their car was later found in the city and, during a search of the vicinity, a huge arms cache was discovered. Forty people were subsequently questioned and several detained.

Two well known Arab moderates, the brothers Mahmud Salameh and Haj Mahmud Azi, were last night assassinated outside of Telesafi, northwest of Hebron, by unidentified Arab gunmen. The brothers, known as “friends of the Jews,” were allegedly ?lain by Husseinites who recently began a “purge” of their “enemies.” It is reported that they were killed after they had journeyed to Tel Aviv to sell land to Jews.

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