Thursday, 16 January 2014

22nd and 23rd February, 1948 - More guard duties and more explosions

Sunday, 22nd February, 1948
We started yet another week’s duty on the Public Works Departments Workshops today.  We started our duties at 6am.  A sergeant is now on duty with three B/Cs on this Static.  Two B/S stay on the Haganah Road Block while the other B/C stays at the entrance to the P.W.D. itself.  The sergeant wanders between the two positions.

The Sergeant on with us this morning is knew (sic) and so I showed him which workshops were which.  He said to me “You can sit down now until the workers begin to arrive.”  I was half was into the act of sitting down when there was a terrific explosion.  It shook the whole building, breaking panes of glass.  It flashed into my mind that the Arabs had blown up the Haganah road block the explosion seemed so near.  In fact the explosion was in Ben Yahudi Street a short distance
Car Bombing in Ben Yehuda Street
away.  It almost demolished the street killing about 50 Jews.  I saw the initial cloud rise up when the explosion occurred and the smoke drift up afterwards when fire broke out.

Monday, 23rd February, 1948
This morning we decided to abandon the Haganah road block after the deeds of the last evening.  The Jews having found out that Britishers were involved in the blowing up of the shopping centre announced that in future all British Personnel found in Jewish Areas would be shot.  They immediately put this policy into practice last evening.  They opened fire on British Police who after handing over Mutashpha Police Station [1] to the Jews were moving out of that Station.  They killed seven troops and wounded a Padre.  There was intense firing in the H.Q. quarter last evening also.

This morning at about 11am all the Arabs and Jews except four office staff walked out of the P.W.D. Workshops.  The watchmen handed us the keys and said they would not be back for two days.  They are all frightened of the recent events and intend to wait for two days to see how things turn.

[1] I cannot find any reference to a Mutashpha Street Police Station so I imagine Dad must have the spelling wrong.

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