Jews Inflict Heavy Damage, Capture Two Villages in New Offensive Against Egyptians
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Jews Inflict Heavy Damage, Capture Two Villages in New Offensive Against Egyptians

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The Israeli Army today captured two Arab villages south of Rehovoth in what appeared to be the opening of a major offensive against Egyptian positions in the south Palestine coastal region. The villages, near Yibne, are Zarnouka and Kubeiba.

A Haganah communique this morning reported twin blows at Arab concentrations in the south last night. An advance Egyptian position at Beth Hanoun, ten miles northeast of Gaza, aimed at the Negev settlements, was wiped out last night by a force of Jewish commandos. The fleeing Egyptians left 30 dead behind as well as three heavy pieces of artillery and a large quantities of light arms.

A second, and stronger, Israeli force struck at the town of Majdal, 17 miles north of Gaza, which has become a major Egyptian invasion base. The town was penetrated and a number of buildings and ammunition storehouses were blasted before the raiding force withdrew. The Haganah stated that the unit returned safely to base. Jewish planes also struck at troop concentrations in the Gaza area last night.

Tel Aviv was subjected to a two-hour dive bomb attack by Egyptian Spitfires last night. Estimates of damage and casualties resulting from this first major night attack by Arab planes over the Israeli capital were not immediately available.

Egyptian and Transjordan troops have been completely cleared from Ramath Rachel area and the Bethlehem Road, invasion route to Jerusalem, which the suburb commands. Egyptians have also been blasted out of the Marelias Convent further south along the same road. In the last stages of the Ramath Rachel battle, which lasted more than four days, the Jews used a heavy mortar of their own manufacture to blast Arab concrete machine gun and artillery positions.

The same weapons proved effective in silencing Arab Legion batteries in the Sheikh Jarrach quarter. During the past two days artillery and mortar fire from Arab positions in the Old City and in Sheikh Jarrach has decreased noticeably. A Swedish school in the Mousrara quarter was set afire by shells.


King Abdullah of Transjordan today visited Jerusalem. The fierce one-sided battle between his Legion and Some hundreds of Jewish defenders holding down about 200 square yards of territory in the Old City of Jerusalem continued throughout the day with the Arabs again forecasting early surrender by the Israelis. Egyptians, Transjordan and Palestine Arab units launched now attacks also on the new city from the southeast, but gained little ground.

Jewish planes were active in the Jerusalem area last night. They caught an Arab armored column on route from Ramallah to Jerusalem and blasted it. They also bombed troop and supply concentrations in Ramallah and Shaafat, in the same area. During the same period Jewish artillery shelled a supply cavalcade and knocked out five or six armored trucks.

On the road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv a Jewish settlement, Maale Hamisha, was shelled by Arab heavy guns. A Jewish unit was forced to retreat from a nearby radio station adjoining Kfar Biddu, north of the main road, after a strong early morning attack by Arabs. The station was originally held by the Arabs and captured by the Israeli. Later, other positions at Kfar Biddu were bombed by Israeli planes. Another fierce battle took place at Latrun, on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway.

In the Jordon Valley Jewish units counterattacked and drove Iraqui troops out of positions in the vicinity of Geaher. At the same time, Arab artillery shelled Samakh and Shaar Hagolan, south of Lake Tiberias. On the northeastern front the Jews raided Haran, a village in Syria. Five persons were killed by planes and Arab artillery based in Syria when the Jewish settlement of Bamath Naphtali was shelled.

The Israel Lend Office was reopened here today with a ceremony during which the first transfer of land — 100 acres — was made to the Jewish national Fund.

The Revisionist executive has informed the government that it has named three representatives to the Provisional National Government. The three men are Dr. Arieh Altman, Baruch Weinstein and Zvi Segal.

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