Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Martial Law Lifted in Palestine Today; 15-day Military Rule Cost Jews $10,000,000

March 17, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Martial law, which is estimated to have cost the Jewish community of Palestine more than $10,000,000, will be lifted as of noon tomorrow, the government announced today. It has been in effect for 15 days.

Richard Stubbs, the Palestine Government’s press officer, told correspondents that the military operations had been a “full success” and had resulted in the apprehension of a considerable number of known and suspected terrorists. Owing to the cooperation of the public, the immediate political purpose of the government ‘s action had been achieved, he said.

An official communique added that the army and police had completed their immediate tasks and gained valuable information for future operations. Martial law was being lifted, therefore, to give the Jewish community an opportunity to intensify its cooperation with the security forces which was manifested on several occasions during the martial law period, the communique declared.

It stressed that it had not been planned to maintain military rule for an indefinite period and thus cause a greater loss through unemployment and dislocation of the economic situation in the areas affected. The communique concluded that it was not believed that it will be necessary to resort again to such a grave step, but that martial law would and could be imposed again if events made it necessary.


In a statement welcoming the removal of the military restrictions, a Jewish Agency spokesman reiterated that the only effective means of combatting terrorism was a “constructive” solution of the Palestine problem which will do away with such ugly situations.” He added that “one good thing about the British is that when they make a mistake, they admit it and correct it.”

The lifting of martial law was greeted by the underground Irgun radio with a broadcast denying the government’s claim that prominent members of the Irgun were among 78 persons arrested since military rule was imposed. It said that not a single Irgun member had been captured. The broadcast added that ” the Palestine Government has not succeeded by starvation in converting the Yishuv into informers.” The statement indicated that the underground group did not to plan to halt its activities.

Although the country was quiet this week-end for the first time in many days, four British soldiers were slightly injured late Sunday night when the jeep in which they were travelling was blown up near Tiberias. The pipelins of the Iraq Petroleum Company is reported to have been out again, but no details are available.

Three youths were injured in Tel Aviv last night during attempts by the Irgun to post leaflets on the walls of buildings in the central section of the city .Two

Moshe Ben Avinham Barazhai, who ,when arrested last week in the martial law were of Jerusalem had a hand granade in his possession, will be tried tomorrow before a military court here. He faces a possible death sentence.

A court of inquiry investigating the killing of a four-year-old Jewish girl by troops in Jerusalem on the first day martial law was introduced ruled today that the shooting was accidental and that she was killed by a stray shot when troops fired in the air to warn civilians to obey curfew orders.

Beisan Raue Darwish, former secretary to the late Mohammed Zinati, well known Arab landowner and advocate of cooperation with the Jews in Palestine , was shot and killed Friday night by an unidentified Arab. Zinati, who was often described as “King Abdulah ‘s emissary to Palestine, “was murdered in Haifa by Arab gunmen two months ago. When Zinati was killed he was at the height of a campaign to organize Arab moderates in support of a rapprochement with the Jews. It is believed that Darwish was carrying on his work. Both were opponents of the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem.

Dr. Mussein Khalidi, secretary of the Arab Higher Committee, said tonight that the revocation of martial law was a result of Zionist pressure in Washington and London.

Recommended from JTA