TEL AVIV (Apr. 14)
Israel’s armed forces tightened security measures and increased their vigilance along all borders today against possible terrorist attempts to infiltrate Israel during Memorial Day which begins this evening and Independence Day which commences officially at sundown tomorrow. Special attention has been given to the Lebanese border, especially the Fatahland region which contains the largest terrorist concentrations.
Strong security measures have also been taken on the West Bank. A number of known terrorist sympathizers have been taken into preventive detention for the two-day holiday period. Road blocks are being set up and check points established to prevent suspect elements from entering Israel proper from the administered territories.
Border patrols have been increased in size and provided with additional weapons. Police and civil guards will be posted in all villages and towns, especially in the border regions, to protect the population during Memorial and Independence Day ceremonies.
Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for Israel’s war dead, will be ushered in by air raid sirens all over Israel this evening. All places of entertainment will shut down and memorial lights will be kindled publicly and in most private homes.
President Ephraim Katzir will light a memorial lamp at the Western Wall this evening in the presence of 50 families whose members lost their lives in Israel’s wars. Premier Yitzhak Rabin and former Premier Golda Meir will address a Memorial Day rally in Tel Aviv. Air raid sirens will sound again at 11 a.m. tomorrow signaling two minutes of silence and suspended activities. Memorial ceremonies, will be conducted at schools, and Memorial Day parades will be held at military camps. Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur will read his special Order of the Day tomorrow, honoring the men who fell in line of duty defending the nation.
NEW FIGHTER JET UNVEILED
Meanwhile, on the eve of Independence Day, Israel unveiled a home-produced jet fighter plane, the “Lion Cub,” a delta-winged single-seat aircraft with a reported speed of Mach 2.2 (2.2 times the speed of sound) and an operational ceiling of 50,000 feet. Newsmen permitted to view the plane at a military airfield outside of Tel Aviv were told by Defense Minister Shimon Peres that the “Cub” ranked with the best warplanes in the world and, at $4 million each, was among the cheapest.