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81 Arabs Tried by Army Courts; 8 Sentenced to Death, 5 Executed

February 16, 1938
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Since their creation last Nov. 18 to stamp out terrorism, British army courts have tried 81 Arabs, sentencing eight to death, 19 to life terms and acquitting 12, it was revealed here today.

Five Arabs have already been executed and a sixth, Haj Mahmoud el Husseini, terrorist chieftain sentenced last week for possession of a revolver, is awaiting execution. Death sentences of two others were commuted to terms of life imprisonment by Major General A.P. Wavell, who alone has the power to review decisions of the military tribunals.

Haj Mahmoud, whose death sentence was confirmed yesterday by Gen. Wavell, succeeded the late Sheikh al Kassam as leader of a terrorist band which he had joined in 1935. A native of Maukaba el Hawa, he recently organized a gang in Haifa to carry out threats against the police. According to newspapers here, he was disguised as a beggar when arrested. He is not a relative of Haj Amin el Husseini, exiled ex-Mufti of Jerusalem.

The army court here today sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment Suleiman Mohammed, arrested for possession of arms Jan. 1 after dogs had trailed the murderers of a Jew.

Alertness of a watchman who discovered a section of track had been removed near Kalkillia saved the Lydda-Haifa express last night from disaster. Kalkillia, midway between Lydda and Tulkarem, has been the scene of several train wrecks caused by Arab terrorists.

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