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General Assembly

13 April 1948



Jerusalem, 12 April - Haganah units operating at both ends of the 40-mile Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, reduced Arab control to a 12-mile stretch in the mountains. The police announced that Jewish forces were again in possession of Kastel, and Haganah’s capture of Kolonia was confirmed by the Palestine Government.

Haganah forces formally occupied Dair Yassin, on the edge of Jerusalem, where 254 Arab men, women, and children killed by a combined force of Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Group were buried yesterday. Haganah issued a statement accusing the two groups of “massacre”, “robbery”, “looting”, and “barbarian”.

The Jerusalem police announced that a British road patrol shot down a Jewish plane that fired on it as it went to the assistance of Arab Legion trucks being attacked by ten Jewish “armored trucks” from Efan Etzion.

According to a Haganah broadcast, Jews from Mishmar Haemek have taken the offensive and captured a fifth village in the area. Arab casualties around Mishmark Haemek, according to Haganah, were 38 killed and many times that number wounded in the last two days.

Police casualty reports for the day listed one Jew and two Arabs killed, four Jews and 13 Arabs, including two Arab Legionnaires, injured, and one British soldier injured. However, these were only a fraction of casualties throughout the country. (NY TIMES, NY HERALD TRIBUNE)

Cairo, 12 April – The Arab League went ahead with plans to set up a provisional government in Palestine and it was reported that General Ismail Safwat, Commander-in-Chief of the “Arab Peoples’ Army” will move into Palestine from Syria with his entire staff. The new arrangement indicates that the Arabs intend to intensify the siege of Jerusalem and that they here little faith in current truce talks.

Plans poor a provisional government are awaiting approval of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is understood that under the plans the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajamin el-Husseini,would lead the provisional government until elections could be held and a legislative assembly formed.

Such a government would be formed as soon as all the Arab states agreed and would not necessarily await the end of the league of Nations Mandate, which Britain has scheduled for May 15. An ultimate legislative assembly, which is based on Arab hopes of victory, would include proportional representation of Jews.

It is believed to be virtually certain that Trans-Jordan’s Arab Legion will be sent to Palestine as an occupation force on May 16. It is expected to enter with the sanction of the Arab League and under the direct command of General Safwat.

This move would have two primary reasons. As Trans-Jordan is not a member of the United Nations, she would provide an occupation army not bound by the United Nations Charter. It also would give to Palestine a highly trained security force in contrast to the “Arab People’s Army”, which is a hodge podge of enthusiastic or fanatical recruits whose ardor might die when the novelty of battle wore off. The Arabs are thinking of a struggle in terms of years. (CURRIVAN, NY TIMES)

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