Communication Received from Hadassah (Women’s Zionist

Organization of America)

The following communication, containing information on the Arab attack on a Jewish Medical Convoy en route to Hadassah Hospital, has been received from the National President of the Women’s Zionist Organization of America.


1819 Broadway, NYC 23, NY

April 29, 1948

J. Ralph J. Bunche, Principal Secretary

United Nations Palestine Commission

Lake Success, New York

Dear Sir:

This will acknowledge your communication of April 15, which was written two days after the tragic occurrence Mount Scopus during which 76 doctors, nurses, and patients, were killed when Arab guerrillas attacked a medical convoy on its way to the Hadassah Hospital. The following are details cabled to us from Jerusalem on that fateful day:

9.30 a.m., April 13: Ten vehicles of Hadassah convoy attacked at Sheikh Jarrah by mines, bombs, mortars, bullets, Molotov bottles, roadtraps. Four vehicles trapped were escort car; ambulance with Dr. and Mrs. Yasky, staff, patients, one bus Hadassah personnel; one University staff. Hundreds of bullets hit all four vehicles. 3. p.m.: Both buses, set alight. 4.30 p.m. Army took action, succeeded evacuating survivors to Hadassah Hospital.

You will note that although the attack started at 9.30 am, it was seven hours later that the Army took action.

April 24 we received a cable, dated April 22, which indicates that the situation has been allowed to deteriorate further. I quote only a few sentences from a long cable:

Hospital completely isolated since disaster; Government apparently reconciled to virtual state siege…Saw American Consul General Wasson yesterday. Reported situation. He promised speak Chief Secretary today. No food reached Hospital since Saturday, April 17, when Army escort provided after we agreed they satisfy themselves bonafide but it later developed they allowed armed Arabs search vehicles near spot last week’s tragedy.

We tried desperately hard to avert the tragedy. On March 19 we addressed communications to the United Nations, to the State Department, to the International Red Cross, and to the British Embassy, all to no avail.

We cannot but help feel that what happened on April 13 and what is being allowed to continue to an institution of healing and teaching is a blot on the conscience of mankind.

Sincerely yours,

Rose L. Halprin (signed)

National President

Document symbol: A/AC.21/M/38
Download Document Files: AAC21M38.pdf
Document Type: Communication, Letter
Document Sources: General Assembly, United Nations Palestine Commission (UNPC)
Subject: Casualties, Governance, Health, Incidents, Palestine question, Security issues
Publication Date: 29/04/1948