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Irgun Commandos Invade Jaffa; More Than 50 Jews and Arabs Killed in One Day

December 30, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Eleven Arabs died and 32 others were wounded in a bembing today at the Damascus Gate of the Old City. Shortly after the explosion, and even before the first wave of Arab fury as a result of the attack had died down, the Irgun Zvai Leumi publicly announced that it was responsible for the blast.

An amphibious unit of Irgun commandos late today landed on the Jaffa waterfront and after penetrating a distance into the city attacked and destroyed a cafe which was a meeting place for Arab bands. Casualties are reported to be heavy and preliminary reports state that at least 40 Arabs and Jews are dead.

The Jerusalem casualties were caused by a large bomb, possibly a landmine, which was hurled into a crowd of Arabs assembled at the Gate by two Jews in a taxi cab. The cab sped off, pursued by several cars full of Arabs. The Arabs overtook the cab after a chase at breackneck speed over a course of about a mile. Some reports State that both Jews were dragged out of the vehicle and killed, while others assert that one Jew was killed and one was wounded.

At least two British policemen and one Jew died in the shooting which followed the bomb-throwing, as infuriated Arabs swept out of several quarters of the Old City into the Shimon Zadik quarter and fired at anything that moved.


Some hours after the incident, Jerusalem’s military commander barred Jewish-{SPAN}##med{/SPAN} taxis from the streets of the municipal area of the city from 6 a.m. tomorrow until further notice. An official statement said the ban came as a “result of the employment of such vehicles for indiscriminate, murderous attacks resulting in the ?eaths of innocont civilians and policemen.”

Several versions of the bombing incident and its aftermath are current. One ##sserted that the Jewish attackers in the taxicab sprayed an Arab bus with machine#un bullets after bombing the crowd. In this evening’s local press it was stated that Zion Cohen, a 63-year-old Jew, was killed and two other persons wounded after British police, rushing to the scene of the explosion, took up positions in the Arab quarter adjoining Shimen Zadik and fired on a group of persons attending funeral services for a Jew killed yesterday.One Jew was killed and another seriously wounded when a group of workers repairing a roof in the Shapiro quarter, on the Tel Aviv-Jaffa border, was fired on by ##nipers. An Arab hurled a bomb at a Jewish house in a district bordering Jaffa, wounding Israel Cohen and killing his wife. At Kfar Bilu, near Tel Aviv, one Jew was ##seriously wounded tonight when Arab Legionnaires opened fire on the colony.One British soldier was killed and two were wounded in the pre-dawn hours this morning at a military camp near Tel Litwinsky, in the Tel Aviv area, when the camp was attacked by a party of Arabs in battle Jress. Before withdrawing, the Arabs succeeded in stealing a quantity of arms. At about the same time a supply convoy escorted by a detachment of the Transjordan Frontior Force was attacked and one Arab trooper was slain and three others were wounded.

One Jew died and soveral other persons were injured in Jerusalem by a hand grenade thrown by an Arab, who was captured after a chase by Jewish policemen. In the mixed Katamon quarter another Jew was wounded today in one of a number of sporadic clashes which have occurred during the past few days. A Jewish physician, Dr. M.T. Reich, was asked by the police authorities in the Jerusalem “security zone” to move to other quarters because the “police are unable to guarantee his family’s safety.”

Dr. C.S. Malouf, an Arab doctor in charge of a mental hospital in Bethlehem, was today shot near that hospital by a group of unidontified men. Arab sources assert that the killing was in reprisal for the murder yesterday of Dr. Hugo Lehr by a group of Arabs.


Goldie Neirson, head of the political department of the Jerusalem section of the Jewish Agency, today called on Chief Secretary Sir Henry L. Gurney. She discussed the recent confiscation of quantities of arms and ammunition which had been destined for use in defending Jews in various parts of the country.


The Arab “National Committee” of Haifa has called on all Arabs in the port city to cease their attacks on Jews and to return to work. The statement added that Arab national interests demand that all Arabs await the signal to take action against the U.N. partition decision.

It has just been learned that during the recent battles between Jewish colonists and marauding gangs of Arabs in the Gaza area bullets pierced an electric line providing power to a pumping station on the Gaza and Beersheba water line. The Arab towns were left waterless for hours until the Jewish-owned Rutenberg Electric Company was summoned and repaired the break.

The post office in Jerusalem was almost closed today following the refusal of both Jewish and Arab clerks to work unless they were protected by army units. Similar problems were encountered in several other government departments.

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