Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Four More Britons Die in Third Day of Palestine Outbreaks; Jerusalem Curfew Extended

November 16, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

At least four more Britons died today and three were wounded in the third day of the current outbreak of violence in Palestine, as burial services were held for five young Jews, whose killing on Wednesday set off the wave of attacks.

Two soldiers were shot down on one of the main streets of Tel Aviv by men in a speeding taxi. Both died. The city was alerted as sirens wailed and police cars gave chase to the attackers, who escaped.

The other two killed today were policemen in plain clothes who were en route to their assignment at the Mastashfa police station. One died immediately, but the second drew his gun and fired on his assailants. In the subsequent exchange of shots a four-year-old child, Rachel Monshein, was caught in the crossfire and wounded. The constable later died in a hospital.

Earlier, two policemen were seriously wounded when they stepped out of an armored car and became the target of a hand grenade. They were in the process of investigating a partly-completed house from which several shots had been fired at their vehicle.

Late this evening, during curfew hours, several explosions were heard in the city, followed by intermittent firing of small arms and automatic weapons. Later it was officially announced that a police sergeant had been wounded in the leg by two hand grenades thrown at the Mustashfa police station. The firing in the district continued for about an hour.

At least a dozen Jews were picked up by the police and army dragnet during the day in addition to three men arrested last night in the vicinity of the Ritz Cafe blast. Throughout the Jewish sections of the city, blinds were lowered and few persons ventured to leave their homes after dark. Rumors circulating before the curfew deadline stated that troops would be sweeping through the city tonight firing indiscriminately in vengeance for the killing of eleven Britons in three days. In Haifa early this morning, the fourth of a party of British civilians ambushed last night died of wounds.

During the funeral in Tel Aviv of the five Sternists shot Wedneseay near Herzlia, all shops along the route of the procession were closed. Shopkeepers who refused to close up were threatened by Sternists and several times guns were fired into the air as a final argument. The Hebrew press criticized the killing of the youths, referring to it as a “massacre.”

A Jewish Agency spokesman today stated that the “terrorist activities are a stab in the back to Jewish efforts at Lake Success.” It was reported that High Commissioner Sir Alan G. Cunningham had summoned David Ben Gurion to a conference.

Representatives of the Jerusalem Jewish Community Council visited the city’s, military commander and urged him to lift the dusk-to-dawn curfew which this morning was extended for an indefinite period, pointing out that they had been punished by either a curfew or siege conditions for a good part of the year. The British general replied that the ban was imposed for the protection of the civilians.

Other measures, however, were undertaken for the protection of the British. Soldiers were ordered not to walk about the streets except in fours. Persons living outside the “protected zones” were instructed to be careful, while those within the fortified areas were not permitted to leave except on official business.

Recommended from JTA