P. 164

      The fate of the city was unclear, as attested to in this newspaper clipping, from about a week before the establishment of the state
heads at the National Institutions Building and asked how they could assist. It was through them that important materials, such as maps, various types of equipment and even solders' uniforms, were received and sent immediately to the military units.
During the final siege period, before the road to Jerusalem was broken through, there was a severe shortage in water and fuel in the city. Electricity, the generation of which entailed fuel, was only supplied for a few hours per day and a special system was installed to supply electricity to a limited number of structures and offices. Among those receiving electricity – as disclosed by Dov Yosef, the Military Governor of Jerusalem, in his book "The Faithful City" – were individual rooms in the Jewish Agency's buildings, which housed the "Haganah" headquarters.
Yosef further tells us that during the period of fighting, following the establishment of the state and the entrance of the Transjordan Arab Legion into the arena, Jerusalem was bombarded by artillery nearly every day. Shells hit the National Institutions Building and the square in front of it several times, but luckily these only caused limited damage. Shots were also fired periodically from heavy machine guns that the Jordanians placed on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Several of them hit the thick stone walls of the National Institutions Building and failed to penetrate it. Several windows were shattered.
In early June 1948, the siege was broken. Supplies, weapons and reinforcements were sent to the wounded and bleeding city via the "Burma Road". The Jewish City, whose wells were practically dry, and whose main water line from Rosh HaAyin had long since been blown up, was attached to a temporary water line emplaced by the "Mekorot" Company from Hulda to Sha'ar HaGai, along the "Burma Road".
In terms of governance, Tel Aviv had long since taken precedence, with Ben-Gurion and others emphasizing periodically that the center of the Jewish Yishuv had to be Jerusalem. The employees of the National Institutions felt themselves neglected. All the country's institutions were concentrated in Tel Aviv while within the building in Rehavia there was near total silence.

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