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JERUSALEM, Dec. 9 (AP)-A Haganah leader declared today that between 80 and 85 Arabs were killed and about 145 wounded by Jewish defenders of Tel Aviv during an Arab attack last night, but Government officials said “that’s bunk.”

A public information officer commented in a statement-

“Police who were there and who investigated afterward say there is absolutely nothing to it. Maybe a few were killed, but no great number.”

(Meanwhile in London authoritative Government sources said Britain was considering suspension of shipments of military equipment and ammunition to certain Middle Eastern countries because of Arab threats of war against the partition of Palestine.

(A Foreign Office spokesman refused to comment but said the subject might be dealt with Thursday by government speakers in a House of Commons debate on the Holy Land. The spokesman emphasized that “a special government-level decision” would be required to suspend the supply of arms this country has contracted under treaties to sell to various Arab states. The amount of material involved is a secret.

(The U. S. State Department announced last week that American licensing of arms and military equipment shipments bound for the Middle East had been suspended in view of the troubled conditions there.)

The leader of Haganah, Jewish defense militia now fighting openly after years as an underground organization, said he headed the taxicab army of Jews, which beat off the two-hour attack upon Tel Aviv’s Hatikvah quarter by Arabs armed with machine guns and grenades.

Most neutral observers were inclined to discount his report of the casualties as a statement intended to revive Jewish spirits after 10 days of violence in which almost 70 Jews have been killed and hundreds wounded in Palestine.

Four Jews were reported killed today in sporadic outbursts in the area of Tel Aviv, increasing the total dead, including both Jews and Arabs, to 105.


Damascus, Syria, a “Palestine liberation committee” declared it was sending into Palestine Arab volunteers trained in commando tactics.

But the fury of the Arab attacks in Palestine itself appeared to be abating.

Two Jews were reported slain by Arab snipers, but the other two deaths came in the course of attacks on British armored cars, said by Jewish sources to have been perpetrated by “dissident Jewish groups,” possibly the Underground Stern group.

In those attacks, gasoline bombs were hurled at four armored cars, and four other armored cars were fired upon in the Tel Aviv area. Police sprayed the streets with bullets. Several Jews were wounded, and two armored car commanders were hurt.