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Even Jews and 15 Arabs Killed in Clashes on Jerusalem-tel Aviv Highway

January 23, 1948
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

At least 24 persons died today in a series of battles on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road and in Tel Aviv where a crowd of Jews killed non-Jewish Pole who was known to have contacts with Arab guerrillas.

Seven Jewish settlement policemen died at an Arab roadblock at Yazur, situated athwart the cross country highway, and an eighth Jew was killed in an attack in a Jewish convoy near Motza, a short distance from Jerusalem. In addition, five Jews were wounded in the two actions. Fifteen Arabs are known to be dead in Haganah reprisals for the attacks.

The seven policemen were in a pick-up truck leading a large convoy. As they prepared to clear away the roadblock, Arabs lying in ambush showered them with hand grenades and opened fire with small arms and semi-automatic weapons. A Haganah omit which had halted a short distance behind with the main body of the convoy came to their aid, but it was too late. The truck was overturned and burned and the seven policemen were stabbed, shot and beaten to death. Two wounded men were rescued.

In chasing off the attackers, the Haganah killed three of them. Later, a Haganah detachment spotted a truckload of Arabs approaching the roadblock to take part in the battle and opened fire with machine guns and mortars, killing 12 more Arabs.

The Haganah forces then fanned out from the road and pushed all the guerrillas back into Yazur where they took up prepared positions. The Jews laid ?siege to the village until British troops arrived, compelling the Jewish militia to withdraw. However, the Arabs opened fire on the Britons, forcing the soldiers to reply.

One Arab was killed and five were severely wounded when a Haganah unit attacked a concentration of armed Arabs in the vicinity of Tel Aviv. One Jew was wounded by snipers firing into Tel Aviv from Jaffa.


A Jewish Agency spokesman today revealed that Haganah intelligence agents report that 500 armed Lebanese Arabs and 600 Syrians have Infiltrated Palestine in the last few days. It was also reported that the Arab guerrilla stronghold of Nablus was preparing to welcome the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem who was last reported in Syria. The Haganah said that Fawzi el Kawkaji, alleged military leader of the guerrillas, has arrived in the city.

(In London a Foreign Office spokesman, commenting on the reports of the Mufti’s imminent arrival in Palestine, said that the ban on his return remains in force and in case be does return the usual measures will be initiated. He asserted that the same measures were being taken in the case of Kawkaji, but did not specify how successful they had been.)

A Haganah broadcast last night said that although all Arab attacks have been repulsed up to now, they have been minor compared to what lies ahead. It cited the preparations being made within the country and in neighboring states and the Palestine Government’s alleged failure to cope with the situation.

Mrs. Goldie Meirson, head of the Agency political department in Jerusalem, left by air for the United States today to mobilize political, moral and financial assistance for the Jews of Palestine. In her absence, Eliezer Kaplan, Agency treasurer, and Moshe Shapiro, head of the immigration department, will assume her functions.

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