Monday, February 07, 2011
New Project: 1948 Middle East Articles in the public domain
from the Toledo Blade March 12, 1948
Arabs Prepare 3-month Blitz on Jews after British Leave /
Leaders Expect to lose 'Million Men' to Stop Partition
Robert C Miller UP Correspondent
Arab leaders say they expect to lose "a million men" before the strife in Palestine is over.
They predict a three-month blitzkrieg beginning within 24 hours after the British give up their mandate in May. They say tanks, artillery and bombers will attack Jewish communities.
They have repeated their determination to resist to death "any force which tries to partition Palestine."
Six months ago such threats would have been ridiculed by Middle Eastern observers. Today they are being heeded and regarded as "possibilities"
Backed by Arab League
The Arab resistance to partition of Palestine is led by the Arab higher executive, a group of Palestinian Arabs headed by the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. It also has the complete support and backing of the Arab League composed of all the Moslem states in the Middle East.
Seldom in Moslem history has anything united the warring, bickering Arabs as has their opposition to partitioning. It has assumed all ed aspects of a holy war which their leaders swear they will fight until Zionism is eliminated and a "free, democratic state established in Palestine."
The Arabs are extremely bitter at the United Nations and the United States. They argue that America pressured the United Nations into voting partition and therefore the vote was not an honest parliamentary action.
The Arabs have been conducting small-scale guerrilla raids on Jewis settlements and communications for the last few weeks. They plan to step up these activities in coming months.
Originally, Arab strategy was to arm quiety and prepare themselves during the winter months, but to give no indication of their strenthg. Then, once the British evacuated, they planned to close in with a series of suprise attacks and overwhelm the Jews.
Their propaganda, however, had a much greater reaction on the emotional Arabs than was expected. Immediately after the UN acted on partition, spontaneous riots broke out in Palestine and elsewhere in the Middle East. These attacks tipped the Arab hand and the Jews immediately prepared for a long, tough fight.
The revised Arab strategy is to train in Syria and neighboring Arab countries, troops for guerrilla warfar. The training schedule has been completed for thousands of these men and they are now filtering across the border into Palestine. Headquarters of the Arab liveration army is near Nablus, deep in Arab territory and surrounded by rocky Samaritan Hills.
These troops are well equipped, armed with rifles, automatic weapons, grenades and machine guns. They are highly mobile units, designed for hit and run attacks on Jewish settlements in the outlying areas, for ambushes and raids on communications.
The Arabs hope pressure from these attacks will so weaken the Jewish economy and defenses that little effective resistance will be possible when they launch their all-out attack.
There is no shortage of volunteers for the Arab armies. Tribesmen from all over the Middle East have swarmed in to volunteer.
All the Arab nations have contributed large sums to the campaign, and arms are being supplied the Arab liberation army from government stores in each of the Arab countries.
Toledo Blade, March 12, 1948 Google News Archive