The Spartanburg Herald-Journal - May 1, 1948

Jewish Troops Surround Arab Points as Arabs Plan Wearing-Down War

Attrition War Decided Upon By Arab States

by Sam Souki

Amman, Trans-Jordan -- (By Telephone to Cairo) (UP)

Trans-Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt agreed Friday on a long -term military campaign to wear down the Jews in Palestine, reliable sources said Friday night.

Military leaders of the 5 Arab countries, at a momentous conference here, were reported to have decided against the idea of a blitzkrieg campaign in Palestine because they lack the tens of thousands of well-trained and well-equipped troops needed for such an operation.

Hence they decided on a war of attrition or wearing-down, sources close to them said.

It was added that the military leaders did not rule out the possibility that the Jews themselves might try a blitzkrieg campaign as soon as the British mandate expires May 15.

THE MILITARY leaders were reported to have decided on the following steps:

THE ARABS will try to hold strategic positions in Palestine after May 15 by throwing in the Trans-Jordan Arab legion, units from the Syrian and Lebanese armies and about 4,000 Iraqi troops.

EGYPT PROBABLY will provide complete artillery units, with officers and men, and planes with pilots and maintenance crews for Trans-Jordan's forces.

THE REGULAR Egyptian army will assume responsibility for Southern Palestine.

Qualified sources said that though there probably will not be an all-out attack by Arab regulars in the near future, these units will occupy various strategic positions in the Arab part of Palestine.

Trusteeship Proposed: Arabs Say they will Oppose with Force

by Jack V Fox

Lake Success, N.Y. (UP) --

The United Nations trusteeship council Friday night was presented with a plan to set up a "simple trusteeship" for the city of Jerusalem but the council delayed a vote after the Arabs announced they would oppose it with force.

The United States submitted the general proposal and began putting on pressure for its adoption, resulting int he drawing of a rough draft for the plan Friday night.

It called for a UN representative to go to Jerusalem to attempt to establish a truce, take over municipal duties from the British and begin the formation of a police force.

BUT OTHER nations objected to hurried action and the momentary spurt was effectively blocked when Jamal El Husseini, spokesman for the Arab Higher Committee, said:

"We believe this is a preliminary step to partition. We are fighting the partition scheme. We shall fight this scheme too."

Speaker after speaker emphasized the need for speed at a time when news dispatches told of fighting in the holy city. But few were willing to commit themselves without instructions from their government and further study. The council finally decided to continue the meeting.

The draft presented to the council took note that a truce had been recommended for the walled city and suggested that the Trusteeship Council recommend the temporary trusteeship for the municipality of Jerusalem to the General Assembly which would still have to give its approval.

Truce in Effect Temporarily In Jerusalem

By Carter L. Davidson

Jerusalem AP - Jewish shock troops threw a headlock Friday night around a string of Arab strongpoints in a 22-hour battle for Jerusalem.

Fighting in the southern section of the Holy City halted for a time when Arab fighters asked for a truce. Then the struggle was resumed as 2 heavy explosions rocked the battered Katamon area.

Fifteen Jews and 30 Arabs are known to have been killed thus far.

JUST BEFORE the brief halt in the struggle, a Jewish Agency spokesman said the British district commissioner had sent word to the Jews that if the battle was continued "Britain would use all its arms, including air power," against Jewish sections of Jerusalem.

On the Palestine coast other Jewish units moved into Salama, a little more than a mile from Jaffa. The Jews were reported unofficially to have seized also the neighboring town of Yazur on the Jaffa-Jerusalem highway. An iron ring thus has been closed around the Arab port city of Jaffa if Yazur as well as Salama now is in Jewish hands.

THERE WERE reports that the threatened invasion of Palestine by regular army troops of neighboring Arab states was underway. An Arab News Agency dispatch received in Damascus said troops of Iraq and Trans-Jordan entered Palestine Friday afternoon. There was no immediate confirmation. The Syrian army moved southward to springboard positions from which it might launch a drive into northern Palestine.

Arab commanders rushed reinforcements of irregular volunteers from Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron to bolster their sagging lines into Jerusalem. Word spread through the streets of the Holy City that this was the showdown.

The Jews claimed a large number of Arabs have begun evacuating the Katamon quarter.

Haganah, the Jewish militia, carried out the operations in Jerusalem and in the region around Jaffa.

THE JEWISH underground organization , Irgun Zvai Leumi., has struck into the Manshieh quarter of Jaffa itself. Fourteen Irgun warriors were killed battling with the British before a cease fire was agreed upon. They were buried with military honors Friday on the last Jewish Passover Day.

Talks between the British and Jews for a truce in the Jaffa-Tel Aviv area broke down suddenly Friday night when the British presented a 5-point ultimatum from the Palestine High Commissioner, Gen. Sir Alan Gordan Cunningham, it was learned authoritatively.

The ultimatum, timed to expire at noon Saturday, demands that Irgun fighters withdraw from the ground they have seized in Jaffa and that all firing cease on a front from Jaffa south to Beit Dejan. Irgun has said itwas determined to keep the positions it has gained.

BRITISH TROOPS will deploy Saturday along the border between Arab Jaffa and Tel Aviv, an all-Jewish city.

Jewish troops moved into Salama, key Arab position in the Jaffa perimeter, without firing a shot after maneuvering the Arabs into a position where they had no choice but to withdraw.

Streets and houses in Salama were deserted when the Jews arrived.

The Arab troops and the 12,000 civilians there had fled down a narrow escape corridor which the Jews purposely had kept open.