October 20, 1947 Arab Murder, Mayhem, and Massacre – Lydda, Ramleh, Ben Shemen

“Britain retains close—if altered—political connections with the Middle East and the Far East and vital economic connections.  Interest in Africa—from Kenya, the Sudan and Nigeria right down to the Cape—are expanding.

Prior to World War II, Britain’s Mediterranean strategy was founded on bases in Gibralter, Malta, Egypt (Alexandria and the Cairo airfields) and Palestine (Haifa, Lydda, etc.)

The British were certainly not enthusiastic, from a strategic point of view in preparing to abandon all footholds in Palestine.  Until 1947 any partition plans thought of by London included as an area earmarked for British control the Negeb desert, which would be awarded to the proposed Zionist state under majority recommendation of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine.  The Negeb would have been a military and air base north of Suez.

In 1946, Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin indicated his Government was hoping to accomplish this by taking over part of Italy’s Red Sea Colonies and making the northeast corner of Africa into a British-controlled base.”

Source: New York Times, October 19, 1947