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April 18, 1948 Dr. Barnes responds to GOC’s Claims

Mt Scopus Hadassah Hospital Massacre April 13, 194818 April, 1948

“Dear General,

I thank you for your kindness in writing me in detail about the tragic happening at Sheikh Jarrah on April 13 when 76 Zion Hospital and University workers lost their lives and 20 were injured.

I am ready to accept all you say as to the course of events. Yet that does not at all answer the question which is being put by hundreds of persons and which I shall have to put to myself for the rest of my life.

That question is, why were not these victims rescued? Why?  The vehicles were immobilized by a mine and heavy shooting at 9:45 a.m. The twenty eight persons were rescued in the late afternoon. Thus hours and hours elapsed. This was not out in the desert, but in plain sight of Jerusalem, not far away from the Central Police Depot and a few yards away from the Military Post. These men at the post did their best. Why were they not reinforced; or why was not something else done in all those hours to extricate the trapped victims?

It is greatly to be regretted that British soldiers are losing their lives, particularly while they are in the process of withdrawing from the country. But who should have prevented such a catastrophe, if not the British army and the British police?

The question that haunts me and others: Why were these victims not rescued in the course of those interminable hours? Why?”

Source: Davis, Eli. Saga of a Siege. P 120-121.

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