"... it is well to remember that the course of events in Palestine during the year 1948 may have wide repercussions. Nor should we lose sight of the fact that action taken now—or absence of action—will be recalled in literature, the Press, the schoolroom with hardly a break for another century." Cyril Falls, Chilele Professor of the History of War, Oxford. The Illustrated London News, April 10 1948.
By 1948 no one was safe and Palestinian Arabs and Zionist colonists were fighting for Palestine; the British being caught in the middle. Arab irregulars were infiltrating across borders and attacking and looting Jewish settlements and property. The Haganah, etc, had begun to attack Palestinian villages, forcing out the inhabitants, looting and often destroying the villages. (Jewish veterans are beginning to talk about their part in these attacks.) There was unrest also all around the globe and Herbert Morrison put demobilisation of troops back three months.
In January all leave was cancelled and troops were already confined to barracks except when on duty. By February Jerusalem was surrounded and under siege as many Arab villages overlooked strategic roads and attacked anything on them. Convoys of food, water and medical supplies were being brought into Jerusalem at great risk to drivers and passengers. Some convoys were escorted by British troops but the Haganah preferred to be responsible for their own security.
and vice versa, but both sides took the
opportunity to snipe the troops and police
occupied in patrolling the streets by day
and enforcing the curfew by night."
Situation in Jaffa, 1.1.48, WO261/197
By early 1948 the forced depopulation of Arab villages was well underway and the Nakba had begun. There was little resistance and reminders of Deir Yassin and other massacres terrified people into leaving though many thought it was only temporary. newSome Palestinians not forced into exile were captured and put into concentration/labour camps. Many of the destroyed villages such as Lubya were planted over with trees to remove evidence of their existence and steady effort continues to expropriate the remains of Palestinian land. Ironically, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) frequently plant trees in memory of people who rescued Jews themselves from ethnic cleansing, such as the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes who, like the Japanese diplomat, Chiune Sugihara, freely issued visas in disobedience to orders from the fascist dictator, Salazar. Their reward: destroyed careers and financial ruin. Parks are often created on sites of depopulated villages. Villages are still being demolished and the owners exiled. You can download iNakba app from Zochrot (free)detailing the whereabouts of destroyed villages. Testimonies of Palestinians and Zionists. | Bishop Riah's experience is fairly typical though his family had a car and were able to get away in safety; most had to walk. Some refugees settled in Syria from where many are now fleeing yet again.
The table records deaths of British troops and Palestine Policemen but other significant incidents are also included. It is not exhaustive and can only give some idea of what was going on. The fighting was relentless and revenge and retaliation attacks neverending. Quotes come from the MOD Roll of Honour. Please let me know of any inaccuracies or details you can add. A detailed and referenced account of incidents can be found in Issa Nakhleh's Palestine Encyclopaedia.
BC (British Constable) McKechnie (34) killed on duty, Ramleh.
BC Golding died of wounds.
2 Arabs killed and 9 injured by shooting attack on café in Jaffa by Irgun. Haganah terrorists attacked a village on the slopes of Mount Carmel; 17 Arabs were killed and 33 wounded.
Lifta occupied by terrorists after 6 villagers shot dead and others injured in café.
|Jan||2||Cpl Raymond Dyson MM (23) from Newcastle; 2/Roy Lincs; killed in Jewish terrorist attack, Beersheba.|
|Jan||4||Jews in British Army uniforms entered Jaffa and blew up the Serai (the old Turkish Government House), HQ of the Arab National Committee, killing more than 40 persons and wounding 98 others.|
|Jan||5||Sgt JT Woolley, 1st Airborne, Field Security Section, killed by Arab sniper; Stanton Street, Haifa.
L/Bdr Clive Pendrich (20) from Newcastle-on-Tyne; RA; killed by sniper, Haifa.
Bombing of Christian-owned Semiramis Hotel by Jewish terrorists. At least 25 civilians killed including Viscount de Tapia, the Spanish Consul.
BC James Laxton killed on duty, Ramleh. "Fatally wounded around 08:15 hours near the Hassan Dey Mosque, Jaffa, Constable Laxton, of Manshieh PS, was shot and seriously wounded whilst escorting an Arab, who was moving his furniture from Mea Shearim Street. The shot came from the direction of Karton Quarter. MOD
Lt George Dwyer (45) from Manchester, West Yorks Regt, killed in Arab ambush, Acre.
Cpl Gordon Watts (18) from Alderton; REs; killed in Jewish terrorist attack, Jerusalem.
|Jan||7||14 Palestinian Arabs killed by bomb thrown by terrorists from police armoured car, Jaffa Gate; many wounded.|
BC Albert Holden (22) killed, Mount Zion.
Cpl William Robinson (24) from Tardebridge, Worcs; Roy Sigs; died of wounds from terrorist attack on 7.1.47 on King George V Avenue, Haifa.
|Jan||9||BC Walter Thorley (20) killed, Mount Zion.|
|Jan||10||BI (British Inspector) Jack Taylor killed, Mount Zion.
Beit Affa attacked; village completely destroyed and all villagers expelled
|Jan||11||BC Richard Marshall (20) died of wounds, Ramleh.|
BC Noel Andre (19) and BC Ron Crowther (25) killed.
Pte John Hoatson (19) from Glasgow; 1/HLI; killed by sniper, Jerusalem.
|Jan||14||BC William March and several Jews killed by Arab bomb in Haifa; subsequent fighting kills and injures more Arabs and Jews. Paras restore order.|
|Jan||16||Arab house blown up in Haifa; in the first, 8 children died.
'Convoy of 35' Haganah unit ambushed and killed by Arabs during an attempt to resupply the blockaded kibbutzim of Gush Etzion. The Sussex Regt was sent to investigate and were led to the bodies.
|Jan||17||Gdsmn Harold Sheldrake (20) from Colchester; Irish Guards; killed in terrorist attack on Acre/Safad Road.|
|Jan||20||Settlement Yechiam attacked by Arabs; Middlesex Regiment platoon come to their aid; 25 Jews killed, many injured.|
|Jan||22||BSgt (British Sergeant) Francis Maher (30) killed, Jerusalem.|
|Jan||27||Cpl John Hand (20) from Lowdham, Nottingham; HQ 6 Abn Div RASC, killed by Arabs near Haifa.|
|Jan||29||BC Thomas McCutcheon (21) killed, Mount Zion.
BC Edward Vickers-Edwards (19) killed, Jerusalem.
|Feb||1||Palestine Post offices bombed by Arabs with assistance of British deserters, Eddie Brown and Peter Madison. Three people killed, many injured and much damage but the newspaper still managed to produce a single sheet the following day.|
|Feb||2||Fusilier John Falvey (20); "At Jaffa, around 1745 hours, No. 19030188 Fusilier Falvey of 'D' Company, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was on duty on the roof of the International Garage, in Salama Road, when he was shot and fatally injured by it is believed Jewish terrorists." MOD|
|Feb||3||BC Stanley Burgess (19) and BC Frederick Wellington (19) killed, Ramleh.
BC Arthur Hart (23) killed.
|Feb||4||L/Cpl Thomas Jones (37) from Newington, Hull; Irish Guards; killed by Jews on the Tiberias/Rosh-Pinna Road.|
|Feb||10||Sgt K Prince (22), Balham, Int Corps, killed on Palestine/Syrian border.
twelve Arabs taken off a truck by terrorists near 120 RAF MU/ Ras el Ain and shot in nearby orange grove; 7 killed, 5 injured.
|Feb||11||Guardman J Balmer (19), Warrington, Irish Guards, killed on Palestine/Syrian border.|
|Feb||12||Sgt John Sturtevant (25) from Luton; 8/9 Para Regt; killed by sniper in Haifa.|
|Feb||15||Gnr R Crampton (20) from Banff, Canada, killed; Gnr Dunn badly injured by terrorists; Prophet's Steps, Haifa.
Sasa: Haganah attacked the village, blowing up several houses with the people inside; many killed.
|Feb||17||BC David Brush (34) and BC Arthur Sitch (19) killed, Mount Zion.|
|Feb||19||Cpl Frank Shakespeare (19); from Birmingham; 'B' Sqn 17th/21st Lancers; killed in terrorist attack, Manara.
Pte Charles Whaler (19) from Edgbaston; Royal Warwicks; killed in terrorist attack, Jerusalem.
Jewish convoy attacked by Arabs and a number killed or injured; 17th/21st Lancers and Irish Guards intervene and drive off Arabs.
Driver Robert Arno (20) from Bethnal Green, Royal Signals; Cpl A Attrill (20) from East Cowes, RASC; terrorist attack, King George V Ave, Jerusalem.
1/AC Charles Allen (20), RAFVR; "Killed in Jerusalem around 11:19 hours near the Jewish Agency in King George Avenue, when automatic fire was directed at a Royal Air Force 15 cwt truck, the two occupants of the vehicle sustaining bullet wounds from which they died in hospital." MOD
Pte Fred Boulby (21) from Sheffield, 2/N Staffs Reg, killed by sniper on Mountain Rd, Haifa.
Pte John Cairns (20) from Glasgow; Pte Matthew McGowan (19) from Dennistown; Pte John Monteith (20) from Bridgetown, from Glasgow; Pte Peter Scanlan (19) from Bothwell; Pte David Walker (25) from Glasgow; Pte George Wilson (19) from Glasgow; "Killed when the Highland Light Infantry truck on its way to assist Jews on Mount Scopus was blown up by electric mine between Italian Hospice and Mea Shearim Police Station, Jerusalem." (Beit Safafa) MOD
60 Jews killed by terrist car bomb Ben Yahuda Street; 123 injured. Arabs and two British deserters (Eddie Brown, a police captain who claimed that the Irgun had killed his brother and Cpl Peter Madison) were responsible.
|Feb||23||Two British Palestine Policemen shot in their beds by Jewish terrorists in Wallach hospital, one killed; one policeman murdered in similar attack in Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem.|
|Feb||24||BC Douglas Sinnock (23) killed, Ramleh.|
|Feb||27||Witold Hulanicki and Stefan Arnold, murdered by Stern gang.|
|Feb||28/29||28 British soldiers killed and 33 injured when train mined at Rehovoth.
Eight Jews killed in attack at the Hayotzek iron foundry.
|Mar||3||Pte Dennis Morgan (19) from Aston, Birmingham; 2/Roy Warwicks; killed by Jewish sniper, Latrun.
Terrorists blew up the Arab-owned Salameh building in Haifa (a 7 story block of apartments and shops) with an army lorry packed with explosives; 11 Arabs and 3 Armenians killed and 23 injured.
|Mar||4||Lt John Bailey (22) from Poynton, 1st Airborne REs. killed by Arab sniper when going to aid of a Jew. L/Cpl Walter Field (23), Royal Sigs; killed in terrorist attack on Ramullah-Latrun Road.|
|Mar||6||Biyar Adas attacked; villagers killed; moshavs Adanim and Elisaham built on the land.
Deir Ayub attacked, mostly destroyed and all inhabitants expelled. Mevo Choron built on the land.
|Mar||9||Pte Albert Clarke (21) from Aberdeen; HLI; killed in terrorist attack on Camp 87, Hadera.|
Pte Archibald Schoclar (20); 1/KOSB; terrorist attack on Jerusalem/Haifa Road.
Jewish Agency bombed: the American consul general's Armenian-American driver parked and quickly left before the car exploded. The building was badly damaged and 12 people killed; almost 100 injured.
|Mar||13||Trooper Philip Russant (18) from Goodwick, Pembrokeshire; 17th/21st Lancers; killed.|
|Mar||15||BC Sydney Croucher (22) killed by a booby trap.|
|Mar||18||Pte Kenneth Carroll (19), Manchester, 2/3 Para, and RHA Gunners Ronald Cheek (20), Hackney; James Clarke (25), Dublin; Ronald Phythian (21), March; John Tierney (20), Griseley; killed:
"Five British soldiers and four Jews were killed in an ambush near Acre. The Sydney Smith barracks, north of Acre, having no light for three days, asked the Palestine Electric Corporation, which was a Jewish company, to repair the wires. The corporation agreed to do this provided they were provided with an armed escort. Two Army trucks containing men from the Middle East School of Artillery were escorting the corporation's armoured car when a land mine exploded, overturning one of the trucks and immobilizing the armoured car. Arabs then opened up with heavy fire from the roadside, killing all five soldiers in one truck and all four Jews in the armoured car." Source: MOD
|Mar||19||BC Owens killed.|
Pte H Beeston (19) from Silverdale (Lancs), 2/NStaffs, killed (on his birthday) by sniper, Jerusalem.
2/Lt William MacKinnon (20); from Tanglin, Singapore; killed in terrorist attack, Manshiya.
Pte Douglas Williams (19) from Tunstall; 2/N Staffs; killed by sniper in Jerusalem.
A housing block in Iraq Street in Haifa was blown up killing 17 and injuring 100 others. Four members of the Stern Gang had left two truck-loads of explosives in the street.
|Mar||22||BC Dennis Hooper (23) and BC Raymond Murphy killed.|
|Mar||26||Pte Kenneth Hewitt (18) from Manchester; 2/3 Para Regt; killed by terrorists, Haifa.|
|Mar||27||The Battle for Bethlehem: Arabs attacked Jewish convoy taking supplies to Kfar Etzion.|
|Mar||28||Cpl Arthur Ford (19) from Woolwich; "At about 11:00, in Jerusalem, Major Brodie, O.C., the Highland Light Infantry detachment in the Old City, found a mortar bomb in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. When he attempted to remove the bomb, a Jew tried to stop him. Unknown persons then fired a shot, causing both Jews and military in the area to open fire. As a result of the firing Corporal Ford, of the Highland Light Infantry was killed and Private McGregor seriously wounded." Source: MOD
Sgmn Joseph Rich (20) from Leytonstone; 6 Abn Div Sigs; killed by sniper, Haifa.
|Mar||29||Pre Walter Deacon (20) from Wolverhampton; killed by vehicle mine, Jerusalem.|
|Mar||31||The Cairo-Haifa Express mined, for the second time in a month, near Benyamina, killing 40 persons and wounding 60 others.|
|Apr||During April Palestinian Arabs were evacuated from Haifa.|
|Apr||3||2/Lt Alasdair Hilleary (19) from Chobham killed by booby-trap bomb when patrolling tunnels beneath the Holy Sepulchre with a platoon of the 1st HLI
Qalunya: attacked, destroyed and depopulated; many villagers killed.
|Apr||5||Pte James Paton (18) from Gorbals, Glasgow; 1/HLI; killed in terrorist attack, Jerusalem.|
Gnr Arnold Bell (19) from Headgate (Co Durham); Gdsmn John Byrne (35) from Gorey, Co Wexford, Irish Guards; Bdr Ronald Cambridge (19) from London; L/Bdr E Crossland; Lt Col Geoffrey Hildebrand DSO (43) from Longfield, Kent; Gnr Clifford Wood (20) from Sheffield; Gnr Cyril Cook (20) from Brigg, Lincs RA; all killed: "as men of the 12th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, were withdrawing from a large camp which the Army were evacuating near Pardes Hanna, north of Hadera, when attacked by Jews. The sentry and three other members of the guard were held up against the guardhouse wall, shot in the back, and killed. The wireless mast was then destroyed and shots fired into the camp, killing one more soldier and mortally injuring the commanding officer. The attackers were believed to be part of the Irgun." MOD
Cfn Thomas Birks (19) from Hebburn, (Tyneside), REME, killed by sniper, Jerusalem.
|Apr||6-12||Haganah launched offensive to break the siege of Jerusalem and Al Qastal which overlooked the Jaffa/Jerusalem road was finally taken after bitter fighting. A Jerusalem suburb was built on the taken land.|
BSgt Richard Jones (34) PP, died of wounds inflicted 28.3.48.
Capt Nigel Coppin (30) from Plymouth; Duke of Cornwall's LI; killed by terrorists.
Tpr John Lacey (20) from Birkenhead; 'HQ Sqn 17th/21st Lancers; killed in terrorist attack.
|Apr||8||Cpl K O'Dwyer; 147 Abn Pk Sqn, REs; killed by sniper, Haifa.|
|Apr||9||Deir Yassin attacked and more than 100 villagers killed, many in cold blood; many girls and women raped. It was an impetus for the Palestinian exodus and Haganah loudspeakers would later remind other Arab villages and towns of the atrocity and what could happen if they resisted.
In 2009 an employee at Yad Vashem was sacked for talking about the massacre.
Abu Shusha, Haifa occupied by Zionist forces and completely destroyed.
|Apr||10||Dvr William France (20) from Hodnet; RASC; killed when Jewish terrorist attacked three soldiers for their arms in a café in Rehovoth.
Sprs Charles Gorrod (20) from Lowestoft and Ronald Smith (18) from Worcester; REs; "Killed on the Jerusalem road, near Qastel, when the convoy he was travelling in came under Arab fire directed at a Jewish convoy." MOD
|Apr||11||L/Cpl R Snodin (21) ; RAOC; "three British soldiers from 1 Base Laundry, Tel Litwinsky, were out of bounds in Rehovoth when they were attacked by Jews who stole their 3 sten guns and shot dead Lance Corporal Snodin. (Ref: WO 275/66)" MOD|
|Apr||12||Nasr al Din: depopulated, occupied and destroyed.|
|Apr||13||Rfn Thomas Hutton (24) from Dumbarton; Cameronians; killed in terrorist attack on the Mount Scopus Road.
Pte William Watson (19) from Dundee; HLI; "Killed when rescuing a Jewish convoy being attacked by Arabs on the road up to Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives. A British Army armoured car and a Bren-gun carrier arrived and tried to silence the Arab attackers. Some of the Jews were rescued from two vehicles that were under attack. Finally a truce was arranged. Two other British soldiers were wounded." MOD
Massacre by Arabs of medical staff in convoy to Hadassah Hospital; 79 killed. Claimed to be revenge for massacre at Deir Yassin and allegations that convoy carrying weapons.
|Apr||15||Tprs B Button (18) from Southend, William Cantley (19) from Edinburgh and Lawrence Innes (19) from Wandsworth, killed; Tpr Eric Burns (18) from Laydon, wounded (died on 19.4.48); 17th/21st Lancers; Jewish terrorist attack on armoured rail cars, Lydda.|
|Apr||17||Gnr David Batsman (20) from Stepney, Bdr Horace James (24) from Barnsley and Gnr Charles McCluskey (20) from Woolwich; all Royal Artillery: killed "when Jews blew up an ammunition train going from Athlit to Rafah. Mines were detonated under the wagon behind the engine, and behind and in front of the train. Three British soldiers were killed and four wounded. (Ref: WO 275/66)" MOD | see also Attack at Binyamina.
Saris: village attacked and destroyed; some inhabitants killed, the rest flee. Shoresh and Sho'eva built on the village land.
|Apr||19||Fourteen Arabs killed in Tiberias when a house was blown up by terrorists.|
|Apr||20||Sapper John Ashcroft (19) from Swansea, 193 Railway Ops Sqn REs, wounded in mine explosion, Lydda; died 26.4.48
Dvr Douglas Furseman (19) from Newport, L/Cpl Kenneth Handisides (20) from West Hartlepool, and Sgmn R Parkes; Royal Sigs; killed in terrorist attack Jaffa/Tel Aviv.
Tiberias occupation complete.
|Apr||21||BSgt Raymond Hoddinott (22) and BC Harold Mudd (27) killed.|
|Apr||23||L/Cpl Joseph Graves (27) from Lincoln; 'A'Sqn 17th/21st Lancers; terrorist attack (died of wounds). Haifa occupied.|
Gnr William Carrington (18) from Ipswich; Gnr Charles Corbett (21) from Birmingham; L/Bdr Gerald Jones (19) from Droitwich; Gnr Thomas Kedward (18) from Middlesburgh; killed in attack on ammo train near Lydda.
Main attack on Jaffa, Haganah, Palmach, Irgun and Stern.
Balad al Shaykh occupied.
BC Anthony Gunter (20) killed.
Cpl Cyril Short (25) from Brighton, 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards; killed by sniper, Jaffa.
Cpl James Bennett (36), RASC; killed at Kfar Etzion when convoy attacked.
Diary from 1st May 1948, Paradata
Jews occupy Safed
|May||2||Ayn al Zaytoun: attacked, occupied, mostly destroyed. Many villagers killed.|
|May||3||Roy Farran's brother, Rex, murdered by letter bomb sent by Yaakov Heruti. Pathé clip of Rex Farran's funeral 1.03mins, silent.|
|May||5||Maj George Doel (32) from Bishops Waltham; L/Cpl George Goode (21) from Nanningham, Bradford; L/Cpl Wallace MacGregor (21) from Thornhill; WOII Patrick McCarthy (26) from Eastrey; L/Cpl Richard Rigby-Jones (19) from Birmingham; Cpl Ronald Sharpley (23) from Paddington; REME; all murdered by Irgun on main road near Nathanya. They had refused a bribe not to destroy equipment and were ambushed on their return to Sarafand Garrison. (Forgotten Conscripts)|
|May||8||Lance Sgt Peter Clarke (21), from Ipswich, Grenadier Guards; died of wounds after being shot while guarding Palestinian Arab workers.
Law passed in newly-created Knesset that any Arab absent from his property on this date forfeited it and was forbidden to return.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, Section 2 states "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."
|May||11||Beit Daras: over some days the village was attacked, fought back but was eventually depopulated and destroyed; it is alleged that over 200 villagers were killed. Khadija was one of the refugees who fled to Khan Younis, Gaza.|
|May||13||"British troops were withdrawn from their positions protecting
the Jewish Quarter in the Old City in the evening. Haganah forces in the
Old City occupied the positions vacated by the army. Intermittent firing
and sniping began in the Old City at 7 p.m." Rev Jones's Diary
At least fifty Jews who had surrendered to the Arab Legion killed at Gush Etzion; said to be in reprisal for Deir Yassin.
Jaffa occupied after fierce battle with many lives lost on both sides.
Najd inhabitants forced out and the town of Sderot built.
|May||14||General Sir Alan Cunningham, the last High Commissioner in Palestine, left Haifa in the cruiser, Euryalus, to end the British Mandate.
Abu Shusha, Ramle massacre
State of Israel proclaimed at midnight.
Palestine Police Standdown Personal account of the departure | Last to leave. Some troops and police stayed on for another month or so.
Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Transjordan, Holy War Army, Arab Liberation Army, and local Arabs attack the new Jewish state.
Massacre of Jewish children at Safed
Egyptian aircraft shell Tel Aviv power station.
|May||16||Nebi Yusha attacked and inhabitants exiled.|
|May||18||Occupation of Acre completed|
|May||21||Tantura attacked and destroyed. Over 250 selected Palestinians summarily executed in groups under the orders of Shimson Mashvitz; soldiers ran amok in the village. The carnage was halted by Yaacov Epstein, the head of Zikhron Yaacov settlement. Testimonies The beach where bodies were buried is now a resort. Presumably it's not a good idea to dig too far down.|
|May||22||BSgt Osmond Arnold (36) killed, Beit Jala.
Egyptian Spitfires destroy RAF Spitfires at Ramat David, apparently by mistake; 4 airmen killed. Return fire brought down 3 attacking aircraft.
|May||25||Al Khisas occupied after villagers terrified into fleeing.|
|May||30||Al-Mazar depopulated and occupied.
Al Lajjun: Haganah raided village, killing many and blowing up homes. Villagers fled.
|Jun||11||Depopulation and destruction of Al-Birwa; home of the poet Mahmuud Darwesh|
|Jun||20||The Atalena Affair: violent showdown between the Israel Defense Forces under Ben-Gurion and the Irgun resulting in the absorption of most of the Irgun and Stern gangs into the IDF.|
|Jun||30||Most of the remaining British troops leave Palestine although a few stayed on until August.|
|Jul||12||Dahamsh Mosque massacre. Zionist fighters kill 120-150 refugees sheltering in a mosque in Lydda.|
|Jul||16||Depopulation and destruction of Lubya. South Africa Forest is built over the remains.
Saffuriya inhabitants forced out and the village mostly destroyed and planted over with trees.
|Oct||31||Christian village of Biram attacked; inhabitants expelled.|
The UN endeavoured to negotiate various truces without much success. The UN representatives, Count Bernadotte and Colonel André Sérot were murdered by the Stern Gang on the orders of their leaders who included Yitzhak Shamir. a future Israeli Prime Minister. Thousands of Jews, including Colonel André Sérot's wife who had been in Dachau, owed their lives to Count Bernadotte who did all he could to rescue them from concentration camps. Letter to UN Secretary General explaining why the perpetrators of this "unhappy incident" had not been found.
The fighting between Arabs and Jews continued into 1949 by which time many thousands on both sides had been killed. Zionists fought under strong leadership; Arab forces were fragmented under poor leaders, each with their own agenda: King Abdullah of Jordan was keen to increase his territory and the Egyptians likewise. Jewish troops and arms were being replenished but Arab men and matériel diminished. By the end of the war, over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs had fled into exile the Nakba (catastrophe).
"...it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." part of the Balfour letter which is rarely mentioned.