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733 Visaless Refugees Landed from Captured Vessel; Govt. Deducts 1,000 Certificates

March 29, 1946
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Turkish motor-ship “Asya,” which was renamed “Tel Hai,” was brought into Haifa harbor this morning by British naval craft. Its 733 Jewish refugee passengers were landed and transferred to detention camps. The vessel, which sailed from the south of France, about two weeks ago, was intercepted late yesterday after being spotted by an RAF reconnaissance plane.

As the passengers, most of whom are veterans of the camps in Belsan, Oswiecim Dachau and Buchenwald, were disembarking, the Palestine Government notified the Jewish Agency that 1,000 immigration certificates will be deducted from the 1,500 available under the March-April quota, to cover today’s arrivals and 240 who were aboard another vessel captured earlier this week.

Thousands of persons crowded the port area when word spread that the refugee ship was being brought into Haifa. As the passengers marched down the gangplank singing Hatikvah, and headed by several youths carrying blue-white flags, large contingents of British troops patrolled the harbor. Tanks were stationed at strategic spots, and radio cars were in constant communication with headquarters.

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