On house demolitions, then


From the diary of the Lincolnshire Regiment which was on Special Service in Palestine during July 15 - December 20th 1936:-
During the month of September, 1936, official sanction was given for the demolition of houses as a punishment for acts of sabotage. Altogether 19 demolitions were carried out by the Battalion, assisted by the Royal Engineers.
This innovation undoubtedly had a dramatic effect and definitely reduced sabotage. Immediately any act of sabotage occurred, such as mines on the road or a railway derailment, the Striking Force of the Battalion was at once sent out and, before any warning could be given, surrounded the village nearest to where the incident had taken place. The District Commissioner (Mr. J. A. O''Connor), the Superintendent of Police (Mr. C. V. S. Tesseyman, D.C.M.) and the Commanding Officer then entered the village and selected the houses to be blown up. If possible such houses were those belonging to Arab leaders or organisers of terrorist gangs. When furniture had been moved and the villagers themselves had been collected at a place of safety, the necessary explosives were placed in position and the demolition carried out. Villages, at which these demolitions were necessary, included Anabta, Dannaba, Umm Khalid, Kh Beit Lidd, Wadi Kabaneh, Qalansuwa, Kfar Labad and Bala. At the latter six demolitions were carried out on one afternoon as a punishment for the battle which took place nearby on September 3.
On one occasion a large dump of old Turkish shells was discovered at Qafr Qasim. A raiding force, "C" Company, was at once sent by lorries to seize these and blow them up.