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Department of Public Information (DPI)
16 August 1948
Department of Public Information
Press and Publications Bureau
Lake Success, New York
Press Release PAL/246
16 August 1948
JERUSALEM FIGHTING RESUMED
(The following has been received at UN Headquarters from the Press Officer with the
United Nations Mediator for Palestine, at Haifa.)
United Nations observer reports from Jerusalem said today that heavy fighting in the Holy City was resumed Sunday night (15 August) with the most intense fighting taking place between 2.00 and 5.00 a.m. this morning, Monday, 16 August.
This new intensification of fighting came after 15 military commanders on both the Jewish and Arab sides told observers on Sunday that they were prepared to observe the Mediator's suggestion for a cease-fire for the Holy City.
Earlier reports from Jerusalem stated that heavy rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire was resumed on Sunday despite the fact that a few hours before the Arab and Jewish commanders had agreed to accept the cease-fire, including the elimination of sniping. The cease-fire was to have gone into effect on Saturday.
The observers stated that heavy fightings was suddenly resumed with the Arabs directing artillery fire against Jewish positions. Between 3.20 and 5.45 a.m. Sunday morning, a full-scale battle took place with violent exchanges of mortar and rifle fire. On Sunday afternoon, the general fire of all weapons up to three inch mortars broke out on both sides.
Apparently only the lines near the New Gate to the City are quiet. Observers have not as yet been able to cross the lines of fire.
Meanwhile, observer reports from Tel Aviv said that a convoy scheduled to go to Jerusalem on Sunday was unable to get through.
Regarding the Latrun incident, while close scrutiny is being made of preliminary reports, observers have instructions to seek aid from engineers and technicians for the purpose of seeing if it is possible to supply water to Jerusalem, in keeping with the resolution of the Security Council.
Newspapers in Tel Aviv said that a Jewish-controlled pipeline was opened on Sunday and water, in insufficient quantity, began flowing through to the Holy City.