May 3, 1948 The Pittsburgh Press

British Halt Jerusalem Battle

Fresh Troops Pour into City to Keep Peace

Withdrawal Tactics Thrown into Reverse

page 1 Jerusalem, May 3 (UP) -- British reinforcements poured into Jerusalem today. They silenced Arab and Jewish guns in the Holy City under a tough "cease fire" order.

"Plenty" of fresh British fighting men already have entered Jerusalem to "control the situation" a high British official said. He indicated that the government had determined to enforce peace here at least until the May 15 expiration of the British mandate.

Solid Truce Sought

The city itself was quiet. Only an occasional single shot sounded during the day. The British were talking with Jewish and Arab officials in an effort to achieve a solid truce.

Sir Henry Gurney,chief secretary of the Palestine government, announced the arrival of the British reinforcements. The swiftly developing chaos in the Holy City had forced reversal of British withdrawal tactics.

"A military operation customarily is secret," Gurney said. "But I can say that sufficient reinforcements are now arriving to control the situation.

Troops Fly From Cyprus

It was understood that considerable units of men were being flown directly to Palestine from Cyprus, where the British have been guarding 30,000 Jews who were interned when they sought to enter Palestine illegally.

[In Cairo, a spokesman at headquarters of British land forces in the Middle East said that the Fourth Tank Regiment from Suez was one of the units going to reinforce Palestine.]

The British spokesman said that all 12 members of the Arab Higher Committee have left Palestine for neighboring Arab states. The last man left only today for Amman, capital of Trans-Jordan.

Arab Leaders Flee

Walter Eyelan, the Jewish Agency spokesman, said the Arab leaders were victims of a "flight psychosis" which he said was sweeping Arabs throughout Palestine.

In the absence of the high Arab leaders, the British conducted conferences with Jewish leaders and Arab sub-executives in an effort to reach agreement on a truce for all of Jerusalem at least.

Arabs remaining here denounced the British, alleging that they had permitted the Jewish forces of the Haganah to make gains in the recent fighting here.

They said the Katamon suburb was lost to the Jews because the British kept 500 Arabs from entering the battle.

Invasion Threatened

An Arab official from Trans-Jordan who came here to investigate the situation left for Amman today after asserting that Arab forces certainly would seek to take control of Jerusalem after May 15.

He said that Arabs would sweep into Palestine with the entire Arab Legion of King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, an estimated 15,000 men, another 10,000 mechanized troops from Iraq and 3000 men from Syria and Lebanon.

Arab sources scoffed at Jewish claims that organized Arab forces from Syria and Lebanon already had entered Palestine. They asserted these were Haganah propa-

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British Halt Jerusalem Battle

ganda designed to gain the world's sympathy. British officials agreed that no invasion had occurred.

Arabs attacked the Mekor Haiyim quarter southwest of Jerusalem with heavy machinegun fire last night. But they were thrown back by Jewish defenders.

British officers took no action because the quarter is outside the cease-fire area.

Within Jerusalem, the British turned back 500 armed Arabs attempting to reopen the Katamon quarter battle and stopped Arab guns shelling Jerusalem.

The cease-fire order was received with relief by both Arab and Jewish communities.

Cunningham scored

A British statement said the cease-fire order was issued because of "unwarranted aggression" by the Irgun Zvai Leumi against the big Arab port city of Jaffa.

Informed sources said High Commissioner Sir Alan Cunningham has received two blistering messages from superiors for permitting chaos to develop in Jerusalem and for the situation in Haifa and Jaffa.

Reliable reports said British forces in the Holy Land now number 20,000 troops. The Jews have a well-trained army which Haganah claims is 75,000 strong. Arab forces were placed at 15,000 organized fighters addicted to hit and run tactics. There are also 2000 members of the Arab Legion on loan to the British