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Opposition Seen to Military Parade Celebrating Israel’s 25th Anniversary

The Cabinet decided yesterday, apparently against some opposition, to hold a military parade in Jerusalem on May 7, the 25th anniversary of Israel’s independence. The Cabinet secretary’s report that the decision was not unanimous lead observers here to assume that the parade was opposed by some ministers as politically unwise and likely to exacerbate tensions between Jews and Arabs in the city.

The last military parade on Independence Day was held in Jerusalem in 1968 as a victory parade following the Six-Day War. The United Nations Security Council “deeply regretted” that it was held after receiving a complaint from Jordan. There were also some protests from Arabs in Jerusalem. The march followed a route through both East and West Jerusalem. Next year’s parade presumably will follow a similar route.

The Cabinet secretary told newsmen that Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir was not one of the ministers who voted against the parade although there was some opposition to it on financial grounds. The parade is likely to cost some $4 million. Overall plans for Israel’s 25th anniversary celebrations have been completed by a ministerial committee headed by Deputy Premier Yigal Allon. They will be announced at a press conference later this week.

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