By April 17, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Apr. 9, 1948, Holy Land Battle: Mufti’s Son Killed as Arabs Push Haganah from Kastel Stronghold, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle

JERUSALEM, April 8 (AP)-The Arabs’ Judean army drove the Haganah garrison out of the hilltop stronghold of Kastel today. Arab officials said Abdul Khadder Huseini, a cousin of the Mufti, was killed while personally leading the Arab attack.

Husseini was commander of the Judean army which operates in the hills around Jerusalem.

Haganah, the Jewish militia, fought a six-day battle to hold Kastel after seizing the Arab village before dawn Saturday in a drive to blast open Jerusalem’s supply route to Tel Aviv.

Arabs promptly counterattacked the village five miles west of Jerusalem, but Haganah rushed in reinforcements until a force of 1500 men was estimated to be holding the hill and village dominating the road to Tel Aviv.

The Arab section of Jerusalem went into mourning at the news of Husseini’s death.

Cross-checked casualty reports said nine Jews were killed and 30 wounded in the final fighting at Kastel and five Arabs killed and a dozen wounded.

Jewish sources said their men withdrew to nearby settlements after giving up the village.

Before they were driven out two food convoys of about 50 trucks each had reached Jerusalem’s 100,000 Jews who have been rationed on bread.

Jerusalem was threatened by a water shortage even as the second convoy arrived. Reliable informants said Arabs had cut the pipe line from Ras El Ein, 15 miles northeast of Tel Aviv, one of Jerusalem’s two sources of water supply. The second source, Ain Farah spring, is of limited value beacuse of restricted supplies of fuel oil for pumping.

An official announcement advised Jerusalem inhabitants to use water from cisterns and taps sparingly.

An army report said Arab village chiefs conferred with Jews of the colony of Mishmar Haemek at the edge of the plain of Armageddon on the conditions of a possible truce.

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