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50 “terrorist Suspects” Deported to Kenya; Irgun Charges British Killed Acre Prisoners

May 12, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Fifty Jews “suspected of complicity in terrorist activities” were today deported to a British internment camp in Kenya, in East Africa, the government announced this evening. The communique said that the deportations, which were carried out by aircraft, “were made in the interest of public safety and security.”

The Irgun Zvai Leumi underground radio tonight charged that British soldiers tortured and murdered three of the Jewish prisoners recaptured immediately after the jail break at Acre Prison last Sunday. “This barbarous act will not be forgotten nor forgiven,” the broadcast warned, foreshadowing new outbreaks of violence.

The comparative lull during the last week — attributed in some quarters to alleged cables from American supporters of the extremist groups asking them to lay low during the U.N. sessions — resulted in the military authorities cancelling the order which has made Jerusalem “out of bounds” to British troops. Cafes, cinemas and other places of entertainment were filled with troops. However, one roving platoon went out on its own this afternoon and conducted searches in a quarter populated by Oriental Jews and later transferred its activities to the center of the city. The soldiers did not halt their searches and screenings of passers-by until ordered to do so by military headquarters.


The prisoners who escaped from Acre were yesterday offered amnesty from prosecution if they surrender before May 16, but none of the 29 Jewish liberated prisoners have yet taken advantage of the offer, nor have they been apprehended. Four of the 160-odd Arab escapees are reported to have turned themselves in since the announcement.

The Stern Group has assumed responsibility for the slaying last week of Billy Helmut, a Hungarian citizen who resided in Palestine for many years. The Sternists charged that he was a “former member of the Gestapo and later became one of the most dangerous agents of British intelligence in Palestine.”

The extremists were sent to Kenya this morning from Aqir airport in four transport planes. They were brought to the airfield from the Latrun detention camp. Among the deportees were Moshe Gold, 45, former head of the Revisionist youth movement Betar, who was arrested two years ago; Joshua Bar, the alleged head of the Jerusalem section of the Irgun Zvai Leumi, who is reported to have tried to escape from the Latrun camp a week ago in a meat box; Nathan Kalbfus, who had been for three years a prisoner of war in a German camp after the British defeat in Greece, in 1941; Jacob Hardof, a former petty officer in the British Merchant Marine, whose wife and child are at present in the United States; and Itzhak Zator, suspected of having taken part in the attack on the King David Hotel last year.

A report from Cyprus says that the committee of Jewish internees there has appealed to the International Red Cross to send an investigating commission to the camps, charging that British treatment of the visaless Jews has “deteriorated.” The move follows the banning of inter-camp visits and the denial of cigarette rations to all internees as a result of a May Day demonstration at the camps. The communication to the Red Cross said that the Jews lacked proper clothing and required other necessities, but the emphasis was laid on the refusal of the deportees to accept “collective punishment.”

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