TEL AVIV (Jun. 3)
Children were the custodians of tradition today as Israelis prepared for the Shavuot festival beginning at sundown. Youngsters dressed in white and garlanded with flowers, carried baskets of fruit and vegetables to Jewish National Fund headquarters, symbolic of the offering of the first crop. The long weekend ahead is a time of prayer for the religious community. For other Israelis it is an occasion for picnicking on the beaches and countryside.
Resort hotels all over the country are fully booked. Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee holds a special attraction for Israelis and tourists at this time of year. The town prepared to receive tens of thousands of holiday-makers tomorrow. The supermarkets and small grocers were busy today as housewives stocked up on dairy items, the traditional staple of Shavuot.
Behind the preparations for the festival there was a grim note. Israeli security forces were put on alert for possible disturbances this Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War. The date is one previously used by terrorists to attempt outrages. Numerous preventive detentions were carried out on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.
Check posts have been established on the main roads and careful inspections are being made of all vehicles entering Israel from the administered territories. The military governors have warned Arab mayors and local chambers of commerce against any attempts to create disturbances or coerce merchants to close their shops. The East Jerusalem chamber of commerce was warned that any shops that close would be re-opened by force.