donderdag 17 mei 2012

Dagboek 1948: een staat wordt geboren 17 mei 1948

MAY 17th Eight persons were present at the Whit-Monday Celebration in Church.

Another day of continuous heavy firing with heavy explosions in the Old City as Arabs continued to mine buildings in the vicinity of the Jewish Quarter. Another mortar from Montefiore over-shot the Citadel and fell in the Compound where it exploded, catching another car with a broadside, again, fortunately doing no serious damage. Several efforts were made by Jews to reach the Jaffa Gate to link up with the Haganah in the Old City, many of whom were reported to have taken refuge in the big Synagogue. There were several fatal casualties besides a number of wounded in the Armenian Compound from mortars.

Arabs were reported to have recaptured Barclays Bank and the Jews were reported to be in Tannous Building just below the Jaffa Gate. Almost the whole of the city of Jerusalem outside the walls reported to be in the hands of the Jews.

I rang up the British Embassy during the day to ask them to inform our Headquarters in London, through the Foreign Office, that all C.M.J. staff in Jerusalem were well. I also ‘phoned our staff in the Superintendent’s house who reported that all was well.

At midnight the Jews launched their most determined attack on the Jaffa Gate. The attack lasted for about three hours, but they were unable to make any headway against withering fire which hundreds of Arab irregulars kept up without a break from the Citadel and Jaffa Gate. The acrid smoke from all this intensive firing was wafted across into the Compound and into my house where the smell was so thick that it was quite unpleasant to have to breathe.