22 OCTOBER 1937, Page 2

The Palestine Outrages The situation in Palestine gives rise for

serious anxiety, Arab terrorism showing signs of increasing rather than diminishing. Last Friday a detachment of police was ambushed by Arabs near Bethlehem, and two British con- stables were killed ; on Saturday the airport at Lydda was set on fire and the buildings attached to it were destroyed ; on Monday a police post between Beersheba and Hebron was surprised ; on Tuesday an attempt to bomb a motorbus in Jerusalem failed. Meanwhile the Grand Mufti, who had been under detention in his house in Jerusalem, has escaped and is now in Syria, where his presence is a considerable embarrassment to France as Mandatory Power. It must be emphasised that this is terrorism,—shots from ambush, arson , at midnight. To catch the actual offenders is next to impossible, yet firm measures by the British authorities are essential if the terrorism is to be stamped out. In this case collective fines on two Arab communities have been imposed, a curfew order issued and two houses belonging to notorious agitators in Lydda blown up. Whether this last measure can bring any advantage commensurate with the obvious objections to it is doubtful. The German and Italian Press with unanimous fervour have used the incident as basis for virtuous denunciations of British brutality, Signor Mussolini's Popolo d' Italia in particular manifesting all the signs of the hysteria which now so habitually attacks it. There is good reason for believing that the terrorism is encouraged from outside Palestine, but comment on that must be deferred till evidence amounting to more than rumour is available.