5 February 1948

(Sources: New York Times, New York Herald Tribune)

Tel Aviv, Feb.4 – David Ben Gurion, Chairman of the Jewish Agency, asserted today that a legalized Jewish militia, armed by the United Nations, could maintain order in Arab as well as Jewish Palestine.

He added that in his belief a Jewish force could also protect Palestine’s borders against further infiltration of armed man from neighboring Arab States. (Turner, NY Herald Tribune)

Jerusalem, Feb.4 – British troops twice fought parties of raiders from across the River Jordan today near Lake Tiberias. The Army estimated the strength of the raiders at about twenty and reported that one British soldier was slightly wounded, and one Arab fatally wounded. Jewish sources, however, said that the force numbers nearly 200 and that the British killed “at least twelve” before the raiders retired across the Jordan. These skirmishes back up reports of a renewed movement of Arab volunteers across the frontier from Syria and Trans-Jordan. No fewer than 600 Palestinian Arabs who had been trained abroad were reliably reported to have cruise the Jordan on Sunday night.

Total casualties reported today by the police were one British soldier, seven Arabs and one Jew killed, plus five Jewish deaths reported from the previous day, making a total of fourteen. Twenty-three Jews were wounded today in various scattered incidents. (Brewer, NY Times)

London, Feb.4 – The British. Foreign Office officially confirmed today a NY Times dispatch of last Sunday reporting evidence in British documents that many Communist Agents were aboard the unauthorized Jewish immigrant ships PAN YORK and PAN CRESCENT.

This confirmation came after doubts had been cast on the account by Sir Godfrey Collins, Commissioner for Jewish immigrant camps in Cyprus. The Foreign Office spokesman said that Sir Godfrey, who had strongly denied the report, could not be aware of all the information available to the British Government.

(Matthews, NY Times)

London Feb.4 – Minister of Defense A.V. Alexander told the House of Commons today that sales of surplus British military supplies in Palestine are continuing, but that “every possible precaution” is being taken to assure that warlike equipment does not pass into the hands of Jews or Arabs.

An embargo also has been imposed on entry of war supplies into Palestine, Mr. Alexander continued, and the Government is refusing permission for arms experts to the Middle Nast except under existing contracts arising from treaties with Iraq, Trans-Jordan, and Egypt. (NY Times)