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Palestine Government Widens Police Powers on Day of Banning Jewish Immigration

April 2, 1944
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Adhering to the terms of the British White Paper, which has not received the approval of the League of Nations and of the United States Government, the Palestine Administration today closed the doors of the country to Jewish immigration, with the exception of 20,000 refugees who may still enter. Immigration of Christians and Moslems will continue.

To prevent any possible disturbances the Palestine Government today issued an order empowering every policeman to arrest without any warrant and detain pending inquiries, any person who fails to provide satisfactory proof of his identity, or his reason for being in the place where he is apprehended. Persons arrested may be detained for 48 hours. The Superintendent of Police may authorize further detention up to seven days, but must immediately report the circumstances to the Palestine High Commissioner.

A delegation of the New Zionist Organization today visited the Chief Secretary of the Palestine Government and pointed out to him that the organization, though adhering to a policy of active political struggle and propaganda for free Jewish immigration and for the establishment of Palestine as a Jewish State, is against violence or terror. The delegation expressed regret at the bloodshed and the damage caused by the recent outbreaks by Jewish extremist youths and urged that the Palestine Government take “sympathetic measures to calm the Jews of the country.”


Meanwhile the Jewish press in Palestine today continued to demand that the 12-hour curfew imposed upon the Jewish population be reduced. The influential labor daily, Davar, emphasizes that the “unjustified length of the curfew is ruining economic life and is affecting business enterprises.” The paper also complains against the rigid enforcement of the curfew and cites as an example the fact that a Jewish woman who rushed to her home three minutes after the curfew hour bringing milk to her children was detained over night.

A Polish refugee who was among 70 persons fined today for breaking the curfew regulations, refused to be tried by a Jewish magistrate. His case was transferred to a British magistrate who fined him twenty dollars.

The Irgun Zvai Leumi, terrorist organization, today issued a leaflet announcing the death of one of its members Elisha “killed by twenty tommy-gun bullets” during a battle with police. “The real name and the field of activity of the fallen here are underground secrets which, if disclosed, might be useful to the enemy,” the leaflet said. It added that “a new fighting group bearing the name Elisha will be established.”


The Palestine Post, only English language newspaper in Palestine, today took the authorities to task for permitting Arab newspapers to publish inciting anti-Jewish editorials in connection with the recent terrorist outbreaks by small Jewish extremist groups.

Censorship rules prohibit publication of material tending to aggravate relations between Arabs and Jews. But following last week’s outbursts, in which several British constables were killed by terrorists, the Arab press was permitted to publish editorials blaming the entire Jewish community for the outrages despite the fact that they had been denounced by all official Jewish bodies. The Post editorial raises the question of “how official indulgence could have been stretched to the point of tolerating such incitement.”

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