*Arabs Abandon Jaffa to Jews, Residents Flee
May 6, 1948
Owossa,Michigan, Argus-Press (Associated Press)
Arabs appeared today to have abandoned Jaffa, their supply
port and military center adjoining Jewish Tel Aviv.
Reliable estimates had the old city inhabited by only 10,000
of its normal 70,000 people. The Jewish ring of encirclement has been
widening around Jaffa for several days. The most important Palestine
port, Haifa, was taken by the Jews last month.
Grenades, mortars and machinegun fire resounded from the
Moslem Sheikh Jarrah quarter of Jerusalem near the old walled city,
shattering the calm truce in the Holy city since Sunday.
A United Nations commission renewed its efforts to secure a
truce covering all Jerusalem. The parent world organization
in Lake Success was reported in general agreement that only emergency
measures can save Palestine from bloody war. There were indications the
U.N. at last was coming to grips with the problem.
The Jewish Army Haganah estimated 250,000 Arabs had abandoned
their homes in Palestine. Six buses carried out 150 Egyptian refugees
along the road traveled by Joseph and Mary from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
The Arabs had mined the route heavily to keep the Jews away.
A third of the Egyptian Army was reported massed in Sinai on
the south Palestine border. An Iraqi armored brigade camped in
Trans-Jordan near the eastern frontier. A large Syrian Army unit
disappeared recently from its training camp. King
Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, who says he
will lead armies of his country, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq into
Palestine, was quoted in an Arab newspaper as saying:
rejected any general truce in Palestine because it means outright
submission to Zionist demands. I am still maintaining my first stand -
to enter Palestine with my troops after May 15."