JERUSALEM (Jul. 30)
Col. Moshe Dayan, recently appointed commander of the Jewish military forces in Jerusalem, “in a city-wide “broadcast today warned the Jewish population to be on guard against future Arab attacks which might be launched “at any moment.”
Pointing proudly to the fact that “our military strength has increased lately,” Col. Dayan declared that the troops must be backed by the entire population. The war has not yet ended and we cannot afford to relax our efforts,” he stated, calling on the civilians to continue building defenses and carrying out guard duties.
One of the reasons for the continued tension in this city, beside the almost daily sniper truce violations and the supply situation is the fact that the final demarcation lines between the Israeli end Egyptian forces in the southern outskirts of the city are still not set. This, plus the turning back of two Jewish supply convoys by the Arab Legion yesterday and today, has given the entire population the feeling that the Arabs intend to reopen hostilities.
Meanwhile, the first trial pumpings of water from Bas El Ain, in the Lydda-Tel Aviv district, by way of Latrun to this city have begun. United Nations truce observers, stationed in the no-man’s-land around Latrun, permitted Jewish engineers to test the pumping machinery, which they found only slightly damaged although the area had been generously booby-trapped’ by the Arabs.
Word spread here that baths and clean towels were in prospect. The report, however, was considerably premature. The water that finally began to flow was hoarded into reservoirs against the possibility of another interruption in the supply. Jewish doctors, meanwhile, reported several deaths of small children from “dehydration,” the result of almost five hot months without a constant supply of water.
The food situation, however, is somewhat improved. Cigarettes are now obtainable on the free market, but most other commodities remain strictly rationed. The prevailing hardships would have little adverse effect upon the Jews’ morale had they not to fear the imminent economic crisis threatened by the fact that most merchants and tradesmen are without goods and capital.