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DAMASCUS, Syria, May 19 (AP)-A Syrian army source said Syrian and Iraqi troops attacked the key Jewish towns of Safad and Beisan today and that Beisan’s fall is expected soon.

The forces fanned out to the north and south after beating down Jewish army resistance at Samakh, on the south shore of the Sea of Galilee, the informant said.

(A Syrian communique asserted, according to United Press, that its fighter planes had shot down three Jewish planes in the Sea of Galilee area in what would be the first aerial combats of the Jewish-Arab war.)

Beisan is a bastion protecting the valley which leads west of the plain of Esdraelon (Armageddon). It is about 14 miles south of Samakh and the Galilee shore.

Safad is seven miles from the northern shore of Galilee. It already had been under fire by Syrian and Iraqi regulars using cannon mounted on armored cars, the informant said. Both points were occupied by the Jews only a few days before the entry of regular Arab troops into the Palestine war last Saturday.


(United Press noted that capture of Beisan would give the Arabs a continuous line from the southern shore of Galilee to the outskirts of

The Syrian army said last night it had occupied Samakh yesterday and found 172 enemy dead in the city.

Samakh is less than five miles from the Syrian border, inside Palestine.

The Syrian army communique said two armored cars and trucks full of ammunition and machine guns and cannon were captured, and that the Jews left 172 bodies and a large number of wounded.

(On the southern front, United Press reported the Egyptian war communique said that Egyptian troops advanced to Beit Hanun after two
days of consolidating positions and mopping up. Beit Hanun was described as one of the chief Jewish fortified positions in the Egyptian
operational zone.


(The communique said Egyptian air force planes bombed docks, depots and the Tel Aviv airport. Direct hits were scored on the airport, damaging hangars and runways, the statement said. Egyptian panes also bombed Negba and Deir Suneid, in the Gaza area, and a unit of Zionist armored cars near Skedimo, it said.)

(An Arab League spokesman in Cairo said the daughter of Moshe Shertok, Foreign Minister of Israel, was among the prisoners taken at Kefar Etzion, when that settlement fell to the Arab Legion earlier.

(Egyptian Premier Mahmoud Fahmy Norkrashi Pasha issued a military order authorizing customs officials to inspect documents and cargoes of all ships in Egyptian ports.

(Customs officials were authorized to seek out arms and ammunition which might be en route directly or indirectly “to any person or organization in Palestine and to apply rules of international law and confiscate the goods if necessary.”

Legion Volunteers To Be Withdrawn

AMMAN, Trans-Jordan, May 19 (AP)-The Arab League secretary said today the volunteer Arab army will be withdrawn from active service as such in Palestine.

Abdel Rahman Azzam Pasha, the secretary, said the fighters will be rested, rearmed, regrouped and possibly used as a striking force under orders of one or more of the Arab state armies. The volunteers were sponsored by the Arab League under the field command of Fawzi Bey Al Kaukji prior to the end of the British mandate.