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Hebron Orphans Identify Murderers of Parents in Open Court

September 29, 1929
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Young children, survivors of the Jewish families killed in the massacre, continue to be the sole witnesses as the Hebron court is sifting the evidence pertaining to the events on Saturday, August 24.

An eleven-year-old girl, a survivor of the Gershon family, described in a few words how her father received his death blow. Her father, she said, was reading the Bible when Arab marauders entered their home and asked him. “What book is that you read?” When the reply was made that it was the Torah, the Arabs produced knives and daggers and cut him to pieces. The girl pointed to Mohammed Anamu as one of the murderers. Anamu is well known in the Hebron community, as an agent of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. Another murderer who was identified formerly was a frequent visitor at Jewish homes and considered a personal friend of the murdered Rabbi Hassoon.

He whose name is Shanzi Awada, and Mohammed Anamu, were committed for trial on the charge of premeditated murder, which involves the death penalty.

An insight into the mentality of the (Continued on Page 4)

marauders was furnished in the Jerusalem court inquiring into the Motza massacre. An elderly Arab confessed guilt in the looting. “Everyone went to loot. Why should I lose my share?” he said. He received a sentence of six months imprisonment.

An important ruling was handed down by the Haifa District Court, where David Syngarisky was tried on the charge of possessing firearms. He was fined £25, the judge declaring that the crime ordinarily merits a sentence of three years imprisonment, but in view of the fact that the accused was defending other people, but for whose defense a calamity might have resulted in the Neveh Shaanan quarter, the law obviously was not intended to apply in its full rigor in such cases.

The “El Carmel,” Arab newspaper of Haifa, attacks the Arab lawyers for their alleged decision not to undertake the defense of Arabs charged with looting. The newspaper asks, “Isn’t it worth while to try to obtain lighter sentences for looters acting under extraordinary circumstances?”


Three Hebron Arabs who saved fourteen Jews during the massacre, including Rabbi Frank, risking their own lives, spent several days in Tel Aviv as the guests of Dr. Elkana, one of the survivors. Several Jewish organizations sent their representatives to visit the guests who declared that the Hebron Arabs had been threatening them for their protection of the Jews.


Traces of the marauders who attacked the children’s village, Kfar Yeladim, killing the Jewish watchman, Shalom Elisha, lead toward Transjordania. The search is being continued there.

The Arab and French press in Egypt, in publishing reports of the raid on the colony, ascribed to it a magnified importance, one Cairo paper calling it a battle between Jew and Arab. Another reported that a pogrom took place in which many children were massacred.

Two agents of the Shell Oil Company, a Jew and an Arab, were obliged to flee from the village Mejdal, after being manhandled by an Arab mob. The headman of the village led the attack on what he called Jewish goods, mistaking the Shell Oil Company for a Jewish company.


The funeral of Chaim Opatowski, who was wounded in defending the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, Yemin Moshe, took place this morning. Opatowski died last night in the Hadassah hospital of the wounds he sustained on August 23, the first day of the outbreak. The Workers’ Council arranged the funeral. The mother of the deceased lives in Radom, Poland.

Jacob Cohen, aged Jew who was stabbed to death in Jerusalem Tuesday night, was not a refugee from Safed as was at first reported. He was formerly of Safed but had been living in Jerusalem for some time. His house in the colony Machnaim was burnt during the recent attack. Three men were seen leaving the spot where he was stabbed.

A marked improvement is reported in the condition of Dr. Wolfgang von Weisl, correspondent of the Ullstein News Agency, who was wounded during the first day of the outbreak.

The thanks of the Tel Aviv municipality for the devoted care of the wounded during the riots was expressed in a letter of thanks to the Hadassah hospital, praising the doctors, nurses and other members of the staff.


Major Campbell, District Commissioner of Jaffa, in a conference with Messrs. Dizengoff and Rokach of the Tel Aviv municipality, discussed the question of security of the Jewish quarters on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Major Campbell assured them that a new number of British gendarmes are en route to Palestine.


A statement by the government concerning the return of the Jewish refugees to their home is expected in a few days.

The military hitherto quartered in the Herzlia Gymnasium of Tel Aviv has been transferred to the grounds of the Palestine Near East Exhibition.

Despite the government’s advice to the refugees to return to their homes wherever intact, the refugees, huddled in the school building outside the Old City, refuse to return unless their safety is guaranteed. Even the threat of the government discontinuing their rations was unavailing.

Today the authorities curtailed the rations by more than a half and while the men protested and the women wailed a messenger arrived from Hebron to the Alliance School where about five hundred refugees are crowded, telling them that four of their homes were fired by neighboring Arabs. It is clear their neighbors mean to prevent the Jews returning to their homes and are resorting to arson so that they should not have homes to return to. The correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency saw occupants of the burned houses who came to the Zionist Executive office, pleading for police escort so that they might visit their homes and perhaps save whatever the incendiaries and looters left behind.

Melnikoff, the well-known Palestinian sculptor, returning today to Jerusalem from Metullah where he was working on the monument to Joseph Trumpeldor, found his studio above the Damascus Gate, which he rented from the government, destroyed and looted. “I occupied the same studio for nearly ten years. Now it is in utter ruin,” he said. “Many sketches were stolen, some were wantonly cut up and trampled. Figures too heavy to remove were demolished, all the windows were smashed and the doors riddled with bullets, the marauders evidently thinking the occupant was present.

“It is unknown when the vandalism in my studio occurred, but it was undoubtedly during the beginning of the disturbances on August 23, when the quarter of the Georgian Jews near the Damascus Gate bore the brunt of the mob’s attack.

“My studio forms a part of the Damascus Gate, affording an unrivalled view of the Old City. For nine years I was never once disturbed, although my predecessor, Snowman, an English painter who occupied the same studio for a short period, was the victim of a felonious stabbing and was laid up in the hospital for three months.”

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