Fighting in Old City‘An Eye For An Eye’ Is the Keynote—Business Is Disrupted,and Many Areas Are in State of Siege.

Neighbors no longer know the names of those who live next door. They know only if they are Jews or Arabs.

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JERUSALEM, Jan. 3 (AP)—Palestine now lives in a virtual state of anarchy with the supreme law being “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

For the people in this Biblical land—the Jews, Arabs, British and others—life stumbles on uncertainly. Simple things now are difficult. For many the daily ride to work is a dangerous adventure in an armored bus.

Mail service is uncertain and often non-existent. First the Jewish and then the Arab post office workers, demanding more guards and security measures, refused to work. Some mail has been lost to train robbers.

Jerusalem was isolated tonight from the outside world except by commercial telegraph as both Arab and Jewish telephone operators refused to work because of a lack of security on their way to and from jobs. The dial system still was working, permitting local calls, but there were no intercity communications.

Many Families Must Move.

Home life for many residents of Palestine has become one continuous move. Thousands of families left their homes because they lived in the “wrong” districts. Speeding vans piled high with the furniture of Jews leaving Arab sections or of Arabs leaving Jewish districts are a common sight.

Neighbors no longer know the names of those who live next door. They know only if they are Jews or Arabs. And all this has occurred on a country where housing already is short.

Business in mixed areas is impossible. The blank dead fronts of shuttered shops warn a passerby he is in “indian country.”

In both the Jewish and Arab districts business still struggles to assist but except in the predominantly Arab or Jewish towns, residents buy only necessities. British and American housewives have discovered that what little beef is left is in the hands of the Arabs and most of the butter and margarine supplies are held by Jews.

Supply services have almost broken down. Road convoys are attacked and train tracks are blasted. Imports choke the main port of Haifa for lack of safe transport throughout the country.

Meanwhile, whole areas live in the state of siege. In the old city of Jerusalem about 1500 orthodox Jews are cut off by a surrounding sniper-infested Arab area. The Jews are supplied by daily convoys which sometimes fail to reach them.

The no man’s land between Arab Jaffa and Jewish Tel Aviv is barricaded and convoys entering or leaving Tel Aviv from Jerusalem come under sniper fire.

Patrols Are Active.

At night in Jerusalem pistol-packing patrols of Arabs and Jews make movement hazardous. Gunfire sputters and bangs intermittently throughout the residential districts mostly in former mixed quarters or along their boundaries. Explosions of “scare” bombs and grenades are commonplace.

Even the dead do not rest in peace. The Jews are making a new cemetery further down the slopes of the Mount of Olives to shorten the distance corteges must go through Arab sniper fire.

At least one Government department has been split into an Arab section and a Jewish section. Many business firms report that Arab and Jewish employees refuse to work together. An American manager of a Jerusalem firm said Arab employees wanted to establish a branch in the Arab quarter and the Jews asked to open a Jewish quarter office.

“The situation is becoming impossible,” he said cynically. “At least those who have been shot and killed no longer have to worry.”