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Arabs Charged with Murder of Palestine Jewish Hikers Stahl and Zohar to Be Put on Trial in Fortnight

May 27, 1932
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Arabs who were arrested in November when the bodies were found of the young Jewish boy and girl, Johannan Stahl and Salia Zohar, who left Tel Aviv on a walking tour in June, will be opened at Jaffa on June 10th., about a year after they were murdered.

The following statement was issued by the Jerusalem Police Headquarters in November, when the bodies were found and the accused Arabs arrested.

The bodies of Salia Zohar and Johannan Stahl, the young Jewish couple who have been missing for some months, were found in the early hours of Friday morning 7 to 8 kilos north of Tel Aviv buried in the sand. The bodies were actually found by Inspector Goffer of the Palestine Police to whom the spot had been indicated through information received from an interested gentleman of Tel Aviv, representative of the “Dear Hayom”.

A shepherd boy is said to have told his master, a wealthy effendi, of the whereabouts of the bodies and this was communicated in turn to Mr. Shapira, who gave his information through the other gentleman to the Police.

It is understood that representatives of the “Doar Hayom” gave considerable assistance to the Police in the search and in obtaining the required information.

As far as can be ascertained at present the couple were murdered. It is hoped that the post mortem examination will reveal exactly the cause of death, although the body of the young woman was decomposed to a state which may render this a difficult task.

Five accused have been arrested by the police, four of whom made statements relevant to the crime.

A search has already been carried out by the Police and has produced certain articles which it is believed were the property of the deceased.

The Police are most grateful to Mr. Shapira, to the representatives of the “Doar Hayom” and to the public generally who assisted in gathering the information and who took part in the actual search leading to the discovery of the bodies and bringing the evidence of the crime to light.

The disappearance of the young people following on the heels of the Yadjur shooting outrage, caused a great deal of indignation in the Palestine Jewish community, and the discovery of the bodies, it was stated in the Palestine Jewish press at the time revived the smouldering indignation.

The story pieced together out of the mouths of five Bedouins who were arrested as reported as showing the young couple walking along the deserted seashore when the Bedouins returning to their camp with their camels met and murdered them in cold blood, not, ho ever, before all of them had violated the young woman. The man had been disposed of first, three of the assailants overpowering and stabbing him.

A young Arab shepherd found bits of garments, and reported the find to his employer, an Effendi of the neighbourhood. The Effendi did not communicate with the police, but with some of his Jewish friends. Mr. Abraham Shapira, the veteran leader of Petach Tikvah, was enlisted to help some young men belonging to the B’nai Benyamin” organisation.

Between them and the Jewish institutions, the Executive of the Jewish Agency, the Vaad Leumi, the Municipality of Tel Aviv, and with the help of the “Doar Hayom” a sum was raised large enough to enable the Effendi to disclose what he knew and to facilitate the quest.

Although the Jewish Agency had previously offered, through the Police, £20 as reward for information leading to the discovery of the missing couple, this amount appeared not to have been enough for the purpose.

Acting on information, the encampment of the Arbal Kuran Bedouins was surrounded by Police Inspector Goffer of Petach Tikvah at the head of six constables – two British, two Jews and two Arabs. He was accompanied by the voluntary Jewish searchers, who had been led to the spot by the Effendi. A search of the tents disclosed belongings not associated with the equipment of Bedouins, such as bits of European clothing, a belt, etc. One by one five men in whose tents these things were found were questioned, and four made statements implicating one another.

Two of the suspects were forced to conduct the searchers to the place where the bodies were supposed to be buried and then a third led the Police to the same place. The actual search over a large area took nearly three hours, until one of the suspects came upon the body of Stahl. After further search, the body of Miss Zohar was found.

The bodies were taken to Tel Aviv for burial, a thousand people following them to their graves. Mr. Dizengoff, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, spoke for the Municipality and Mr. Remez for the Jewish Labour Federation.

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