Negev Brigade SoldiersTEL AVIV, Palestine, May 14 (AP)-The Haganah, Zionist Army, was locked in a bitter battle today with the major strength of the Arab volunteer army at the Babl Wad gorge, ten miles west of Jerusalem. Control of the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway was at take.

Other Haganah units were rushed to reinforce positions defended the Jewish state on the north. west and south. These Jewish roods, freed from siege duty by he surrender of the Arab port of affa, were being transported to their new posts by buses withdrawn from normal runs.

The Arabs scored their first real victory in the Palestine fighting in the last hours preceding Jewish nationhood. Arab, Jewish and neural sources said troops of Transjordan’s Arab Legion, supported by 2,000 tribesmen from the Hebron hills, had wiped out four Jewish colonies in the Kfar Etzion bloc, twenty miles south of Jerusalem. The colonies were athwart the Arab invasion route from the south.

According to the informants. 200 Jews died in the two-day battle hat ended Thursday night. A number of prisoners were taken. including four physicians who were parachuted to aid the wounded. The Jewish Agency for Palestine declared the Arabs had killed prisoners of war despite promises of adherence to international law.