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and Police Alerted As Arab Strike Begins Today; Cunningham Warns Arabs, Jews

December 2, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

As Palestine security forces were alerted in pre##tion for the three-day Arab strike, which is slated to start tomorrow morning, ## Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham today summoned the two top leaders of the Jewish and Arab communities to Government House and told them that Britain would maintain law and order here until it had completely relinquished responsibility for administration of the country.

The High Commissioner’s statement came in separate conferences with David Ben ##ion, chairman of the Jewish Agency executive, and Dr. Hussein Khalidi, secretary-General of the Palestine Arab Higher Executive, and ranking Arab leader in the country present. Cunningham is understood to have discussed the general security situation ##th both men, but is reported to have laid greatest stress on the necessity for the Arabs to keep the peace.

Khalidi is said to have demanded that Arabs be permitted to arm at the same ##ce as the Jews. He is reported to have cited the photographs in the local press ##owing police and military cars carrying celebrating Jewish youths during the weekend’s demonstrations as evidence that the government is tacitly implementing partition, but the High Commissioner is said to have replied tersely that his administration is responsible for law and order and will brook no breach of the peace and urged ## Higher Executive to appeal to the Arab populace to refrain from violence.

The Jewish Agency, which is in the process of preparing a manifesto to the Jews of Palestine and the world stressing the obstacles facing implementation of the partition plan and calling for all-out efforts to build the Jewish state, called a special meeting for Friday to discuss the many urgent matters that must be acted upon.


The Agency, it was learned, has completed a blue-print for the Jewish Army and will be able to convert the unofficial militia, which is built around the Haganah, into a regular army at a moment’s notice. For the time being, mobilization of Jewish youths is confined to those between 17 and 25, but the age limit may be extended upward if additional forces are needed.

The Haganah has already been assigned to guarding all Jewish areas, but it is anticipated that additional duties will be given it as statehood grows nearer. It is rumored that the Haganah will get artillery and planes within a short time, but that depends on the U.N. implementation commission.

The chief problem facing the Jewish authorities is the question of armaments. It will be for the U.N. commission to decide the type and quantity of arms to be allotted to the Jewish state. The problem is urgent since the steady withdrawal of British troops – 20,000 are scheduled to leave during December – will seriously affect the ability of the British forces to maintain police and guard duties.

The Irgun Zvai Leumi tonight posted placards in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv calling on the Jewish community to forget past differences and establish a united fighting front. At the same time, it pledged to continue to fight partition and “dismemberment of the Holy Land.”

The Arab Higher Executive resumed its adjourned meeting of yesterday and remined in session all day. After Dr. Khalidi returned from his talk with the High Commissioner, the Executive telephoned the ex-Mufti at his headquarters in Aley, in Leb##.

It was decided that the Arab leaders would remain here until the end of the week in order to be on the scene during the general strike, and would then go to Aley for conferences with the Mufti. It is reported that the scheduled demonstrations for Friday may not be violent as has been hinted. The Executive is expected to study the affectiveness of the strike and the boycott during the next few days before deciding on the character of the Friday demonstrations.


Despite the tensions and ominous forecasts of impending violence the country {SPAN}##{/SPAN} relatively quiet today. However, the death of one Jew was reported in Jerusalem, bringing the total since yesterday to eight. An eye-witness stated that he had seen a young Jew shot and killed by Arabs outside the Damascus gate to the Old City.

In Tel Aviv, Shalom Segavi, 32, was wounded while walking near the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa boundary line when a young Arab threw a grenade at him. Nissim Shavisha, 54, was shot while seated in a cafe on the outskirts of Jaffa. Two other Jews were injured when Arabs fired on a Jewish bus on the Jaffa-Tel Aviv road.

A Jewish-owned bus and a Jewish-chauffered taxi were fired on by Arabs in the ##mema quarter of Jerusalem, just at dusk tonight. There were no casualties. Meanwhile, Jewish bus companies demanded that the authorities furnish strong patrols along the roads. The request was acceded to and traffic is returning to normal, although ##oradic stone-throwing incidents continue. Americans living in Jerusalem were reported to be removing their U.S. license plates.Some 600 Arab students marched to the Damascus Gate from the Jaffa Gate, the length of the Old City. As they marched they chanted: “Down with the United Nations, down with the United States.”


The Arab press is on a vigorous campaign of intimidation and incitement. A new tone, however, is discernible in the editorials. Several today asked “who is responssible for the Arab failure at Lake Success?” Some Arab circles criticize the “present shortsighted, extremist leadership.” A few papers even dared to demand a change in leadership of the Palestine Arabs, but the ex-Mufti’s party is firmly in control of the higher Executive.

Meanwhile, fearful Arabs evacusted the village of Someil, which is within the confines of Tel Aviv, despite assurances that they would not be harmed. Other Arab villages adjoining Tel Aviv were also emptied of inhabitants during the day. The ##htar of the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, Abraham Weingarten, told the JTA that the vast majority of Jerusalem Arabs do not want any trouble, but are being objected to terrific incitement.

There have been a number of reports that Palestine policemen will be permitted ## join the international police force on duty in Jerusalem. The local press, however, as already reported that several British constables have asked to join the Jewish police.

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