Four Arabs Killed As Haganah Attacks Haifa in Reprisal for Massacre of Jews
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Four Arabs Killed As Haganah Attacks Haifa in Reprisal for Massacre of Jews

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At least four Arab and two Jews were killed at dawn this morning when the Haganah sent three picked squads into Arab villages on the outskirts Haifa in what was described as a "punitive action" for the killing of 41 Jews in Haifa on Tuesday.

The figure of four Arabs killed was given by the police, but Haganah sources claimed that the death toll was considerably higher. Both agree that more than 30 Arabs had been wounded. Tito Haganah men "who failed to return" were 21-year-old Heyim Bendor, son of the Jerusalem correspondent of the newspaper Davar, and Yochanan Zelinger, a former member of the Jewish Brigade.


Fighting also broke out in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa area when Haganah forces attacked a band of Arabs who were massing for an attack. After allowing the Arabs to approach several hundred yards, the Haganah counter-attacked, driving the invaders back to the Salameh quarter of Jaffa. Some militiamen then occupied several houses, confiscating all weapons found, "while others continued after the fleeing Arabs, inflicting severe casualties.

A Haganah member, David Kagan, was sentenced to five years imprisonment today by a Jerusalem military court for carrying arms in Salameh on Dec. 6. Another Jew was given 15 years for possessing explosives.

Ten young Jews disguised as British soldiers, and believed to be members of the Irgun, entered Jaffa in a military truck and bombed an. Arab cafe, causing 19 casualties.

Meanwhile attacks continued on Jewish buses in the Jerusalem area, and four passengers were wounded when Arab snipers opened up on a bus proceeding from the center of the city to the Givat Shaul charter, on the outskirts. An Arab was killed when a group attempted to stop a police car in Jerusalem. A Jewish bus was also attacked in Haifa, with one minor casualty, while three other Jews were wounded in that city when Arabs blasted a cold storage plant.


The spotlight shifted to the political scene this afternoon when the Jewish Agency executive conferred on the security situation here and the political situation both in Palestine and abroad. Moshe Shertok, political chief of the Agency, reported on recent developments at the United Nations and in Washington and London, while David Ben Gurion, executive chairman, discussed the general security situation. Mrs. Goldie Meirson, head of the Agency’s political department in Jerusalem, reported on her recent contacts with the Palestine Government.

After the meeting, Ben Gurion issued a statement to the press in which he charged that "war has been declared against us and against the decision of the United Nations. Disciples of Nazis and fascists are attempting to incite Arabs in Palestine and neighboring countries against the Jews.

He said that "this declaration of war" has been ignored by the British authorities, who are not differentiating between the attackers and those attacked, and warned that "now we have no other way but to defend ourselves by use of our own forces. We have been drawn into a war of self-defense and will defend the Yishuv and the frontier of the Jewish State.

He added that the situation was worsened by the Brithsh insistence, "for rea-son which we suspect," on keeping Arab military forces in Palestine. Ben Gurion stressed, however, that "we never had and do not have a was with the Arab people."

Questioned concerning Dr. Moshe Sneh’s rasignation from the executive alleged-ly because of differences as to the Agency’s attitude towards the Soviet Union, Ben Gurion replied that "Zionist policy is based on the Identity of views and unity of the Soviet Union and the United States in support of the Jewish state as manifested in the General Assembly of the United Nations." Earlier, he expressed the belief that


Punctuating the Agency chairman’s statement that the Jews would defend them-selves, thousands of youths flocked to recruiting offices in Jerusalem today as registration of Jews.between the ages of 17 and 25 for military service began. It was expected that 16,000 would register, of whom 10,000 will be called up immediately.

A Haganah broadcast tonight, in Arabic, again warned Arab villagers not to give shelter to armed gangs,.since they would be regarded as equally guilty as those at-tacking Jews. At the same time, the broadcaster revealed that an extremist unit-not identified as Irgun or Sterniet–attempted to kidnap an Englishman from the Park Hotel here, but was driven off by a Haganah squad, after an exchange of gunfire.

The recent Haganah-Irgun agreement may never be ratified as a result of the recent attacks by the Irgun, particularly the bombing of the Haifa’refinery, which set off the massacre there. A Haganah leader in Haifa commented bitterly to the JTA that the Haganah would kill the perpetrators of the bombing, if they knew who they were.

The extremists cut sections of the Jaffa-Tel Aviv rail line today, after Arab engineers had disregarded their warnings to stop operating trains on the line.


The food situation in the Jewish quarters of the Old City at Jerusalem is de-teriorating as a result of the increasing attacks, on Jewish vehicles, Mordecai Wein-garten, mukhtar of the Jewih sector, complained today to the city’s military com-mander, pointing out That Jewish supply convoys have not been able to reach the city tor three sucessive day. Arabs have blocked the Jaffa Gate with barrels and large rocks and they have also erected strong points on the roads to the Old City along which conveys must pass.

Weingarten said that the Jewish .supply caravans would reach the city, if the Arabs were sot aided by the police and soldiers,who search convoys, confiscate arms and arrest drivers in possession of weapens for which they have permits. Many Arabs from neighboring states have recently infiltrated into the Old City indicating that an attack on the Jewish quarters is immalnont, it was learned.

Three buses in succession proceeding from the Peopew, University to the city were attacked today near the ?fufti house. Three Jews were seriously wounded and three slightly. Occupants of the second bus replied to the Arab fire, killing one attacker. Constant attacks in the vicinity of the Hadassah-Rothschild hospital are endangering tiia country’s biggest nedical center where Jews, Christians and Moslems alike receive aid.

While Arabs were busy robbing four trains Juring the day, police busied them-selves’ searohing Jewish buses for arms and arrested two Haganah menon one vehicle, Simultaneously a combined police-soldier patrol searched another Jewish-owned bus, confiseated some arms and arrested six passengers and the driver.

One train was held up this morning by Arabs who made off with two ###-loads of cement and two boxes of oranges. The same train was later robed by another Arab band who stole whatever, had been left by the first band, The third train was robbed by Arabs who made off with a safe containing an unspecified amount of money. The


Chief Rabbi Herzog, discussing the impossibility of burying 24 Jewish dead who ?re at present in various hcspitals,today told the Jerusalem district commissioner, ?.H. Pollock, that "it could not happen in any civilized country." Snipers and mem-?ers of the Trans jordan Frontier Force are known to be attacking every Jewish cor-?ege not only en route to the cemetery but during the burial ceremony in the cemetery.

Rabbi Herzog demanded that safe burial be provided for the deceased Jews and ?ollock promised he would take the matter up with the government, Meanwhile, the Jewish burial societies here have ordered special coffins which preserve corpses, since some of the dead are considerably decayed. A temporary cantor, adjoining the ?war cemetery on the elopes of Mt. Scopus, is being prepared.

There is no telephone communication between Jerusalem and the rest of the coun-try, except Tel Aviv, since Jewish operators at the central exchange have struck, following rejection of their demend that protection be provided for them both to and from the exchange.

It was officially reported today that Arabs have stolen sail from the United States as well as domestic mail. JeruseJem’s Central Poat Office is not operating, since both the Jewish and Arab,emplbyeees have left their jobs reportedly becasuse both groups are afraid of attacks from each other. At present, only aeabers of the press corps here can send letters or file cables, all of which are routed through the Palestine Information Office.

Many other government departments have been virtually paralyzed. Those that are situated in Jewish sections are handicapped, because Arab personnel refuse to come and go without armed escort, while those in Arab districts face the same prob lem with Jewish employees In some departments, such as the law courts, neither Jewish nor Arab employees are working.

The official casualty list from November 30th to January 1st reports that 204 Jews, 208 Arabs, six other civilians,12 soldiers,two Transjordan Frontier Force mem bers, five British policemen, one Arab policeman and 12 Jewish Settlement Policeman have been killed, while 407 persons have been seriously wounded and 593 slightly.


A dispatch from Cairo says thatPremier Mokrashi Pasha was questioned in Par liament as to what was happening to the German prisoners of war still held in Egypt. It is known that within the past few days police in Cairo and Alexandria have arrested many war prisoners who entered those cities after escaping from camps in the near-by desert. Many others, however, have reached Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, where they have joined Arab guerrilla units as military instructers.

The Mufti has succeeded in driving another of his opponents from the country. Mohammed Ni?r Hawara, leader of the anti-Husseini De jada group haa fled after a warning from the Mafti’s aides what his life was in danger. The Husseinites charged Hawara with having conferred with the Eagensh, but this was denied by Jewish leader.

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