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Passover Celebration in Negev Marred by Rainstorm; Many Stranded

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Hundreds of guests en route to a Passover celebration at Israel’s southernmost point, the port city of Eilat, were stranded in the Negev by a sudden rainstorm that dumped as much water on the area in two hours as it normally gets in two years.

The road to Eilat was cut and large portions of the road were submerged. The travelers found shelter in Beersheba and Mitzpeh Ramon where they waited while kibbutz volunteers and army units worked around the clock to repair both the road and battered telephone lines.

The airport at Eilat also was damaged by heavy currents. Communications were restored this morning with the port city and people started to pour in for the festivities tonight and tomorrow which will feature a huge display on the life of Eilat in ancient days and now.

Passover ceremonies were held for the first time since Roman days on Massada Hill overlooking the Dead Sea. The Seder commemorated the heroic fight for freedom of the Jews against the Romans.

Israel’s kibbutzim were filled to capacity by the Passover visitors and, in the north, the weather was pleasant, swelling the ranks of hitchhikers.

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