CastelJERUSALEM, April 11-Counterattacking Arabs tonight recaptured Kastel, the British army reported.

Fighting still was going on in the hilly terrain where 100 Jews and 300 Arabs already have lost their lives in a series of bitter clashes. Heavy shooting sounded in the area. The extent of the casualties in tonight’s fighting was not known.

Kastel, a key hilltop fortress five million west of Jerusalem, has changed hands almost dally for the last nine days. Haganah, the Jewish militia, had re-entered the town only last night.

Kastel and the near-by village of Deir Yassin command a section of the vital Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Ultimately the side which holds the highway likely will determine whether the 100,000 Jews in Jerusalem can remain unconquered.

The Jewish extremist groups, Irgun Zval Leumi and Stern Gang, took Deir Yassin Friday and still are entrenched there. All Arabs and many Jews now describe the Irgun-Stern attack on the village as a “horrible Massacre.” A Red Cross check showed many women and children among the 254 Arab dead there.

The Arab Higher Committee called on Moslems and Christians everywhere to “consider the facts of the massacre of innocent people by Jews at Deir Yassin and to decide the world’s reaction to it.”

The committee’s general secretary, Dr. Hussoin el Khalidi, handed newsmen this statement-

“Deir Yassin, where this outrage occurred, is practically the only (Arab) village in the Jerusalem area which had not yet appealed to any Arab authority as being in danger of Jews. It lives surrounded by Jews and for four months has been living under an agreement of nonmole station.

“In the early morning Friday they (the Jews) swooped in and practically exterminated women, children and old men. The only ones who managed to escape were the young men.”

The attack at Deir Yassin was carried out by the Jewish extremist groups, Irgun Zvai Leuml and the Stern gang. Haganah, the Jewish militia, disclaimed direct control over the operation and described it as an outrage.


A Jewish agency spokesman said members of Haganah in Jerusalem rescued a number of the Arab women and children who had been paraded by their captors and turned them over to the British.

Representatives of the International Red Cross who moved into Deir Yassin said the 254 Arab bodies counted included those of 130 women and children. One hundred and fifty bodies had been thrown into a cistern, complicating the task of removal.

El Khalidi said the Arab Higher Committee had tried to recover the bodies and give them decent burial but the Jews had refused.