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April 26, 1948 Arab Evacuation of Acre

“Acre, a town of some 12,000-15,000, had been destined in the Partition resolution for Arab sovereignty. But from the start, the inhabitants had feared Jewish attack. As in Haifa, most members of the National Committee, including the mayor, Hussein Halifi, had opposed attacks on Jewish neighbors or traffic, fearing reprisals. But local and foreign irregulars flouted him…

The fall of Haifa and its repercussions prompted the British to seek to prevent the fall of Acre before their scheduled pullout. At the end of April, the British repeatedly intervened to frustrate Jewish attacks on the town. But the (e.g. Arab) exodus to Lebanon continued. During the first days of May, the British withdrew from the camps around town as part of the pullback into Haifa enclave, increasing unemployment, which further undermined local morale…

Muni Effendi Nur stated:

Most [of the population] has left or is about to leave. We may go to Beirut. The preparations for evacuation… pertain to all classes: the rich, the middle, and the poor – they are all preparing to leave and are selling everything they can. Following the evacuation of Haifa, Hawassa and Balad al Sheikh… the population of Acre has risen to [sic] 50,000 and there is terrible tension in town.”

Source: Morris, Benny. The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited, pp.228; Muni Effendi Nur, 16 April. 1948, HA 105/252

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