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Independence Day Festivities to Focus on Peace Treaty

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The recent signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt will be featured at the independence Day festivities May 1 and 2, it was reported at a press conference here by Yoacov Schatz, head of the Information Center and chairman of the Independence Day Festivities Committee.

At a meeting last Sunday, committee members decided that all festivities this year will be conducted under the slogan ” Independence and Peace,” with added emphasis on the continuity of Jewish settlement and the nation’s achievements during its 31 years of independence.

The peace treaty signing will be marked with lighting of a 13th beacon in addition to the traditional 12 beacons kindled to signal the onset of Independence Day. It will symbolize the sacrifice for peace. The ” peace beacon ” will be lighted Tuesday night on Mt. Herzl by a representative of the nation’s bereaved families, who lost two sons in Israel’s wars.

Some IL 350,000 has been invested to ensure that Israeli citizens enjoy the holiday to the utmost. Scores of entertainment stages, parties, fireworks displays and other festivities have been planned. Premier Menachem Begin will participate in a public assembly in the capital on Wednesday, together with thousands of youth movement members.

OTHER SCHEDULED EVENTS

Other scheduled events include the World Jewish Bible Quiz for Youth, to be held in the presence of the Premier and Minister of Education, a Presidential reception for the diplomatic corps and presentation of the coveted Israel Prizes, to be attended by the President, Premier and Education Minister.

Independence Day, as in past years, will be preceded by Memorial Day. Thousands of persons are expected to attend memorial ceremonies at military cemeteries on Tuesday to honor Israel’s fallen soldiers. All entertainment places will be closed and flags will be lowered to half-mast.

The main ceremony will take place the night of May 1 at the Western Wall and will be attended by the President and Chief of Staff. The following day, 100 soldiers will be honored at a reception at the Presidential residence, for excellent service rendered by them during the past year.

The Information Center has printed tens of thousands of posters for Independence Day featuring a seven-stemmed candelabrum stretched across a hilly landscape for free distribution throughout the country. It has also printed a special edition of the Independence Declaration and copies of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty.

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