• Short Summary

    Final rehearsals for Israel's twenty fifth independence day celebrations have been taking place in Jerusalem this week.

  • Description

    Final rehearsals for Israel's twenty fifth independence day celebrations have been taking place in Jerusalem this week.

    Next Monday (7Th May) 300,000 people are expected to watch a massive fly-past of 400 planes and a two-hour military parade of some 2000 soldiers and airmen. It will be the first such parade for five years.

    Security forces throughout the country and in the Israeli-occupied territories will be an the alert to prevent any incidents marring the occasion and many reservists will be mobilised for part of their annual service.

    Twenty-five years ago next Monday David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, proclaimed the birth of the Stat of Israel. Despite having endured three wars and almost constant hostility from her Arab neighbours, Israelis will be celebrating their silver jubilee with a background of steady economic growth and a present-day confidence in their military ability to defend themselves.

    Missing from the reviewing stand next Monday will be official representatives of many states, including Britain, the United States, France and west Germany. They're staying away because of objections to the soldiers marching through East Jerusalem -- the part of the city, captured and subsequently annexed from Jordan in 1967.

    There has been some controversy in Israel as to whether a military parade was the most suitable way to celebrate the anniversary. A recent study in Israel revealed that public opinion was about evenly divided on the subject. But despite the misgivings all is set for Monday's parade -- the biggest over undertaken in the history of Israel.

    SYNOPSIS: More than 2000 soldiers and airman will take part in the two-hour march past. In Israel all Jewish citizens under 45 must undertake military service -- and this includes the women, although they rarely undertake combat work.

    Preparations for the celebrations have been taking place for over a year, but there are still some when seem to be wandering what all the fuss is about.

    The Israeli airforce has played a key role in the defence of the country 400 planes are expected to take part in Monday's flypast.

    Israel has made frequent use of the Super Prelon helicopter in making punitive raids against her Arab neighbours.

    .... and the Tuha Magisters are used mainly for training fighter pilots.

    The dress rehearsal for the march past took place in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening (1st). Among the armour display were modified centurion tanks, troop carriers and the American Hawk ground-to-air missile.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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